This was quite eye-opening. I’ll admit, I read the article by Ellen Leanse, and my initial response was “well, that does describe me, perhaps I could take a few pointers from this.” But, as I finished reading this article, I am now walking the line. She has a point – men aren’t criticized nearly so frequently for the way they talk. So, why must women talk like men? Why must we be scrutinized for how we look, how we speak, and why must it be our fault so consistently that we are often objectified, ridiculed, and made to feel like we must change everything about ourselves in order to NOT be victims of discrimination.
Why must apples pretend to be oranges to be treated fairly? And why do we women buy into this mindset? That in order to succeed, the key is to stop being women and pretend as hard as we can to be men?
It’s certainly food for thought, at the very least.
This week everyone’s been talking about an article in the Economist explaining how men’s use of language undermines their authority. According to the author, a senior manager at Microsoft, men have a bad habit of punctuating everything they say with sentence adverbs like ‘actually’, ‘obviously’, ‘seriously’ and ‘frankly’. This verbal tic makes them sound like pompous bullshitters, so that people switch off and stop listening to what they’re saying. If they want to be successful, this is something men need to address.
OK, people haven’t been talking about that article—mainly because I made it up. No one writes articles telling men how they’re damaging their career prospects by using the wrong words. With women, on the other hand, it’s a regular occurrence. This post was inspired by a case in point: a piece published last month in Business Insider, in which a former Google executive named Ellen Petry Leanse…
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