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I Will NOT Comment on Sexism or Racism

I am an Asian female. I appreciate all the work of feminists and civil rights activists. However, I personally will not comment on sexism or racism.

The editor of a journal that published one of my papers was proposing a theme session for an international linguistic conference. He was in need of contributors, and emailed authors of that journal including me. His topic happened to be relevant to my recent research, so I replied immediately with my abstract. After a few rounds of communication regarding the revision of the abstract, he wrote in the email "By the way, may I ask, are you a male or a female?". I replied "I am a female", then he replied in Chinese "我一直以为您是BOY。对不起,幸亏没有冒犯 (I always thought you were a boy. So sorry! It is so nice that I did not offend you)", which sounded rather hilarious to me. He was just asking for contributors, which is completely volunteer-based, how could he offend me? Then I thought of the MeeToo movements in the Chinese academic field, which seemed to be the only explanation to his concern.

The point is that after the "it is so nice that I did not offend you" what will be changed. If I said "I am a male", what would be different? What was to happen next.... Presumably something that may be offensive to a female (in his opinion), but ok for a male. What would that be? Will it be related to professional resources or can it be potentially turned into professional resources? Very likely! This means that by being a female not being offended (in his opinion), I have very likely lost the professional resources that are not an offense to a male. By being a female I was not trusted, screening out from something because he did not want to be offensive.

You know what, I already saw some negative effects of MeeToo, as to how it can prevent females from going further in their career.

Feminists may argue that the fact that he asked about gender was already an offense. True, it is prohibited by the American standard. However, will "no asking" alleviate this situation? I dare to say, in this particular case, not at all. In fact the situation might be even worse. Here are all the possibilities: (1) He assumed that I was a male but figured out the real situation eventually (which would definitely happen sooner or later), which would make the distrust come vindictively later; (2) The screen would be set in the very beginning, which means he gave up the idea of including others in the very first place. Either way, the situation would be no better.

Being a minority, you are not easily trusted because of the visible difference. What you can do is only to show your similarity with others to win the trust. Playing the minority card only builds the screen higher.

Also, in real life, I have seen many Asian girls spoiled by the courtesy of political correctness. They do not try hard on anything. They can only listen to compliments. They cannot be pushed too hard because you never know when they will suddenly say "you do not like me because I am an Asian female", and you are always the one who is wrong. Believe me, I am sick of them more than you are.

Essentially, if a person is respected only out of courtesy, this person is pretty much done.

My Caucasian colleagues have been inviting me to the university social justice program. Thank you! But sorry, this is something that I appreciate you doing, but I cannot do myself.

Of course, I am just talking about the story of myself, who is an extremely big and strong Chinese girl in academia living with a bunch of nerds.

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