When it comes to being a woman in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), it's almost guaranteed that the journey will be a difficult one. Women often face sexism or sexual harassment and feel a need to prove their abilities, while men don't usually receive the same type of treatment. One male mechanical engineering student decided to stand up for women in an exceptionally amazing letter to the editor at Eastern Washington University.
Jared Mauldin, a senior in mechanical engineering, wrote a short letter that has recently gone viral — it gives an overview of the advantages he has as a student in STEM vs. his female classmates and friends. Read it here.
In a Facebook post, Mauldin wrote that he felt moved to write the letter because of how he sees men act toward women, including several instances with his friend Holly. "When Holly and I started Calculus 1, I quickly realised that while I was good at math, she was better; a lot better," he wrote. ". . . If [men] did partner with her, they were hyper-critical, they talked over her, they talked directly to me and barely acknowledged she was there. If Holly disagreed on an answer, instead of looking at both answers to find out who had done something wrong, as was common when I worked with other men, I saw them jump to the conclusion that she must be wrong."
The photo of his letter has received considerable attention, especially on the Facebook page of Mighty Girl, where it has more than 70,000 "likes," 47,000 shares, and 2,000 comments.
Mauldin hopes his letter encourages more men to speak up. "Maybe by standing up and breaking the silence from the male side, I can help some more men begin to see the issues, and begin to listen to the women who have been speaking about this all along," he wrote. He's right — his letter definitely helps bring to light the issues that women face in these fields.