This is an Ask a Geek Feminist question for our readers:
How do you react when people (generally older men) treat us (young women in tech/engineering) as show dogs? I’ve had a number of people give me an off-topic pop quiz when they were there for my technical expertise. Sure, when they come to my place of work they are probably expecting to be served by someone older and are surprised by me, but that’s no excuse for quizzing me on whether I know what http stands for when I’m trying to make sure they can get to the specific web page they need to after they leave my office. In the past, I’ve smiled and answered their question, because my reflex on being asked a question is to answer it. However I can’t imagine they’d take my refusal to perform as anything other than admitting I don’t know the answer (not that I need to for my job, but I don’t really need to appear unintelligent in front of potentially prejudiced clients), and I can’t be too rude at work.