I was recently involved in a conversation where I appeared to be the only woman responding and I sometimes thought that I was invisible and I not only wasn’t seen, I wasn’t heard either. Is this a common experience for other women? I thought the women’s liberation had changed all that or had it?
As a woman in these groups I am often in the minority and not being paid attention to is often unfortunate; but also just plain rude. What happened to lady’s first? Often when a woman gets to make a contribution, the men are often in the process of getting up out of their chairs and leaving the group as much to say that the woman’s comments are not worth staying for and listening to.
For example, if I raise my hand indicating that I wanted to speak next and had something to add to the conversation, another man in the group starts to talk without raising his hand and that I had held my hand up before he started talking is ignored. If I do get to speak. For Heaven’s sake if I can get the floor, I am greeted by impatience from some of the males in the group and may not be able to get my point across before I am interrupted and another person (usually a man) takes over the conversation to refute me.
Recently I saw a contribution on FaceBook that discussed something that was called manspeak and realized I was not alone in the world when it came to being bulldozed this way. What happens also is that men are usually oblivious to what is going on as far as the women in the group are concerned. At the end of church Sunday, I volunteered to give the closing prayer and our minister told me that he thought that a woman had never done that before. Huh? My first experience with a woman’s rights group on my campus was in the late 60’s and we are now in the second decade of the 21st century!
An afterthought, consider the dress codes for women as compared to men in the broadcasting business. Men are covered from wrist to neck and down to the feet. It can be a very forgiving outfit and I notice that this can cover up excess weight fairly well. Men also seem to age gracefully on television. One standard that is also usually kept by men is “neat and clean”. I also have noticed that men usually take a very relaxed position with their legs open.
Now this is easy to observe, but no one usually says anything about this usually on air and pant suits similar to men’s suits are discouraged and sometimes made fun of although I have observed that female elected government officials do frequently wear pants; and not usually, except in Hillary Clinton’s case, made fun of for doing this; but I do notice that sometimes comments about the women’s hairstyles as being unfaltering and unattractive are made in a way that reflects on their ability to do their jobs.
Women? Are we being kept in our place this way by men?