If you are butthurt over the fact that there exist special conferences specifically for women in physics only, not men in physics, I’m happy to block you. Because I have no interest in arguing with you.
Women are minorities in physics. We face unique problems that men in our field do not face. Conferences for women function as a safe space for us to enjoy our field without the gender bias and sexism we face at regular conferences or, really, every day in our own departments. A space for us to come together and talk about our experiences and encourage each other to stay in this field we love.
One of my friends decided not to pursue physics after graduation because at an interview she was actually asked, “Do you think you can keep up with the boys?” A man in a female-dominated field would never be asked that question.
There are countless stories on the internet of women being forced out of their labs and/or entire fields because their advisor was sexually harassing and/or assaulting them when those advisors have too much influence in their field not to completely destroy the careers of those women.
I watch as my male classmates do their homework together, asking each other questions, collaborating freely and openly, with no judgment. But whenever I study with them and ask a question, I am treated like a burden to them. Even though I’m doing just as well in my classes as the boys, if not better than many of them.
I would hear the boys gossip about the girls in the other year of physics. Making judgmental comments about their work. Comments that were more severe on them than their male counterparts that were clearly doing worse. One of the girls they made fun of I was told by another girl in the program, “Yeah. She got a 100 on nearly every assignment. She was so smart.” But they didn’t want to see that side of her. They only picked out her mistakes.
I was sexually assaulted at a national physics conference by an older man in the field. But I guess I was too naive to talk to him about his career, right? I was asking for it at a professional conference where I was trying to network and build my career? My pant suit was too sexy or something?
Honestly, fuck you if you think women don’t deserve to have their own conferences. We fucking deserve it. If you can’t see that, I have no time for you.