One might find the prospect of choosing to study a course where 80% of your colleagues are male daunting, but then again, so is the idea of studying with 80% females. Taking the plunge from a co-ed school to a male dominated degree can be quite intimidating but at the end of the day, I chose to be there because it was what I was interested in. And there was no way in hell I was going to let my gender dictate what I could and couldn’t do. So here’s a list of all the reasons you should take life by the horns and jump into a male dominated field.
1. You’re interested in it
This one is pretty self-explanatory. They teach us at school that we need to figure out what makes us happy, then go out and do it. Sounds good in theory but realistically, travelling the world in a private jet with your own personal Channing Tatum as your pilot isn’t going to fund itself. So pick a field that interests you and hey, if it just so happens to be in an area not traditionally viewed as a woman’s role, then so what? Prove history wrong. Make a change. Do what makes you happy and don’t let anyone stop you.
You don’t have to be in a male dominated field to be a feminist, but it sure feels good to be out there proving to everyone that women are just as capable as men. Feminism isn’t about being better than men, it’s about accepting that everyone is equal, regardless of gender. A lot of us are fortunate enough to live in a country where sexism is limited to verbal entities but there are many women out there who are oppressed by society, not just men. If what we are doing in our country can send a message to those, they’ll eventually have to step up to the plate and realise they are being left behind as the rest of the world moves forward. We’re simply paving the way.
3. You get the chance to be a role model for other young girls
There’s bound to be girls out there who lack the self-confidence to pursue something typically seen as a man’s job, but if we can help them see past the twisted views of society, our task is complete. We don’t necessarily need the field to be 50-50, but what we do want is for anyone, regardless of gender, to be able to say, ‘Hey, I want to be a geologist,’ and then go off and be a geologist, without a thought as to if their gender will have an impact on their career choice. We girls who have made that decision get to be part of that initial movement and that’s pretty awesome.
Think scholarships. Or as my boyfriend likes to put it, vagina money. People want girls to enter male dominated fields and they’re trying their damned hardest to get us there. Take advantage of it. There’s loads of scholarships and bursaries out there for women in a predominately male field and it doesn’t end there. Companies look better when they can say that they have even ratios of men to women because they’re showing that they are the future. Equality is the future and they know it. So grab it while it lasts because one day, they’ll be gone and society will need to find other ways to divide people.
5. And of course… You’re in a male dominated field.
Take your pick, ladies. The odds are in your favour. Statistically speaking, there has to be at least one guy out there who’s into you. You share the same interest – bonus – and work/study in the same area, making collaborating on a project or seeing each other so much easier. And if things don’t work out? Well there’s another ten guys waiting to take his place. If you swing in a different direction, you might be a little more pressed to find a match but there’s bound to be someone you can connect with, even if it’s not on a romantic level.
Take my advice; don’t let gender dictate what you can and can’t do. The only person stopping you is yourself so take a deep breath and defeat that demon. Do what makes you happy, even if it isn’t a traditionalistic view. Because hey, traditional was so 1900.