I have always been a bit of a talker, even as a child. I admit that, as a child, I was a bit of an attention hound, and just enjoyed having an adults attention- you know, defiantly snubbing my nose at the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ philosophy.
Now, I am no longer a child, and no longer an attention hound (well, not as much of one anyway) but have come up against the philosophy of ‘women should only speak when spoken to’ when ‘the men’ are speaking.
Well, forget that!
At first I noticed that when I found myself the only woman in a small group of men, that the men would talk amongst themselves without including me. I did not want to be the center of attention, but I did like being included. Yet, when I speak up, the men of the group all stop, look at me, and then continue on as though I had not said a word.
What is up with that?
I challenge all of the men who are reading this to pay attention the next time they find themselves in this situation, when you meet your ‘boys’ somewhere and you are with your girlfriend or wife, do you include her in the conversation?
I told JJ about this, he didn’t believe me – he thought I just wanted to be the center of attention – but then he found himself being ‘one of the boys’ in a conversation and his friend’s wife was standing on the sidelines. She spoke up and , yep, you guessed it. They stopped the conversation, looked at her for a moment. and then continued on as though she was not there.
A moment of insight for JJ.
You women out there, don’t think that you are the victims in this type of behavior. Women do it to men as well. It does not matter the subject of conversation, when in a group conversation, ALL members of that group should be acknowledged, and if they speak, their voice should be given equal opportunity to be heard.
How are we going to break down gender wall if we insist on filling in the cracks?