Jared Mauldin, a senior in mechanical engineering at Eastern Washington University, penned a letter to the editor of his school paper outlining the ways female students are not his equals. Mauldin told the Today Show that he was inspired to submit the letter to his school paper, The Easterner, after becoming study partners with a female student.
At first glance, this letter may appear to be a misogynist rant, but it’s actually an understanding male student acknowledging gender barriers in male-driven occupations. Mauldin penned the letter explaining why female classmates weren’t his equals after noticing his classmate, Holly Jeanneret, was rarely chosen as a study partner by other male classmates in spite of being brilliant at math. The letter has been shared thousands of times on social media.
Mauldin felt an obligation to speak out after observing the injustices women in his program were experiencing. He says in the letter, “I was not overlooked by teachers who assumed that the reason I did not understand a tough math or science concept, was, after all, because of my gender.”
He also noticed that the female engineers worked harder than many of the men just to be accepted. “When I experience success the assumption will be that I earned it,” said Mauldin.
The male engineering student wrote, “I did not, for example, grow up in a world that discouraged me from focusing on hard science. I was not bombarded with images and slogans telling me that my true worth was in how I look.”
While he feels overwhelmed by all the positive responses, Mauldin also told the Today Show that he felt frustrated by it: “It should be getting attention when it is spoken by a woman,” Mauldin said. “There’s just a whole series of little slights that occur when a woman speaks.”
Mauldin told the Today show, “Really, when you look at this letter, I said nothing new. I didn’t say anything that another feminist writer hasn’t said before. The distinguishing factor … happens to be that I am a man. That is a problem.”
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