Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.

Men are like busses. I mean, you wait for ages and ages, and when one does finally come along you can’t get on. And that bit about them coming in threes, well, that’s just a myth.

Moreover, in conversations with women, men do most of the talking (Haas,
1979), and despite hackneyed stereotypes about women being more talkative
than men, we’re apparently used to this pattern. When people listen to record-
ings of conversations, they think it’s more disrespectful and assertive for a
woman to interrupt a m~ than vice versa (Lafrance, 1992).

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