I met an awesome, youngish scholar today who's (sort of) in my academic field. We got to talking about the job interview process, and she mentioned that she has a bunch of butchy lesbian friends who were on the fence about wearing a tie to their interviews. And if no tie, whether to wear a suit jacket.
In the end, her friends didn't wear ties. They didn't want people to think they were male-identified (since they're not), nor did they want to be perceived as "too aggressive" (what?!). Sure, there's a whole "angry butch lesbian" stereotype out there, but do people really subscribe to it?
This person told me, "Men's suit jackets on women are perceived as aggressive." AND, because of increased trans-visibility--a wonderful thing, definitely--but in progressive circles, women with "male" fashion markers are increasingly assumed to want to be men. Not in the butch-lesbians-have-penis-envy sense, but in the I'm-taking-testosterone-and-have-a-double-masectomy-scheduled sense.
Wow. I'm fine with people who meet me thinking I'm trans, I guess (I'm not, but who cares?). But aggressive? Angry?
So what do I do in a couple years when I go on the job market? What have YOU, dear new readers, done? I'd love to get your advice.