In a viral TikTok video, a college student, user @friedpicklegirl28, reveals how her history professor’s tone changed after she said she was a woman.
“History professor’s comments when they thought I was a guy,” the text overlay reads, showing the professor’s minimal comments on the student’s assignments, receiving A’s for each grade. “Sufficient contribution and comment, Mr. DeCurtis,” one of the professor’s comments reads.
“Good work, Mr. DeCurtis. The post is well written and meets all the requirements,” another reads.
However, after the student corrected the professor, stating that she’s a woman, the professor’s feedback changed. The student then received B’s, and the professor’s feedback dissected each answer in longer paragraphs.
“Should’ve kept my damn mouth shut,” the TikToker captioned the video.
The video garnered over 1.3 million views in one day and sparked debate about equal feedback and grading in the comments. Many argued that professors’ performance expectations often vary based on gender.
“Theres no academic expectation for guys,” one user said.
“The expectations for male students and expectations for female students are clearly not on the same playing field,” another said.
“It’s the fact that he gave one sentence answers but when he figured it out he started going in depth and actually grading,” a third user said.
Other women shared their own experiences with how people treat them when they assume they are men, and how that treatment changes when they note that they are women.
“My professor thought my name was Nicholas ☺️gave me high scores on everything and praise. Met me in person and immediately the next thing I turned in was shitty comments and saying how awful it was,” one user said.
“My name is Cole, most assume I’m a male especially in email correspondence at work and if I tell them I’m a woman, they become rude and impatient,” another said.
However, some users argued that a decrease in the student’s performance or an increase in the class’ difficulty could result in the professor’s different grading and tone.
“Ever considered your performance just slipped?” one user said.
“It’s later in the course and your grade didn’t significantly change, he even gave you good & long feedback. Sounds like the course just harder,” another said.
Many users responded, claiming that the shift in the professor’s tone in their comments is the issue.
“Regardless if those answers were really wrong or not, there’s a clear change in the way he speaks to you,” one user said.
“People talking about like ‘maybe the class got harder’ like so? he’s definitely putting in more effort to tell her why she’s wrong now, and he didnt (before),” another said.
“I am not saying I’m a victim. I am not saying it is unjust grading. I am just showing the difference in tone. Thanks,” the TikToker said in a comment.
The Daily Dot reached out to user @friedpicklegirl28 via Instagram direct message.
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