How sexism hurt me

As a boy, I was taught that  because I was a boy, all I needed to succeed in life was to show up and be smart. Hard work was for the girls. I was taught, by actions and words that men are just smart, and that’s why they rule, and women are stupid and therefore they have to work hard.

I was taught that if I just paid a little attention in class and did my home work most of the time, studied two months before exams, I would always do well.

This cost me a lot. It precipitated my first major depressive episode, and fueled my many failures in academia and personal life. What I believed was true of studies, I internalized to believe to be true of everything else.

I believed that everything from relationships to becoming a good guitar player was about being smart, and clearly I was smart, and any failure in anything I did was because I was not smart enough.

It took me a decade of continuous failure to realize, just a few years back that the problem was not with smartness, but with the absolute lack in effort (not so smart after all, eh?).

Decades of being lied to. This was my punishment for being born male.

But hell with that.

Here’s the deal boys and men. The ONLY way you will get ahead in life is if you put in the donkey hours of work. Hard, repetitive, tough work. The kind your class topper,who was most probably a girl, did. BTW, she wasn’t dumb and making up for it by working hard- she was as brilliant, and moved ahead because all her life she was told she was stupid and that the only way she would achieve anything was by working hard.

Everything, from happiness in life to academic achievement is a result of effort. Not genetic bounty, not chance.

You’ve been lied to. Make this right.