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So whats all this about then?

(22 Posts)
Catsarebastards Mon 24-Nov-14 22:52:23

I went to an all girls secondary school and after that a college course that was all female. So apart from a very very small primary school class (3boys, 2girls) i have only known education in an all female environment.

I am now back at college with only one other woman and the rest of the class is men.

We have exams approaching and i have noticed something strange, the other woman and I have been happily sharing info, revision notes etc but we have noticed that despite all claiming to have specific things completed the men arent willing to help us out at all. They will respond vaguely to a very specific question that we know they have the information infront of them for, telling us the info is on X website or resource etc. not even specifics about where on the website.

I was talking to a friend this evening about how i was really struggling with a particular issue and how when i asked for help got pretty much told 'no help from us' and she said she experienced the same when she went from a co-ed secondary to a male grammar to do her A levels.

So what is all that about then? Is it just a protective thing amongst men that they want to protect their own interests or is it a deliberate choice not to help the women?

This is all new to me and i am honestly quite shocked at how obvious it is.

Pepperwitheverything Mon 24-Nov-14 23:00:17

They are afraid you will beat them. For some stupid and sad men, this can be a fate worse than death.

In all seriousness, you threaten their flimsy masculinity. Good for you!!!!!

Flywheel Mon 24-Nov-14 23:00:21

I studied in a male dominated environment (both undergraduate and popostgraduate) and this was not my experience at all. There were definitely some students who had no interest in sharing any of their knowledge, but I don't think there was a gender divide.
I guess it's possible that's what's going on in your situation, and it will be interesting to see if other posters have experienced similar, but it's definitely not mu experience.

Catsarebastards Mon 24-Nov-14 23:04:41

I am pleased to hear that flywheel as if i do well on this course it will probably lead onto a male dominated degree and career field.

Its possible that it is just the dynamic of my class in particular and i actually just put it down to that until the other woman pointed it out and then my friend confirmed that she had experienced it too.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Mon 24-Nov-14 23:08:04

I moved from a girls school to an ex boys school for sixth form. I work in a make dominated environment. My degree was certainly dominated by men. I absolutely do not recognise this gender divide you describe. Do you think the issue may be you and the other woman?

Catsarebastards Mon 24-Nov-14 23:10:53

In what sense mymum? You think we shouldnt ask for help from classmates? Or just from male classmate?

How would that explain my friend's experience in a different school with different people?

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Mon 24-Nov-14 23:14:01

I'm not saying it is, bit it's possible it's the signals you give off. You certainly bit when I asked a reasonable question.
Also, if you've never really mixed with males in this environment you could, possibly, be stilted around them.

Catsarebastards Mon 24-Nov-14 23:19:38


Yeah ok.

Not interested in goady fuckers.

mymummademelistentoshitmusic Mon 24-Nov-14 23:22:19

Not goady. But seeing the issues here.

Zazzles007 Tue 25-Nov-14 08:06:06

Cats I have experienced the dynamics you are describing from men both in a post-grad degree and in the workplace. One department I have to work with, has treated the women so, so badly, that the women have had to complain about a certain male. And I have dubbed him "Bully Male Manager, Who is Also an Emotionally Abusive Arse" in some of my posts in the 'pub'.

Last week I got just a little shouty with Bully Male Manager, as he tried his fobbing off bullshit on me for the umpteenth time. He has been a little bit scared of me ever since grin, and actually skipped a meeting I was in yesterday. You might find that these male students are pulling the dominant-guy bullshit on you, and you may have to 'put them in their place'. Its that stupid "Law of the Jungle" bullshit that you can get in some competitive male dominated environments.


BlueberryWafer Tue 25-Nov-14 08:13:33

It could just be that they're wanting to get on with their own work. It could also be the way you asked. It doesn't always have to be because you don't have a penis you know...

