He noticed that in many of the classes in his department, there WERE women in them, which was awesome to see, obviously. What wasn't awesome to see, however, was the way those women were treated. In Jared's Calculus I class, his friend and study partner Holly had to deal with being talked over and interrupted by the guys and many of them flat-out refused to partner with her. When his male friends would come up and he was with her, they would say hi to Jared and ignore Holly.
Unable to just sit idle and let it continue, Jared felt the need to speak up and he penned this incredible 'Letter to the Editor' of his college newspaper, which he addressed to all of the women in his engineering classes:
From The Easterner:
The poignant letter obviously got a lot of attention and Jared was quick to point out that he hadn't said anything that hadn't been said before, but there was one big difference. "Really, when you look at this letter, I said nothing new," he told the TODAY show. "I didn't say anything that another feminist writer hasn't said before. The distinguishing factor ... happens to be that I am a man. That is a problem."
To the women in my engineering classes:
While it is my intention in every other interaction I share with you to treat you as my peer, let me deviate from that to say that you and I are in fact unequal.
Sure, we are in the same school program, and you are quite possibly getting the same GPA as I, but does that make us equal?
I did not, for example, grow up in a world that discouraged me from focusing on hard science.
Nor did I live in a society that told me not to get dirty, or said I was bossy for exhibiting leadership skills.
In grade school I never had to fear being rejected by my peers because of my interests.
I was not bombarded by images and slogans telling me that my true worth was in how I look, and that I should abstain from certain activities because I might be thought too masculine.
I was not overlooked by teachers who assumed that the reason I did not understand a tough math or science concept was, after all, because of my gender.
I have had no difficulty whatsoever with a boys club mentality, and I will not face added scrutiny or remarks of my being the "diversity hire."
When I experience success the assumption of others will be that I earned it.
So, you and I cannot be equal. You have already conquered far more to be in this field than I will ever face.
Senior in Mechanical Engineering
Yes, Jared, that is the problem, but guys like you are the solution!