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Jared Mauldin: Student's Engineering Letter to Female Classmates Isn't What You Think

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By    |   Friday, 09 Oct 2015 10:46 AM

Jared Mauldin, a student in engineering, wrote a letter to his female classmates this week about how their accomplishments in the program aren't equal to his — and his forthright honesty is earning him some surprising Internet accolades.

Mauldin, who attends Eastern Washington University, made the comments in a letter to the editor in the school newspaper and, although his note starts out telling the women that they aren't "equal," he doesn't go in the direction many might think.

"I did not, for example, grow up in a world that discouraged me from focusing on hard science," he wrote. "Nor did I live in a society that told me not to get dirty, or said I was bossy for exhibiting leadership skills. In grade school I never had to fear being rejected by my peers because of my interests."

"I was not bombarded by images and slogans telling me that my true worth was in how I look, and that I should abstain from certain activities because I might be thought too masculine."

Going on in that vein, Mauldin ends: "When I experience success the assumption of others will be that I earned it. So, you and I cannot be equal. You have already conquered far more to be in this field than I will ever face."

The senior mechanical engineering student told the Canada Journal that he's received mostly positive feedback on his letter, but has been trolled by some.

"An interesting side effect of this letter is that while I had no idea what it felt like to experience any of the stuff women do before I wrote this letter, and I still have no idea what it feels like to experience it 'as a woman,' it has been an enlightening experience to have my motives, intelligence, sexuality, character, and goals dictated to me by other men," Mauldin told the Journal.

He also told the "Today" show that what he said wasn't new, and gender bias is showing even in the reaction to his letter.

"I didn't say anything that another feminist writer hasn't said before. The distinguishing factor . . . happens to be that I am a man. That is a problem," he said.

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Jared Mauldin, a student in engineering, wrote a letter to his female classmates this week about how their accomplishments in the program aren't equal to his — and his forthright honesty is earning him some surprising Internet accolades.
jared mauldin, student, engineering, letter
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2015-46-09
Friday, 09 Oct 2015 10:46 AM
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