My doctor’s mansplaining hit a nerve- it was not the first time a grown, male-identifying person had told me to study and pursue a career solely for the monetary value. As a top performer throughout my high school years, I had similar conversations with various STEM male teachers. They all assumed and insisted that because I was excellent at AP Biology or AP Calculus or Physics I should be pursuing a career as a medical professional- a surgeon or doctor of some sort- or maybe an engineer. They placed more value on top marks in STEM classes than in history, English, and other humanities. But to be honest, my high grades in the humanities meant much more to me than those in my STEM classes.
I am very tired of having men “advise” me on my academic path. I’m also very tired of having STEM being set against the humanities. Most of my close friends at my university are pursuing a path in the medical profession. I have seen first hand how hard they work at hellish Orgo and complex Biology. They’ve seen me read Moby Dick in five days while reading three other novels (all 250+ pages) at the same time. While they were dealing with Biology and Chemistry final exams, I was dealing with 7 final papers with the lowest page count being 8. We all worked ourselves to the bone for a letter grade. Isn’t about time that our separate and valid paths be cheered on equally?
-- Katherine Jimenez