A female pilot has set Twitter alight after a male passenger made a sexist joke, telling her he wouldn’t have boarded the plane if he knew she were flying it.
“Bloody women drivers.”
It’s a gruffly retorted sentence most of us will have heard, and eye-rolled to, at least once in our lives.
Now, though, the sexist stereotype has been taken to new heights (sorry), as men have begun applying it to female pilots.
In a series of tweets recounting an experience she had on a recent flight, a pilot named Charlotte has highlighted exactly how common this regressive attitude really is.
Over the course of three tweets, Charlotte deftly explains how two of the male passengers on the plane felt the need to make sexist remarks about her ability to fly, downplaying her prestigious, highly skilled career achievements.
Charlotte’s first tweet reads: “Had such a lovely day flying with an [amazing] crew. Baffled as to why 2 male pax felt that these comments were necessary.
‘I wont make any jokes about female drivers then’
‘Are you the pilot? If I’d know that I wouldnt have got on’
Fact is, I can fly an £80m jet, you can’t.”
These comments are not just rude, dismissive and idiotic: as Charlotte points out, the prevalence of this blind belief that women can’t do a job like being a pilot is having a hugely damning effect on our gender, holding back generations of girls.
“Being used to this kind of humour, my reaction of course was to be professional, laugh and ask them if they were enjoying the flight,” says Charlotte.
“It wasn’t unit later when a cabin crew member expressed her anger at the comment that it made me think. Why is this normal?
“It is this attitude that puts women off and another barrier stopping them from going into male dominated careers. It shouldn’t even be a thing!!! I am a pilot he is a pilot. See, there is no difference ….. #pilot.”
Charlotte’s tweets quickly went viral, with the first installment so far garnering 95k likes and hordes of comments from other women with similar experiences.
One Twitter user said: “In a job interview last year I was asked how as a female do I deal with men on site… I’m a structural engineer for over 10 years. This was a first.”
Charlotte’s tweets tangibly show not just how rife these misconceptions are, but also how acceptable people (mainly of the male persuasion) feel it is to voice them and in doing so continue to put off girls and women careers like this.
Here’s to the women slaying in male-dominated industries and providing amazing role models for the next generation of girls that may want to do the same.
Images: Robert Magnusson