Here are the warnings I got when I declared my major:
1. Make sure you go to grad school, you can't do anything with a bachelor's in history.
2. Ugh, that's boring you should pick something more exciting.
3. Brush up on your reading skills, there's a lot of difficult reading.
4. Make sure you pick a specification.
Here are the warnings I wasn't given when I declared my major:
1. All of your classmates are male.
2. All of your professors are male.
3. Everyone will assume you are an expert on the history of feminism.
4. Everyone makes the same hilarious exclamation, "Looks like we have a new addition to the boys club!"
I knew that through the process of getting my history degree I would be one of the few women in the department; what I didn't know was the amount of sexism I would face in doing so. I currently am in a class where an older male student told me I should go by Samantha, as opposed to Sam,(which I prefer) because it is more fitting for a woman. This is the same man that makes a point to ask me seemingly polite questions about my day, my spring break, my job, my life etc. This would not be so bothersome if he also asked the male students in the class, but he chooses not to. I had a different class in which a male classmate ask in an almost silent classroom, "Why I shaved my legs, but not my arms?" Would you have asked one of our male classmates that questions? No? Then why are you asking me this? My being a woman in a male dominated field does not give you the right to treat me differently.
My being a woman does not give you the right to question my statements in class regarding the topic when you do not question the responses of our male classmates. Why should I be singled out? I will not apologize for being here. I will not give up my goals because the men in the classes I take do not expect me to achieve them.
I am just as capable if not more so than some of my male counterparts in this field. I have been on the Dean's list multiple times, I have taken over-load semesters, I have a minor in education (that requires a major degree's amount of credits), and I am finishing up in 4 years when most people in the program do it in 5.
So please do not look nor talk down to me for being a woman in what you consider to be the Boy's Club.