Melissa Meagher cracks the code of what it means to be a woman
March 9, 2022
In a male dominant field, math and computer science teacher Melissa Meagher stays true to herself.
Since childhood, Meagher defied gender norms and did what made her happy.
“My mom would always try to get me to wear a dress on Easter and I hate dresses,” Meagher said. “And I always have a million little things where there’s like pressure to be a certain way that I’m just not.”
Meagher mentions how there is no one type of woman. Each woman’s experience is different and being a woman doesn’t always have to align with what a traditional woman is. Especially when it comes to femininity.
“I have a distinct lack of femininity, but I’m still just a woman just like everyone else,” Meagher said. “I’ve always identified that way. I just didn’t feel like the traditional magazine look of what a girl or a woman is.”
Nevertheless, Meagher never took any aspect of being a woman as a disadvantage but rather allowed it to push her to work harder. Even being a woman in STEM, Meagher strove for the top and encourages young women and girls to do the same.
“In society, women are discouraged from being in STEM because they don’t see as many women there,” Meagher said. “But that doesn’t change who women are or what their skills could be or what their potential [is].”
Meagher values being true to yourself. She believes that being who you are is an important thing, whether it coincides with what society expects of you or not.
“I go by Ms. Meagher, ” Meagher said. “Even though I got married, I never changed Ms. which is what I used when I first started teaching. I don’t see the point of having to go by a different title just because you got married because you’re still you.”
For other young women and girls, Meagher still advocates the same message.
“You get to define yourself how you want. Don’t let other people put their biases or judgments on you. Be happy with how you look and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not pretty [or] you’re not perfect how you are.”
For the future, Meagher hopes to get closer to the 50/50 for women. And in order to do that, Meagher sees that we can all be part of changing perspectives.
“I have two sons, of course I’m going to raise them to think of women as equal or better,” Meagher said. “Change perspectives one little kid at a time.”