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Here’s yesterday Big Talk with HOPE Mentoring project founder and director Theresa Ochoa.
Sat in on a meeting the other night. About ten people, four women and six men. The men, natch dominated the discussion, as they always do. A couple of them were experts without peer, if their miens and postures and papal-like pronouncements were any indications. The fellow who chaired the meeting suffered them with grace and patience. Not that much of what they had to add to the conversation wasn’t valuable, but their carriages and attitudes suggested infallibility.
One of the women wasn’t so fortunate as to be endowed with such insight and wisdom, nor did she possess, of course, male genitalia. The meeting was supposed to be informational, so all of us in attendance could could know the proper procedures and processes to do our jobs. Unfortunately, the aforementioned men spoke as if everyone in the room should know all the latest and most advanced techniques and developments in our field. They spoke in a patois, throwing out technical terminology, speaking like tsars issuing ukases.
After a few moments of such posturing, one of the women piped up. “Excuse me,” she said, “but what are we talking about? I don’t understand everything that’s being said.”
At that moment, the woman became my favorite person in the room. I, too, had been baffled by much of the discussion to that point. She, though, was the only human in the room with the guts and smarts to say, Whoa!
The fellow who chaired the meeting threw the emergency brake and patiently explained what was being said. The infallible guys, the ones who spoke from on high, bit their lips.
I’ve just described pretty much every meeting in the world today that includes both men and women.