Have You Been Silenced?

February 22, 2017

Have You Been Silenced?

By Susanne Dalton Dupes In Gender Equity, Power and Influence with Comments Off on Have You Been Silenced?

What was your reaction when you heard that Elizabeth Warren had been silenced on the floor of the U.S. Senate? It turned my insides cold.

My reaction had nothing to do with the politics of what she was talking about. Rather, it was that several men made similar protest arguments. They were allowed to speak. But when a woman’s voice went up in protest, she was shut down, hard.

I flashed back to the many times in my life when I have had “voice-stifling” experiences. I thought about the times in meetings where the thoughts and ideas that I expressed were ignored, until a man expressed similar, or near identical, ideas and was applauded. Has that happened to you? I thought about dismissive attitudes and being told to “sit down and be quiet” (yes, that has happened in the workplace).

I thought about how in my family and in my childhood classrooms, the boys were treated with far more deference than the girls. Their words mattered more. Their voices were expected and accepted.

But I thought we were past that day. Until Elizabeth Warren was silenced. And that made me angry!

What about you? Have you ever been silenced? Is it still happening to you today, or have you found your voice?

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