Live Footage of Being a Woman in STEM is a viral TikTok video by TikToker Claire McDonnell. The video shows student McDonnell attempting to participate in a group discussion online when her male classmates interrupt and dismissing her. She captioned the video “live footage of being a woman in STEM” to indicate that this behavior is commonplace for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classrooms and industries.
On September 28th, 2020, Claire McDonnell, using the TikTok name @cleasel, posted the video. The clip shows numerous instances of her classmates interrupting her underneath the caption, “Live footage of being a woman in STEM.” The post received more than 3.2 million views, 832,000 reactions and 11,000 comments in less than two weeks (shown below).
Following the release of the video, some began making TikTok duets with the original clip. Some people, like TikToker @basicallybetsy and @courtneymiller634 say that the experience reflects their own (shown below, left and center, respectively).
Days later, on October 2nd, McDonnell posted a followup duet to the video. She wrote, “This video going so viral has literally changed my life. BuzzFeed, and multiple other news outlets, have reached out to amplify my voice on this matter. I’ve gotten a lot of hate from men, and women – random, peers, and program-specific invalidating this specific experience, and other issues brought up in the BuzzFeed article, calling me a liar and telling me I am ‘exaggerating’ and ‘being dramatic’ about this instance, as well as the sexual harassment and other sexist actions I talk about in the article. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive and expressed their experiences. No matter how much hate/backlash I get, I will continue to fight for women’s inclusion and equality.” The post received more than 61,000 reactions and 965 comments in less than one week (shown below, right).
Several media outlets, including BuzzFeed, Insider, Daily Mail and more reported on the video.