discrimination · feedback · feminism · feminist · newbie · Phd · PhD life · research · sexism

Judging a book by it’s cover

In research, we know not to form assumptions, be swayed by your own biases or to make unfounded judgements.  This often creates a natural instinct to critically appraise everything that crosses your path.  This has trickled into my real life as now my eyes are drawn to typos and I have become quite skeptical of any overarching statements, such as “this is best burger!” or “I’m starving to death”.  Nup, not buying it! haha Recently, I was frustrated while reading a fictional novel as I couldn’t stop seeing the inappropriate use of American English and British English throughout the book.  At times this can all feel a tad tedious 🙂

As an early career researcher, I have been on a huge learning curve and understand the concept of ‘the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know’. While in my clinical career, I feel confident in my skill set but I also take every opportunity to learn and grow professionally.  So my question is, how do you marry the ability to confidently stand by your achievements and results while still acknowledging the continual pursuit of new knowledge and evidence?

I presented at a conference recently and sat beside a male delegate whom I met that day. Throughout the day, he would write notes then turn to me to explain what each speaker had presented.  To me, this was a classic example of mansplaining!! Nevertheless, it was a long and arduous day.  When it was my turn to present, he gave me a (what I felt was condescending) pat on the back to wish me luck.  As I sat down afterwards, he turned to me and proceeded to mansplain my own presentation arghhhh! I couldn’t help feel that because I am a small, ‘young looking’ female that he felt the need to almost mentor my conference experience.  The whole time I kept wondering what I could do to exude more confidence, maturity and experience.

While we are taught not to judge a book by it’s cover, I can’t help thinking that at times I am judged by my physical appearance and demeanour.  I don’t want to change who I am as a person but I also want to be taken seriously for my professional experience.  Annnnd wearing high heals is not an option 😉

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3 thoughts on “Judging a book by it’s cover

  1. Hey, nice reading your blog! I sometimes wonder if the problem is in how others perceive us or how we feel they perceive us and how that affects the way we project ourselves. For example, when I perceive people to think of me as lacking in confidence, it automatically takes my confidence down a few notches and no doubt helps build that perception even further if it was even there in the first place! 🙂

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  2. I am sorry, D. That is so frustrating! It makes me pause and think about how often might I “judge a book by its cover” without realizing it? Hmmm.

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