FloraFox Tue 25-Nov-14 11:38:58

Cats all my education was co-ed and I would generally not expect help from classmates unless we were in a study group. I have to say I've never thought much about a gendered aspect to this but now I think about it, I work mainly with men who went to boys' schools and I generally don't find them to be particularly helpful even though we're supposed to be on the same team. I do find them generally to consider asking for help to be a sign of weakness. NAM etc.

FloraFox Tue 25-Nov-14 11:39:56

ps some courses were marked on a bell curve - those ones were no quarter given, in fact some people used to steal or hide library books.

MQv2 Tue 25-Nov-14 12:06:06

I think a lot more info is needed tbf
Are the men sharing with other men? Are they in study groups together?
Are they asking you for assistance or taking your help but then not reciprocating?

I know that when I was studying I certainly wasn't handing out notes or the fruits of my research to others but then nor was I asking for theirs.
I'm not sure if it was a gender thing, it certainly seems like other men were more into collaborative study, but my attitude was always that if I'd put the effort in to study or make notes then I wasn't about to just give that away.

treaclesoda Tue 25-Nov-14 12:11:39

I've never really thought about this before. I went to a mixed grammar but it would have been very frowned on to have studied in groups, so no one would have helped each other out. But I left school 20 years ago. I went to university too but never did any work in groups.

Am I right in thinking that education has changed a lot in that time, and that group work is now standard? In which case, yes, I would find it strange that women are willing to help each other study but men aren't. Are the men willing to share information with each other but not with the women?

anothernumberone Wed 26-Nov-14 00:36:59

Studied engineering which unsurprisingly was completely male dominated and I can honestly say I have never experienced the same. Post grad x2 non engineering but plenty of male colleagues did not experience the same. I think you were unlucky or maybe I have been very lucky grin.

everydayaschoolday Wed 26-Nov-14 01:16:47

I also studied an engineering degree and post-grad (20 years ago now grin ) and never experienced this. Two females on the degree course and I was the sole female on my post-grad. Information exchange and assistance worked both ways but we each had to really pull our own weight. I had a great (platonic) relationships with my fellow students and made good friends. Do you socialise with your male course mates? I don't think the gender-divide that you describe is typical; you might just need to break the ice a bit.

rissapuc Wed 26-Nov-14 16:19:43

But why do you need men to help you study anyway?

I thought feminism was all about being independent and "I don't need no man"?

You were all quick to criticise that Barbie computer scientist book because she gets help from men, yet here you are complaining because you are asking for help from men and they aren't as helpful as you'd like?

PuffinsAreFictitious Wed 26-Nov-14 19:09:14

Ohhhhhhh, you're a troll. Silly me writing you a big long sensible answer.

You do like to utterly miss the point, don't you?

SevenZarkSeven Wed 26-Nov-14 22:03:54

No feminism is not about the idea that men get help each other, men get help from women, but women aren't allowed to ask for help from anyone.

This is how real life seems to go a lot though grin

scallopsrgreat Wed 26-Nov-14 22:17:10

I must admit I haven't experienced this in education, at least not that I can remember as it was that long ago. However I do experience this at work. We are currently going through a large amount of change in our department and there is a big drive towards collaboration. The men in the office are really struggling with this. The knowledge sharing, the having to work with other people who may have different strengths and weaknesses from themselves or different priorities or aims. It appears to be alien to them. It's quite sad to watch really.

PuffinsAreFictitious Wed 26-Nov-14 22:43:38

I can't say that I've come across this in education either. The only thing we had were pretty dire lecturers in certain disciplines and a few people who were really well versed in those subjects. Another female student and I started organising study groups in order to make sure that everyone properly understood the lectures. None of the men wanted to know, they were all going to go it alone until they noticed how much people's grades improved when they attended the study groups. Funnily enough, they all wanted to join in then grin

Maybe it's a competitive thing, if the course will lead on to bigger and better things, but there will be competition for any spots later on? However, it's also likely to just be part of your group's dynamic.

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