Wanna hear a funny joke? Okay so a husband and wife, both secondary English teachers, walk into different schools in the same desirable district to interview for identical positions. They both the same amount of experience, but the wife has a Masters Degree while the husband does not. The husband gets asked normal questions about work and stuff, while the wife gets grilled about whether she can “handle” high school boys and if she’s hoping to get knocked up herself. Hahahhahahahaha!
The woman in this joke real life situation that probably happens more frequently than we realize is also an understandably pissed-off Redditor. In a post about her experience she claims that both her and her husband compared notes after their respective interviews, which is when she sussed out she’d been the victim of some casual everyday sexism.
The woman recounts being asked the following questions during her interviews, while her husband was not:
- I was asked ‘Do you have children yet?’ I was taken aback so I just ended up saying ‘Nope, just cats.’ I’m child-free but I knew better than to state that in an interview for a teaching position. I was still nervous and in ‘interview mode’ so it didn’t really hit me until after how shitty it was to be asked that question.
- As I said, we both have international teaching experience. When I was talking about that, in both interviews, I was asked “So, how did you end up there? Family? Boyfriend?” My husband wasn’t asked anything about why he came here from his home country, or why he taught overseas.
- I was asked “What are your hobbies?” and “What do you do when you get home at the end of the day?”
- I was asked “Do you think you can handle discipline issues with high school boys?” I reminded them that I have multiple years of experience teaching high school students and have been successful at doing so. Again, my husband wasn’t asked if he could “handle” the students.
While the wife did also get asked legitimate questions about her teaching methods, at least a quarter of her her interview time was dedicated to invasive and definitely illegal questions about her personal life. Federal law says prospective employers can’t ask questions that would allow them to discriminate. Though since the onus is on the employee to prove it was the employer’s intention to do so, it’s basically impossible to ever win such a discrimination case in court.
The scary thing is not just that this form of sexism is happening to women, but that it’s happening to women who don’t even realize it. The women in this scenario had been asked similar irrelevant questions by interviewers in the past, but didn’t think anything of it until she compared her experience with that of her husband. Thinking back through your own interview history? Yeah, us too.
Neither the husband nor wife got a call back from the board. Looks like she’ll be taking her 77 cents to her man’s dollar elsewhere.
Reprinted with permission from Styleite. Want more?