I have been taking a couple online classes. I also had a baby a week before the classes started. It has been an incredibly stressful 10 weeks. Anyway, I had a project I had to complete for a business class. It was a business plan. I have extensive experience in the restaurant industry and decided to go to college later on so I did a restaurant plan for my business project. The project was so good and detailed, that I got called to a meeting for interrogation on cheating, to see if I had anyone do the project for me, etc. With the way the meeting went, it really seemed as if the professor and the directer were discriminating against me for having a baby and thus not having the ability to complete such a detailed project. What kind of steps can I take to express my feelings of being stereotyped or discriminated against?

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    Do you want to express your feelings or do you want a successful academic result? I suggest that you calm down and think strategically. You may be dealing with idiots, but don't act so as to negatively affect your own future prospects. And, no, that doesn't mean just forget it or do nothing.
    – Buffy
    Oct 19, 2020 at 19:18
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    I would think that you could document your previous restaurant experience sufficiently to explain how you were able to write the detailed business plan. Could you include some context about this aspect, such as you not being able to document your background experience (why?), or the evidence you provided didn't convince them, or something else (perhaps you feel you shouldn't have to defend yourself) that resulted in your current situation? Oct 19, 2020 at 19:33
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    How to express your feelings is a very different question than whether something is grounds for a lawsuit. Can you clarify which one of those things is your real question?
    – Dan Romik
    Oct 19, 2020 at 20:23
  • @Buffy I do not believe it is okay to tell a woman who is dealing with an experience of sexism to “calm down.” I actually see nothing emotional in this story, just the word “feelings” which could be substituted with “experience”...
    – Dawn
    Oct 20, 2020 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


As in the comments, there is important ambiguity in your question.

Granting your account of the situation, you were certainly treated prejudicially and unfairly. Even if you'd not been a recent-mom, doing a wonderful project does often trigger suspicion in any case, and, yes, all the worse if the people in charge have negative expectations of recent moms, or women in general, or...

As in the comments: what do you want out of this situation? Did the people in that interview concede that you did not cheat? And at that point did they apologize? Is this on-going?

For example, in my own experience, never in a million years will people in power who behave badly acknowledge this. Endless rationalizations about how it's either no one's fault, or society's fault, or maybe your own fault.

Still, yes, I agree, anger is justified. Such situations are grotesque, and have a big impact on people.

And, still, what would be the goal of a lawsuit? An apology? Monetary compensation? (The latter would probably cost more in lawyer fees than what you'd get...)

Again, as in the comments, think what you want out of this situation, apart from being justifiably angry with idiots. Taking idiots to court is an expensive and unrewarding hobby... even if sometimes historically necessary.

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    "Taking idiots to court is an expensive and unrewarding hobby..." May I please steal these words and use them liberally? Thank you in advance.
    – Bob Brown
    Oct 20, 2020 at 0:17
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    @BobBrown, :) :) Oct 20, 2020 at 0:29

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