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What it's like being a Brown Girl on a Audio Engineering Course


I studied audio engineering for two years, the only girl in a class of 20 boys and the only brown student in a class of 20 students. I was surviving in a testosterone-charged land where misogyny was the norm and the phrase "boys will be boys" was the daily mantra.


On a typical rainy London morning, fogginess clouded over me as I sat in the middle of a bustling classroom, sickening fluorescent light beaming on my face, my eyes glazed over with interrupted sleep, the caffeine not yet seeped into my zombie brain. The disruptive setting was perfect for the foreboding question “Why are there barely any women on this audio engineering course?” My male teacher presented to the class


Before the tick of a second struck, a young man scoffed out “Because they're too busy cooking in the kitchen” (very original, I might add) misogyny is a great way to wake up the brain. The tiredness fell from my face and replaced itself with electric frustration. No accountability was held, demeaning words reduced to a silly little joke "boys will be boys" my teacher exclaimed while I said nothing.


"Boys will be boys" is a phrase often used to justify bad behaviour by boys. It implies that this behaviour is natural and expected. The phrase is used to excuse things like bullying and sexual harassment. Through the various taunts, I was constantly told by my all-male teachers "It's good that you know how to take a joke and you have a sense of humour about it"


"Of course!" I would say as I choke my way through fake laughter, left feeling like a shell of myself. I was indoctrinated into "The Boys Club" it was safe, comfortable, no conflict but deep down, there were constantly uneasy knots strained in my stomach which I attempted to untangle. The exclusive allure of belonging to something felt worth it, even if it was superficial.


As a result of this, I compromised the way I dressed, to avoid attention. Compelled to wear baggy jeans, beanies and oversized shirts anything that would take focus away from the ascribed stamp "GIRL" but despite my miss guided efforts I still found that compromising my femininity, didn't undercut any chauvinism. If I could go back and give my 20-year-old self some much-needed advice it would be "YOU ARE ENOUGH!" I think we can all relate to that right!? This is probably the only universal truth we have in common

The narrative is ever-changing and I feel proud to be a part of a community filled with she's and he's and they's and trailblazers and path makers and badass feminists and compassionate artists and rule re-writers and inspiring world-changers, this gives me the freedom to be identified as whatever I want to be.