Last week, I came across a couple of incidents that made me think hard. Some people censured me for being rather too sensitive but I still believe that I am being realistic. During the training of flying, a guy and a lady highlighted the issue of gender in drones. These stigmas need to be gotten rid of since women have been at the forefront of innovation in the drone industry. Having said that, there still exists a massive dearth of leadership opportunities and representation, from a broader perspective.
Don’t involve the concept of Gender in Drones
It could be potentially disastrous for women to post on an interactive forum any technical issue they are experiencing in terms of gender in drones. Flying a drone is intimidating for anyone who is doing it for the first time or is in the middle of learning how to fly it.
After I lost my DJI Phantom 1, it took me almost a year to muster up enough courage to get back to flying a drone. Do you think that it was owing to the fact that I am a girl? Not, not really! Another of my male friends, who was flying the drone right beside me took almost the same amount of time to get back to flying after experiencing a crash.
First-generation small unmanned aircraft systems, with their limited set of features, were a bit of a hassle for both of us to comply with. We were resilient, stuck to the task, and strived real hard to get a hang of drone flying. We often meet up with each other for joint drone flying adventures and other repairs and maintenance sessions.
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Constant Fight and Perseverance
Some of the guys present on the public forum asked why the author thought it was an issue of gender in drones. I asked the girl to stop right there. If you portray yourself as a woman who is weak and vulnerable, it could have rather damaging effects on all the women around you. Most of us, whether advertently or inadvertently, feel the overpowering urge to prove ourselves consistently and fight for our share of the spoils in a male-dominated society.
I have attained plenty of successes in my professional life. But still, out of nowhere, a situation crops up when I have to confront sexism. Some people are amazed when they learn that I fly drones. If I try to prove my point during a heated argument, my viewpoint is rejected straight away simply because they think that I am a feminist. This is no damsel in distress thunder! But I do get riled up when someone sends me this kind of message through my business website:
The Sad Truth about Gender in Drones
Humor is not something that I discourage unless it gets converted into a mockery. But to be honest, gender in drones has divided opinions between men and women. It did not have a lot of negative impact on me since this is precisely what I’ve been dealing with since I was a little kid.
Having said that, the first thing that rattled me was what if my daughter gets to hear such obnoxious sexist stuff and starts believing it? The grim truth is that our male-dominated society coerces the women to partake of the fact that they are not as good at doing certain things innately as men are. Posting something online or saying anything in this context, however harmless one my feel it to be, strengthens these stereotypes.
Shatter the Stereotypes
Never get freaked out for asking for advice. It bewilders me again and again how magnanimous people are with their knowledge at the more “respectable forums”. The key is to constitute your question around the actual issue and keep in mind that it is encountered by everyone, regardless of the question being related to gender in drones.