Female Scientist Alleges Unpleasant Airport ‘Microaggression’ Was The Result Of ‘Gender Bias’ (9 Pics)

On Monday, astronomer Amber Roberts tweeted about an experience she had while in line at airport security:



*I take out both of my laptops at airport security* Random guy: *scoffs* "What do you need 2 laptops for?" Me: "Well one is for my astrophysics work and one is for my artificial intelligence work." #priceless #WomenInSTEM #womenintech #ai #GirlBoss
I am now trending on r/Iamverysmart. If anyone is curious as to why women might feel unwelcome in tech, check it out. To be clear about the guy asking about my laptops he was talking down to me using a patronizing voice, he also asked twice believing I owed him an explanation.
What saddens me about the subreddit is that no one is commenting on the fact that the guy didn’t deserve an answer, but are focusing on why I don’t need two laptops. Also that there is no way "this girl" could be considered an expert in both fields.
This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last time something like this happens to me. The reason I am sharing this experience is because these are important things to keep in mind when we are trying to solve the problem of getting more women involved in tech.
Roberts later tweeted that she’s "fine," and that she just wanted to make people aware of the "microagressions" women face in STEM fields:

A lot of great people are telling me to stay strong, but I’m honestly fine!! Having male strangers explain my own field to me is just another Tuesday. What I want people to take away from this discussion is that women leave male dominated fields due to CONSTANT microaggressions.
What happened by itself wasn’t a big deal, I didn’t even think much about it, just that it would make an entertaining tweet. Normally one big event is not what stops women from pursuing a field, it’s death by a thousand cuts. This is just ONE TINY example of what happens DAILY!
Roberts’ story has since gone viral, with her initial tweet receiving over 200,000 "likes," and being retweeted more than 26,000 times.
While a great majority of Twitter users commenting on the story have voiced support for Roberts and condemned the "random guy," some have questioned her seeming assumption that the random guy’s remarks were motivated by sexism:
I hate to say it, but when travel with both of my computers I have been asked the same question. My answer is lame compared to yours, but I have been asked the same question. We as a society need to do a better job of giving others the benefit of the doubt.
I am a bit confused...how does that simple question relate to gender bias? I am no astrophysicist and perhaps my intelligence is artificial, but not making the connection.
The Daily Wire asked Roberts if she believes there is any possibility that the comment from the man in question wasn't sexist, but simply rude.
She replied:
He asked first in a patronizing tone: "What are you doing with two laptops?" I was in a rush and wasn’t paying much attention, and then he asked asked again in a louder, slightly agitated voice: "Why do you need two laptops?" And that’s when I responded.
I do feel this question stemmed from the misalignment in his mind between a tiny blonde woman and two laptops. Many men in the comments have shared the view that I don’t need two laptops, which was not the point of the tweet. I have gotten pretty good at recognizing microaggressions throughout my career, and this was definitely an example of one. I wasn’t angry about this interaction; I just brushed it off and decided to tweet about it. I never expected the impact it would have on Twitter.
I think the discussion on microaggressions broke out because a lot of women are tired of things like this happening to them all the time. When women talk about microaggressions, we seem petty because one comment like this on it’s own is not a big deal, it’s the constant build up of them overtime.
I do not feel this question, spoken in the way he said it, would not have been asked to a man carrying multiple laptops. I think this was an important conversation to have and there will definitely be more like it in the future. A good rule to go by is, before asking a question to a women, think "would I ask this to a man?" If it’s not, question why. Plenty of people (including myself) have asked questions/made comments to people that have had unintended consequences. The point is not to never offend anyone – that’s impossible – but to learn from mistakes. Make an effort to understand why someone was hurt and use it to make an all fields more inclusive.
With no other sources, it’s impossible to know with certainty the exact way in which this exchange transpired. It’s possible that Roberts’ analysis is correct, that the man’s comment was inspired by the fact that a woman was carrying two laptops. It’s also possible that the man was in a rush, and upon seeing multiple laptops being removed from luggage, became irritated at the slight inconvenience, and decided to remark on it in a rude manner.

Female Scientist Alleges Unpleasant Airport ‘Microaggression’ Was The Result Of ‘Gender Bias’ (9 Pics) Female Scientist Alleges Unpleasant Airport ‘Microaggression’ Was The Result Of ‘Gender Bias’ (9 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:44 Rating: 5

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