How many of you ladies have ever been interrupted by a male colleague (or a male partner, or a male boyfriend, or a male plumber, or a male friend, or a male teacher, or a male doctor, or a male VP...) while you were speaking? That's what I thought. Well, me too! ENOUGH already, right?!
Manterrupting: Unnecessary interruption of a woman by a man.
Before the recent iconic moment when our current male VP constantly interrupted the female Democratic VP candidate, the most memorable example I can recall of “manterrupting” was in 2009. Remember when Kanye West pounced onto the MTV Video Music Awards stage, grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift, and manterrupted the heck out of her moment to shine?!?! I remember this moment well, as do many others.
So, think about it… Why do men believe they have the right to speak over women? Why do men believe what they have to say is more important than what women have to say? There is research that shows men interrupt women to assert their power and to dominate. Some people believe (and studies show) that our culture raises girls and boys differently, resulting in boys being more aggressive and girls being more polite. There are LOTS of opinions on why this happens.
I recently read an article by @sorayachemaly Soraya Chemaly entitled “10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn.” I tend to support Soraya’s ideas on why men/boys feel they have a right to interrupt and speak over women/girls:
“Globally, childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse, and resist interrupting in ways we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance.”
I also recently read Untamed by @glennondoyle Glennon Doyle. (I created a series of mixed media art Uncaged inspired by this phenomenal book!) Glennon talks about her belief that a young girl’s “taming” or “social programming” happens around the age of ten. Girls are taught to be polite, quiet, kind, sweet, and accommodating.
So here’s the thing… I’m all for being kind and polite. I hate meanness, bullying, and disrespect. However, we can teach our girls to be kind and polite, while also teaching them to stand up for themselves and their beliefs, and to speak loudly and be heard… respectfully. I fully support the “10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn” that Soraya believes we should teach our girls (and remember for ourselves.) Without further delay, here they are….
I’ll add just a few more words, in honor of @kamalaharris and her historic VP debate.
“Excuse me, I’m still speaking.”
Thank you, @kamalaharris , @glennondoyle, and @sorayachemaly (and so many more!) for showing all of our girls and ladies how to PUSH back and be heard. No one has the right to silence our opinions or our voice, no matter what our sexual organs happen to be.
Be a girl like YOU... and be heard.
#equalitymatters #equalityforall #ImStillSpeaking #womenempowerment #girlempowerment #agirllikemeart #greetingcarddesigner #mixedmediaartist