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The Little Woman July 23, 2013

Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, feminism, societal commentary, work.
Tags: , ,

I’ve discussed both the drawbacks (and here) and benefits of working with my husband before.  Today, however, I’m feeling like discussing another drawback.

Recently, we were in a situation where we ran into a colleague we’ve known for a while.  This colleague (whom I shall call Colleague #1) had someone with him (Colleague #2).  (I know…I’m boring.  Maybe I should call them Bert and Ernie?) When Colleague #1 (Bert?) introduced us to Colleague #2 (Ernie?), Mike was introduced first with a mention about his work position.  And I…I was introduced as his wife.  There was absolutely no comparable mention of my professional attributes.

This is beyond annoying, especially when this person is someone with whom I only interact in professional settings.  I don’t mind so much when we are introduced professionally and then, as note afterwards, someone will mention we are married (although I’m not sure why this is necessary).  I even seem to vaguely recall one time when Mike was introduced as my husband, which was a bit amusing.  At least I can’t say it’s never happened.

However, the situation where I am introduced strictly as his wife is something that people ought to know better than to do.  This belittles my professional accomplishments and makes it seem like the most important thing I do is provide companionship to my husband and, probably, take care of his kids.  It ignores the fact that I am a capable engineer and makes it appear that I have nothing more to add to the conversation than perhaps the affirming nod here and there.

To his credit, there have been occasions where Mike has picked up on this and brought it up himself when the person introducing us to someone has failed to give me ‘equal due’.  Still, I’m irritated that it happens so often.  I’m surprised that I haven’t yet been introduced as Mike’s little woman.

(As a side note, just as I was about to post this, I noticed I’d already tagged another post ‘introductions’.  Wow…deja vu.  I think I need to stop letting people introduce me and start doing it myself.)

Inadequate introductions August 22, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in feminism, societal commentary.
Tags: , , ,

I have sometimes worried about being in my husband’s shadow.  However, over the past couple years, I’ve been feeling like a lot of people are starting to recognize me as having my own talents.

But sometimes, I see it happening.

Today, my husband and I went out for lunch and ran into someone we both know.  He works for a different group but is in our building.  In fact, he’s two offices down from mine, and we were working on our MS at about the same time.  He was having lunch with some colleagues.  When he saw us, he introduced my husband and then me…with my husband’s last name.

I’m feeling a bit irritated, but I try to blow it off since a lot of people make that assumption and don’t realize we don’t have the same last name.  I go by a hyphenated last name, but I prefer that if they’re going to shorten it, they use my maiden name.  (I don’t mind if they introduce us as “Mike and Cherish” with just his last name, such as on mail.)

However, the next bit got me very irritated.  He then said that my husband worked in our building…and failed to mention that I work there, also.  In fact, he failed to mention anything at all about my employment.

The funny thing is that this doesn’t usually happen if it’s me alone.  It happens more frequently than I’d like when I’m with my husband, though.

My husband is considering emailing this person to rectify the misunderstanding about my last name but is as surprised as I am by the second…and equally unsure if anything can or should be done about it.


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