So, every week I put a post here, on my website for those of you who have subscribed. They are sometimes silly. Sometimes song lyrics. Sometimes they will be more substantive. This week I’m feeling a little bit disenchanted. So here goes something special.
I like to tinker around with racial and gender bias. Mostly in my head. Some of the fodder makes its way into various presentations, most of it makes excellent bar discussion topics with some of my very very smart drinking buddies. I’m working on reviewing research for a panel I’m sitting on at DEF2019 in a few weeks. The panel is on inclusiveness and diversity. I may be known for stirring the pot occasionally, and this is one of those occasions where I get to do just that.
In thinking about this, I have been thinking quite a bit about my story, and the stories of others. I was just telling a friend that one thing I never do is tell people I meet what I do or that I have a PhD. Maybe that’s weird, maybe it’s not. I was at an event recently where someone was less than friendly with me. I commented on it to a colleague and was told, “you don’t do a good job of letting people know who you are”. **GASP** My first thought was, why should I? Why would I ever feel like I need to tell people that I’m the Games Czar, or that I have a PhD in order for them to respect me?? Shouldn’t we treat everyone nicely? If I was the hired help (which…lets face it…I’m often mistaken for) would it give people a reason to treat me differently? Well, the answer is, Yes. It does. Racism is alive and well out there my friends. As is sexism. As is a general lack of equality.
I recently found out a dear friend is a bit of a superstar in their field. I was thrilled! But if that person was an electrician, I would be no less thrilled. I would respect their mind and their companionship all the same.
Judge people on what’s inside friends. Not on who they are, what they do, what they have, and certainly not on what they can do for you. Don’t be dicks.