Made an incision?

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When I was in high school, my family and I were waiting for a table at a restaurant, and a man and woman were waiting next to us. The man started making small talk, eventually asking me what I planned to do after high school/college.

When I said I wanted to go to medical school to be a SURGEON, he said:

“Oh! You want to be a nurse? That’s great!”

I replied, “No.. I want to be a SURGEON.”

He responded by laughing and saying, “But sweetheart, that’s too hard!”

I doubt that guy would have assumed a MALE would think being a surgeon is “too hard,” but I guess it’s #MFIF.

Dr. Nurse, USA

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12 Responses to “Made an incision?”

  1. Claire Says:

    Ha! This attitude’s not changed then.

    I used to work in medical records in a large hospital. If someone asked what I did for a living I’d say ‘I work in a hospital’. To which I’d inevitably get the reply ‘oh, you’re a nurse!’ (Because of course, being female, I must be a nurse not a doctor)

    No, if I was a nurse I’d say ‘I’m a nurse’.

    If on the other hand, I explained I worked in medical records I’d get a blank look. Followed by a comment along the lines of ‘more bureaucracy/administrators meaning fewer nurses’. Never mind that medical records staff being there meant the nurses had more time for nursing if they didn’t have to chase all over the hospital to find someone’s records. Really, the number of people who assume that hospitals are run by doctors (male) and nurses (female), or that they should be run by just those two groups. Presumably the nurses do all the cleaning as well.

  2. teleen Says:

    Sad, very sad. I went to school with a girl who knew she wanted to be a doctor at 15 – she would have laughed at anyone who’d said this to her. Guess what? She’s a doctor, :).

  3. Sharon MD Says:

    When I was in high school (early ’60’s), I went to the guidance counselor and asked about colleges with a good pre-med program. He said, “Why don’t you be a nurse?” I responded, “I’m not very good at taking orders.”

    Years later, my high school son asked why I wasn’t active in women equality issues. I told him that equality was a problem when women are superior to men and I could prove it. I said, “Find me one man who can change a tire, do eye surgery and nurse a baby.”

  4. Pound Include Says:

    Can someone please explain to me why it’s #MFIF, not just MFIF? What does the # signify?

  5. Teri Says:

    Not sure how old you are, but I’m forty. Didn’t go to college until late in life because I was told that a “good Christian woman” raises children. Thank GOD, I came to my senses and educated myself. I make more “cheese” than my husband. HA!

  6. Eliza Says:

    I think the appropriate response there would be, “Oh, I’m sorry. Did you try and fail? How disappointing for you.”

  7. Charlotte Says:

    ^ Ha, yes, or “Awwww, I’m sorry, sweetheart (this is where you patronisingly slap him on the back), you really mean it’s too hard FOR YOU.” Said in your most mocking voice, of course.

  8. Kris Says:

    And the little “sweetheart” bit at the end is just icing on the cake. :S IMO, it’s never okay for a stranger to call a woman “sweetheart”. It’s so condescending.

  9. girl Says:

    My baby sister used to think like this also. We had a picture book about a young girl ballerina (Nina Nina Ballerina if I recall correctly) and at one point the Nina child falls off a playset and injures herself.
    She is then taken to see her doctor, who is illustrated as female.

    My sister always insisted that this woman was just a nurse, even at a young age.

    Thanks, sexism.

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