I saw a fantastic “Brief but Spectacular” essay on the PBS News Hour last night. In case you missed it, go see it now!
Here, journalist and women’s advocate Cindi Leive, “Glamour” magazine’s editor in chief for 16 years, reflects on the well-known phenomenon of men interrupting women and engaging in other dismissive treatment, at everyday places of work all the way to the Supreme Court.
To quote the beginning of her talk on Women and Power:
“We don’t really embrace female rage, which is why bestselling books for women about work are usually called things like “Lean In” and “Not Screw You, Kevin, for Taking Credit for My Work After You Interrupted Me 12 Times in That Meeting,” which is a book I would buy.
There’s a very well-known phenomenon that most women have experienced and social scientists have studied whereby men enjoy interrupting women, often without realizing they’re doing it. Even female Supreme Court justices are interrupted three times as often as their male peers.
I mean, that’s RBG. Women apologize more than men. Hillary Clinton, by the way, is the only presidential candidate ever to use the phrase “I’m sorry” in her concession speech.”
Does any of this ring true for you?
Sometimes I feel like I spent my entire life apologizing for my very existence! It became a natural part of my speech pattern. I only truly found my own rage at this situation during my midlife crisis when I realized how many cards were stacked against me as a young girl trying to make a difference in the world. It became perfectly clear when a sad and inadequate boss of mine fired me for being too certain of myself at age 49. Yes, he was canned soon after that, and yes, I have been embracing my rage ever since…
“If we tell women, don’t be enraged about the fact that you have been denied a promotion, don’t be enraged at the rates of sexual assault in this country, we’re never going to get anywhere.
We have to say, yes, we’re angry, and now we’re going to fix it.”