Today I wore black with my white coat. I wore black because ‘for many female physicians, just getting others to call you doctor can be a daily struggle.’ For all the times I’ve had to stand my ground as a female intellectual and professional. For the time a professor at Tulane verbally degraded me during office hours. For the time I spoke up and my school failed me during rotations-when I was clearly being treated differently than my male counterpart on a 4th year rotation site yet our director of externships- a fellow woman- told me it was my fault, I must have done something to cause the unfairness. For the time I passed through the hall in a white coat holding a patient chart and was told I must be there ‘just to look good’. For the time I interrupted a rep during a phone call when he referenced my ‘front desk girl’ to inform him he was mistaken-and yet still there was no comprehension that my employee was in fact male not female. For the times I myself have been called ‘girl’ and mistaken for reception instead of doctor and owner of my own business. For all the times the same thing happened despite wearing a white coat and introducing myself as Dr. Zingle. For all the times I’ve been told I’m so “lucky”. For my classmates and colleagues who feel threatened and uncomfortable while painstakingly examining someone’s eyes-as optometrists behind a microscope looking for pathology, our specialty demands dimly lit rooms-often creating a sense of vulnerability.
For my friend who quit her job so she could finally go to court to represent her clients- since her current firm would only send men despite her superior degree, experience, and talent as an attorney. For another who dyed her blonde hair brown to avoid unwanted attention and for another who voiced wearing glasses so she would hopefully be taken more seriously. I wore black not because of a man-shaming movement. But because there are obstacles females are faced with daily across every industry, in every profession, and the sooner both men and women recognize there are assumptions that need to be shifted and respect that needs to heightened, the sooner every profession advances and grows and benefits all. I wore black because there is something very special and rewarding and fulfilling and remarkable and incredible about being a woman and what can be accomplished when we share and speak up and support one another. #whywewearblack #timesupnow