I debated whether I should post about sexism, because generally I try to keep a positive attitude about being a woman in a male-dominated field. And, the positive attitude is largely justified, because most of the men I have dealt with since I entered this field have been great – they don’t underestimate me, they don’t mansplain and they seem to want to see women succeed in the field.
So, what makes me want to write about it? A particular non-charming subset of my classmates. There’s a national organization called AWAM – Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance. My school has a chapter, which was started about 2 years ago by a person who has since graduated. The chapter has been struggling – low attendance, no continuity in the leadership, no process for electing new leadership, and a bad attitude about it from some at the school.
So, one of my classmates decided to try to revive it by doing a couple of things: collecting feedback about what people wanted from an aviation club; and asking for nominations for the next round of officers. She came to all the classrooms and explained what she was doing and left behind forms that people could fill out with the requested feedback and nominations.
Most of the classes were receptive. Then there was my class. They treated it like a joke. Four or 5 of them entered YGWALACOG as their nomination for club president (to his credit YGWALACOG behaved himself in this instance) as a joke. God only knows what they entered for feedback about what they wanted from an aviation club. Prior to this they had complained that they didn’t want to be a member of a club that was about women in aviation, but then when they were given a chance to say what kind of club they did want, they just acted like a bag of dicks.
Yes, there’s an organization called Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance – AWAM. There’s also an AMAM. It’s called – the aviation industry. No one is taking anything away from my male classmates by having an organization to support women – all we’re doing is trying to have an organization that gives women a voice, but at the same time, we were trying to build bridges with the men at the school. Now I don’t even want to bother, at least with these particular classmates.
A few days ago I talked to a few of them about how we were trying to figure out a way to have an aviation club that would be meaningful for everyone at the school. Today I told them they were a bunch of dicks for how they ridiculed my classmate’s efforts. Now I’m just glad I’ll be out of there in another 2 weeks. I sincerely hope that the maturity level of these particular classmates doesn’t reflect what I can expect in the industry. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t and I hope that continues to be true. The good news is, aviation is a small, small world and word gets around. No one wants to hire a bunch of asswipes.