Being a female is an interesting experience at the best of times and being a female in the field of veterinary medicine is no different. I’m not going to talk about the serious sexual harassment which occurs, or my experience of how female veterinary professionals are treated online, but instead I’m going to talk about how, for some reason, members of the general public (of all genders) seem to think that I won’t make a good vet because I’m lacking a Y chromosome.
Now I don’t know the future and I might be a terrible vet (if I graduate), but if I am it won’t be for these reasons:
- Because I can’t deadlift a Great Dane
First of all, my lack of upper body strength has nothing to do with my gender and everything to do with the fact that I’d rather spend my student loan on takeaways than a gym membership. Secondly, when you last went to the GP did you go limp and make them lift you onto the exam table before accepting their diagnosis? No? Then shut up.
- Because I wear make-up
If anything, the fact that I can put eyeliner on in a (mostly) straight line should indicate that I have a steady hand. To the best of my knowledge it doesn’t dissolve my brain. I’ll keep you updated.
- Because I must not be able to make decisions
I suppose something about my uterus means I don’t have a frontal lobe anymore. I wish someone had told me sooner.
- Because I must hate mud
If I had to rank all of the dirt one encounters in this field, I’d say mud is pretty nice.
- Because I’m too emotional
I’m not – if anything I’m emotionally constipated. I didn’t cry at Marley & Me. I wish that I had because people judge me.
These are all things that people have felt perfectly happy to say to me, a female vet student, about female vets. There are apparently universal qualities that all women must have and they must make us terrible at our jobs. I have yet to hear anything of this nature about my male colleagues (and no, I’m not going to count the times I was once told they’re so good that they get cocky). And if you’re tempted to dismiss what I’ve written as feminist drivel, I would like to thank you for reading. It must be both difficult and tiring for someone of your intellectual capacity to make it through a whole 420 words. Great job.