Classmate Could Lose Scholarship When She Reported About His Accusation.

A female student in a male-dominated course at a prestigious university excels in exams, causing a group of male classmates to become rude and aggressive towards her. They make insinuations that she received help from her boyfriend, who is actually a PhD student unrelated to their course. She raises the issue with her supervisor.

Source: Reddit

Background: I’m (F23) one of only a few female students in a male-dominated course. Furthermore, I am at a highly prestigious university and I haven’t really gotten along with the guys on my course. They are all very competitive and I just don’t really enjoy their company – everything turns into a pissing contest, and they definitely take me less seriously because I’m a woman. I stopped interacting with them beyond the mere minimum and chose to hang out with other people.


I did well in our recent exams (I topped two out of four exams we had so far). Our prof congratulated me during class (I wouldn’t have advertised this myself). Ever since then, my interactions with a specific group of male classmates have gotten weird. They’re now outright rude and challenge me aggressively in class discussions. We recently had some presentations and one of them chose to do theirs on, to put it simply, “pretty privilege” – they specifically pointed to two papers that suggested that pretty female students get overscored in assessments. The other guys in the group snickered and one even gave me a wink. Afterwards, I heard them in the hallway joking that “they had experience with that themselves”.

I’ve been seeing a PhD student within our department for a month. He has literally nothing to do with our course. Well, we ran into one of my course mates A together. The next day in class his friend B asked me if “my boyfriend” helped me with exams. He said this intentionally loudly and in front of the professor, who heard this. I replied that I don’t have a boyfriend (cause he’s not my bf), but then B pointed out that he had run into me with the PhD student, making a point to say his name (the prof knows him). I just replied that we’re only friends.

They didn’t let up – I heard that they discussed this thing in two more classes, in earshot of the professors. Both times they suggested I got help for my exams ( I wasn’t even seeing him then). I didn’t confront them, but this has been causing me so much anxiety – even without the exam accusations, I worked hard to get here and I don’t want to be known among the faculty for my dating life.

I raised this issue with my supervisor, without the intention of taking it any further, but I wanted her advice as a woman in academia. She convinced me to let her email their supervisors “to remind them of proper conduct” and described their treatment of an “unnamed female student”. She didn’t name me, but they figured it out. They confronted me after class and asked me why I would report their “silly joke“. Apparently, their supervisors are now very cold towards them and less interested in helping. It’s not a formal complaint – only their supervisors know – but one of them, C, said his supervisor writes the reports for his financial aid/scholarship and it was my fault if he lost out on that.

I now feel a bit embarrassed and this was compounded by a friend telling me I took it too far cause C shouldn’t lose out on his scholarship. So Am I Wrong ?

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