So there’s lots of news and this is in no particular order. But first I would like to rant.

– The whole ‘tomboy’ vs. ‘girly’ thing really irritates me. I firmly believe that the only way that we will ever achieve equality is by ridding ourselves of these ridiculous notions. There is nothing ‘tomboyish’ about climbing a tree and scraping your knees just like getting a manicure is not girly. I happened to watch an old episode of Bournvita Quiz Contest on Youtube and Kiran Bedi was a guest on the show. Now, I have utmost regard for this woman and for everything she’s accomplished against all odds. One of the first, and only, questions to her was ‘Were you a tomboy growing up?’. To which she responded in the affirmative and went on to say that all girls should be tomboys so they can give some back. I eagerly await the day that that question is redundant. Every person should give some back – gender no bar.

An even bigger irritant is people who pride themselves on being ‘one of the guys’ or people that will ‘never be with the girls’. I have said it before and I can’t say it enough – the single most important thing my parents taught me is that the mind knows no gender. And being human is above all. I believe that defining a person based on gender is the most basic and the penultimate bias. I’ve been classified a lot of things over the years. Most of these adjectives tend towards weak, stressed, too particular, too clean and more often than not  ‘such a girl’. Physically, I have broad shoulders and am taller than the average bear. I work out in sweats and loose t-shirts. I don’t care what I look like in the gym. I chose my job based on what I love to do. I married because I wanted to and married the one I wanted to. I have only ever informed my parents of my life decisions and to their credit they’ve weighed the pros and cons with nary a thought to the fact that I’m their daughter. I didn’t blink before packing one suitcase and moving half way across the earth to a country where I didn’t speak the language, have a home or a friend, all for a job I knew I wanted and could do. I have no measurable maternal instinct. Yet I say a prayer every morning when I wake up, I sometimes clean obsessively, I cry unapologetically. I openly admit to missing friends and family. I love window shopping, collecting curios and decorating my home. I like cooking and feeding people. I like dressing up and doing my hair. I worry about my weight and how I look sometimes.

In my head I am just a person. Not defined by gender. Not defined at all. My life, my beliefs and my reactions are based on what comes my way and I react not because I am a man or woman but because of my life experiences. And the more I live and learn, the less patience I have for categories and compartments and for the people that conform to them.

This also feeds my belief that ‘Women in Science’ should really be done away with. Just science, pure and simple. While it doesn’t seem like much of a belief when we’re stuffing our faces full of rich food, courtesy the ‘Women in Science’ reception, deep down in our hearts we know that this should really not be an issue, let alone a whole conference session, at a scientific conference.

To rant further, it really depresses me how people find it so difficult to be happy for others. But I will learn to brush it off. I hope I learn to brush it off.

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