My tender male student nurse feelings were tested on Tuesday during my assessment lecture. The topic of the day?
Male & female genitalia and rectum & anus. Surely you see the male-bashing potential from just that bit of information. We'll also ignore the adolescent-silly comments that peppered the entire lecture, and move on to what really pissed me off.
We were discussing the need for STD testing, and the lecturer asked the class if we thought that a patient that claims to be in a monogamous relationship should still be tested for STD's. Of course the correct answer is yes.
But then the lecturer went on, and way too far, in my opinion.
She said, "You know these high paid executives, they run around and sleep with any little young thing they can. And then they come home and give these STD's to their unsuspecting wives who have stayed home working hard to care for their children and keep the house just the way the husband likes it."
Now, I'm positive what she describes has happened before. But I'm also certain, (from personal experience), that husbands are NOT the only people who cheat. Wives do too.
I couldn't resist it--I raised my hand and made that point. The lecturer begrudgingly agreed. But it wasn't 5 minutes later that we were discussing statutory rape, and she made another comment about how when this happens she has to "turn the boyfriends in to the cops."
Again, making the assumption that the males are the only ones who might commit statutory rape--a point that is debased quite effectively I think by the rash of female teachers having sex with young students in the news lately.
My clinical group and I (all females) were discussing this at lunch. One of my clinical-mates asked me, "What did you expect going into a female dominated world? If I (she) had gone into engineering, I'm sure that there would be all kinds of female bashing jokes and comments being made."
I responded that while that may be true, that it certainly doesn't make it right.
As nursing students we are expected to act as professionals at all times, representing our school in a respectful and courteous way. We are constantly being reminded to develop our critical thinking skills. One of the principles of critical thinking that we were tested over was the removal of bias and discriminatory language from our discourse.
Unfortunately, this lecturer apparently missed that class...
Maybe I've been over-sensitive here. And the truth is I'm up for a joke as much as the next girl. If the same words had been said in jest, I think they probably wouldn't have bothered me. What bothered me was the fact that the lecturer was completely unaware of her bias.
I'm sad to report that sexism wasn't her only downfall. She is not our regular professor, and she had a poor grasp on the material in both of her lectures. Her previous lecture was on the heart, where she informed the class that ventricular filling is what triggers the systolic contraction...without mentioning the conduction system except in passing... This lecture she made several breast cancer gaffes and reversed syphilis and gonorrhea. Not my favorite lecturer.