Throwback Thursday: This Witch Hunt Looks Familiar


Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from October 30, 2016 “This Witch Hunt Looks Familiar” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.

All of my life, I have been a woman in a “man’s field”. I was the first American to win the world judo championships back in 1984, one of the few women majoring in business at Washington University in St. Louis in the 1970s. I had a professor tell me and the two other women in his class that we were ‘taking a spot that was needed by some man who would have to support a family’.

I was an industrial engineer at an aerospace company in the early 1980s, where there were so few women on the factory floor that it made for an interesting pregnancy as I was always trying to find where the heck was the women’s bathroom and all of my co-workers, being male, had no idea.

I started a company – The Julia Group – that did customized software development, creating databases, statistical analyses for on-going evaluations.

I started another company – 7 Generation Games – that makes educational video games that teach math, social studies and language.

You know what all of these have in common? At every single level, I was subjected to standards different from men. I won the world championships and came home to have people say, “Oh, you think you know judo? Do you know this technique?”

I WON THE FUCKING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS! YES, I KNOW JUDO!

When I applied for my first engineering job, I was asked if I had a masters degree in engineering. I did not. I had an MBA. However, I could program in the languages required, had the math and statistics courses stated in the job requirement, oh, and did I mention that the man I replaced in that job didn’t have a masters degree in engineering either nor did any of the men in my department?

How did I get the job? Well, there were some relatively esoteric languages they used, and I knew that, so I learned those on my own time and then when an opening came up and they needed someone right away, I was there. Unlike the man I replaced, who was hired on his potential and learned the languages on the job, I had to prove I could do it before they hired me.

I have run into these attempts at disqualification at every turn.
“It’s not that we won’t hire a woman but …”

Do you have a degree? Master? Ph.D. ?
Um, well, you do, um  , did you have a year of calculus, at least 4 years of statistics, publish articles in academic journals?
You did? Oh, well, did you present at scientific conferences? How about software conferences?
Yes, well, we see you started a company but do you have a product? Paying customers? Investors?

When I answer yes to all of that – well, is it available on Chrome, Windows, Mac, Android, in the App Store?

You see where I’m going with this. After a life time of being subjected to standards that don’t apply to the men around me, I find the experience of Hillary Clinton oh so familiar.

I never voted for Hillary Clinton before but I’m going to do it now.

Seriously, if you went through every email I ever wrote, every action of mine and you couldn’t find anything to nail me on so you are now going through the emails of my associates hoping to find something, you are pretty damn desperate to disqualify me.

Let’s be honest for a minute, shall we? We all know that these allegations against Clinton are pretty much bs. She deleted 30,000 emails? So what? I delete 30,000 emails A MONTH and I’m pretty sure the Secretary of State gets a lot more emails than me.

Someone on her team said something not nice about Bernie Sanders? They discussed methods to beat Sanders and Trump?

That’s shocking? As Bernie Sanders, who is one of the few lights in a dark political year has said, “I bet if you looked through my staff emails you’d find some unkind things said about Hillary Clinton.”

Let’s address Benghazi. People died in Benghazi and that is an undeniable tragedy. People in our military and embassies have died throughout history and it is always a tragedy for their families. Why is this one instance different from all the others? Because no one ever made mistakes before?

No, it is because Hillary Clinton is a woman and there is a substantial minority in this country, male and (shockingly) female, who resent women who refuse to accept ‘their place’.

The venom spewed at Hillary Clinton is familiar to me. I have had people HATE me and I would wonder, “Why? What the heck have I ever done to you?”

What I have done is defy their prejudices, that they are ‘better’ because they are men, even if they are pretty mediocre at what they do. That they were right to swallow their own ambitions because ‘women can’t do things like that’.

Honestly, if someone went through every one of your private emails, every private paper of yours, reviewed every one of your actions for the past 30 or 50 years, then went through all of the correspondence of every one you knew and THEN they only selected out whatever was most negative, how would YOU look?

I swear. I’ve bailed people out of jail. I’ve applied for grants I didn’t get. I’ve had prototypes that were pretty buggy. Like most people, I think I’d come out looking pretty damn awful.

Be honest, it’s true for you, too.

If you have taken a microscope to Hillary Clinton for the past few decades and you have to resort to now scrutinizing everyone she ever did business with in your desperation to find an excuse not to give her the job, she must be pretty damn good.

I’m tired of the witch hunt.


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