A post on College Misery titled “Yes. I’m a Woman. No. I’m Not His Secretary” suggests that being engaged in the following dialogue by a student means you are being disrespected on the basis of your gender:
Student: Do you know if Professor Zhou is in his office?
Me: I don’t know. Why don’t you knock to find out?
Student (knocks and is silent, walks into my neighbor’s empty office)
Student: Do you know where Professor Zhou is?
Me: I’m afraid not. He comes and goes as he pleases.
This is the beginning of the semester, which means that many new students are wandering around the campus trying to figure out where everything is located. Today, two students came to my office to ask me where the lab is located. One inquired about the Registrar’s Office. One asked about the cafeteria. And three were looking for a bathroom.
All of these inquiries must mean I’m being horribly disrespected. I just can’t figure out whether I’m being asked all these things because I’m a woman, an autistic, a blonde, a Ukrainian, a Jew, a blogger, an immigrant, a temporarily hearing-impaired person, a younger person, an older person, or a person wearing red shoes with sparkles (all listed attributes are currently true). Such an opportunity to feel self-righteously downtrodden and I’m missing it because I have no idea what I’m being discriminated for in these instances.