Grad Student Complains About Classmates Who Accused Her Of “Pretty Privilege” And Asks ‘AITA’

It’s very hard to be the subject of gossip and rumors solely because of your looks. I think we all know by now that we don’t mock or disparage people because their appearances are different from ours, but does that extend to the attractive?


See — u/Maleficent-Day4476 recently reported her classmates for claiming she has “pretty privilege”. Pretty privilege refers to the advantages and benefits that individuals with conventionally attractive physical features may experience in society.

OP took to Reddit to explain that she is one of only a few women in her male-dominated courses. The men treat her terribly and take her less seriously than others due to her gender.

Background: I’m (F23) one of only a few female students in a male dominated course. Furthermore, I am at a highly prestigious university and I haven’t really gotten along with the guys on my course. They are all very competitive and I just don’t really enjoy their company – everything turns into a pissing contest, and they definitely take me less seriously because I’m a woman. I stopped interacting with them beyond the mere minimum, and choose to hang out with other people.


She recently did very well on some exams and a professor congratulated her. Since then, her male classmates have become rude and aggressive.

I did well in our recent exams (I topped two out four). Our prof congratulated me during class (I wouldn’t have advertised this myself). Ever since then, my interactions with a specific group of male classmates have gotten weird. They’re now outright rude and challenge me aggressively in class discussions.

Recently, some of those male classmates did a presentation on how pretty female students are given higher grades. The remarks were pretty pointed.

We recently had some presentations and one of them chose to do theirs on, to put it simply, “pretty privilege” – they specifically pointed to two papers that suggested that pretty female students get overscored in assessments. The other guys in the group snickered and one even gave me a wink. Afterwards I heard them in the hallway joking that “they had experience with that themselves”.

These men in her classes even brought up her relationship, questioning if she’s getting extra help. They also did this IN FRONT OF HER PROFESSOR.

I’ve been seeing a PhD student within our department for a month. He has literally nothing to do with our course. Well, we ran into one of my course mates A together. The next day in class his friend B asked me if “my boyfriend” helped me with exams. He said this intentionally loudly and in front of the professor, who heard this. I replied that I dont have a boyfriend (cause he’s not my bf), but then B pointed out that he had run into me with the PhD student, making a point to say his name (the prof knows him). I just replied that we’re only friends.

They have continued to bring up this issue in front of professors and claim OP got help on her tests. She’s getting irked because she works very hard.

They didn’t let up – I heard that they discussed this thing in two more classes, in earshot of the professors. Both times they suggested I got help for my exams (I wasn’t even seeing him then). I didn’t confront them, but this has been causing me so much anxiety – even without the exam accusations, I worked hard to get here and I don’t want to be known among the faculty for my dating life.

OP brought this up to her professor, who said OH HELL NO, and emailed the men’s professors. They confronted OP and their supervisors are very unhappy with the men.

I raised this issue with my supervisor, without the intention of taking it any further, but I wanted her advice as a woman in academia. She convinced me to let her email their supervisors “to remind them of proper conduct” and described their treatment of an “unnamed female student”. She didn’t name me, but they figured it out. They confronted me after class and asked my why I would report their ““”silly joke.” Apparently, their supervisors are now very cold towards them and less interested in helping. It’s not a formal complaint – only their supervisors know – but one of them, C, said his supervisor writes the reports for his financial aid/scholarship and it was my fault if he lost out on that.

OP is now not sure if she did the right thing.

I now feel a bit embarrassed and this was compounded by a friend telling me I took it to far cause C shouldn’t lose out on his scholarship. So, reddit – AITA?

Christ, my blood is BOILING. She absolutely did the right thing.

One user on Reddit noted, “Any retaliation should also be reported. They’re angling for some big problems if they keep this up.”

lordliv / Reddit

“NTA – they know what they’re doing because jokers like this have been doing it for years – undermine your accomplishments, question your abilities and then act shocked when you stand up for yourself. I’m happy (and somewhat surprised) that the faculty and administration is treating this as seriously as it deserves,” another said.