I am currently a female graduate student in a top 10 philosophy department. One fellow graduate student in my year, who is male, regularly asks whether I will be “partying” on the weekends. He appears to be trying to make good-natured small-talk and be humorous, but I really resent the implication that I don’t spend the weekends, like him and all the other ABD grad students, working on and agonizing over my dissertation.
He also regularly suggests in conversation that my life is much more pleasant than his. When I ask him why he thinks that, one of the first reasons he lists is that I have a boyfriend. As if having a partner made my life simple and pleasant! When I point out that at least his dissertation is almost complete, he seems to be surprised that I even mention this – as if he can’t understand why I would be envious of such a thing.