I am a scientist (I think I can claim that even as a grad student, right?). I am a lady scientist. You see, I grew up in, what I affectionately refer to as, The Sticks. This particular region of The Sticks, however, was located in The South. For those of you not blessed to be from this particular locale, I will translate what this implies. (Translation) Two things are expected from females: (1) to be A Lady and (2) to land a man. I could write a very long treatise as to my true feelings on this, but I think it's better illustrated in a series of vignettes.
In 4th grade at The Sticks Elementary School. We were making homemade flashlights to illustrate how to complete a circuit. Mine was not working.
Mr. Fourth Grade Teacher: I found the problem. Here you go.
Young Amanda: What was wrong with it?
Mr. FGT: One wire wasn't making contact with the battery.
Young Amanda: So, is this how a light switch works?
Mr. FGT: Yes.
Young Amanda: But I thought we had electricity. Does the light switch stop the electricity? (Obviously, I did not completely grasp the electricity concept)
Mr. FGT: No.
Young Amanda: Then, what does that do?
Mr. FGT: Don't worry about it. You don't need to understand that; your husband will handle those bills.
The Sticks Middle School, Career Day. Signing up for sessions with different professionals.
Awkward-aged Amanda: I want to talk with the doctor.
Ms. Middle School Parent: Ok, there's still room in the nurse group. I'll sign you up.
Awkward-aged Amanda: No, the doctor group. There's still room in that, right?
Ms. MSP: Yes, but I would prefer to save those spaces for the boys who want to be doctors.
Awkward-aged Amanda: But why?
The Sticks High School. Two Weeks Before Graduation.
18- year old Amanda: Hey, Male Friend! How's it going?
Male Friend: Good. You know you don't have to go to college, right?
18-YO Amanda: Yeah...
MF: I know that [Boyfriend At The Time] is not being... proper. I don't think that's right. I'll help you.
18-YO Amanda: Huh?
MF: I know that we are not together. But I want you to know that I am going to make a good living and you will be provided for?
18-YO Amanda: Umm... what are you talking about?
MF: Amanda, I'll marry you.
18-YO Amanda: Uh, MF, that's very nice of you to offer. But I really do want to go to college.
MF (relieved): Oh ok. Are you sure?
18-YO Amanda: Yep.
(I'm not that cold-hearted. We continued talking after this.)
I may have gone to college, majored in chemistry, and want to work (even though I have "a man."), but I contend that it does not make me any less of A Lady. Even though, my hometown may want to disown me.