My Gender Identity

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I identify as a white, middle class, male-gendered ripple on this quasi-spatial persistent illusion we call life. As a member of the dominant group (at least in these categories) it is difficult to tease out the precise moments of acute realization that I “belonged” to any of these groups. Rather, it seems like I exist in the way things have always been: in the way my life was always meant to be. Nonetheless, the following is my attempt to unearth the scaffoldings that molded me towards this set of identities and to expose the ways in which my pathway through engineering has been (and will be) altered by them. The most complicated of these identities is that of being male. I am as comfortable as it is possible for one to be with the chemical …show more content…
Mom was an aeronautical engineer before she was a stay at home mom so I fully believed that anyone could and should be an engineer based only on their intelligence and wit. The only way this might have affected my choice is in the kinds of majors my high school teachers suggested. It’s possible that they suggested careers that fit their perception of male careers, and I was very much influenced by my teachers’ suggestions because they are people I respect. At college, my gender has strongly influenced my success. I haven’t experienced anyone telling me that I don’t belong in engineering. In fact, I feel nothing but encouragement. In contrast, I’ve heard stories from my female friends that lead me to believe that this is not the case for them. I expect that this effect will only increase as I move on to my professional engineering career. It seems unlikely to me that centuries of injustice will evaporate over the next year or so, and engineering is historically a very unfriendly field for women. This will impact not only my success in finding a job, but also my emotional wellbeing. I can well remember the stresses present in early high school when I had difficulty finding other people who were cool with my love of “feminine” pursuits. The lack of this internal pressure in my professional career will undoubtedly increase my sense of fulfillment compared to a female or non-traditionally gendered

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