To my regulars (and I'm including you in that group, BM, even though you've decided to lurk and not comment of late!): I know all this serious feminist (uh oh used the f-word I did) rambling is totally below the belt. I know you're all going into shock, shaking your heads slowly and sobbing silently that I've joined the Dark Side. I assure you, lords and leddies, that I have not. Really really. This is just a riposte to Those Individuals who Suggest I'm Whee! Like As If!!! So I have decided to exhibit my Dangerously Grave Side (less of course I get an apology from Certain Slandering Individuals (didja see how I made you CSI? Cool, no?)). Yes, I have *nods head righteously* And sides it's kinda cool to think that any not-so-regulars who stumble in will now think I'm a bra-burning serious-thinking feminist. Joy.
Hennyway (and no, this is not a weapon, martial or otherwise), I sit in the backbench. Every lecture. Without fail. Even when I'm late. I have a buncha fellow backbenchers also. It's mainly cos I went through my first years in school being a front bencher (by compulsion not persuasion). Being emotionally and psychologically scarred by that experience at a tender age, I vowed to eschew anything resembling a front row for the rest of my life. As a corollary the only row I can inhabit during class now is the one right at the back, up against the wall. So, us backbenchers, we ask questions. Not incessantly. But whenever we can. Four of us are girls, the remaining eight are male. Of the four XXs, I'm the only one who asks questions. The guys all take turns being curious. Zat, m'hearties, is ze bachground and nov to ze foreground.
So, today during a really boring lecture on peptide analysis (yeah, it actually *is* as boring as it sounds), I had an epiphany. It was all because a girl in the front row asked a question (which had the unhappy incidental effect of waking up the guy sitting next to me who was taking what looked like a most refreshing break from the day's labor. He's Puerto Rican and he lends me all his Mana CDs so I really did feel bad that he was woken up). She is a confirmed prefacer, that one. You know the sort. Every question of hers is prefaced with an apology. "I'm sorry if this is a silly question, but...." "I think I didn't understand what you said right then but it sounded like...." " I'm sorry if you just said this and I missed it but..." Always. And then it struck me that all the prefacers in my class are female. Yes, it's true. Out of a class of a 100 people, where at least 10 questions are asked per lecture, with 10 lectures a week, that gives us a sample size of 100 questions. Of which prefacers are probably 25% or so. So that gives us 25 questions per week. And it's been 10 weeks since school started. Even a conservative estimate leaves us with a sample size of atleast 125 questions. In all this time only once was the prefacer a male.
I just wonder what those women are *really* apologizing for.