Every woman knew how Hillary Clinton felt being interrupted and talked over at last night’s debate
It’s how most women are spoken to on a daily basis in the workplace
Although Hillary Clinton came out on top after last night’s debate, it wasn’t an easy ride. She was interrupted and shouted over constantly by Donald Trump, a man who has no inside voice and a relationship with women which is troubling at best and offensive at worst.
In fact it was so prolific that Vox noted in the first 26 minutes of the debate, Hillary Clinton had been interrupted a mammoth 40 times (25 times by Trump, 15 times by moderator Lester Holt). Hillary only interrupted Trump 17 times during the entirety of the debate – he interrupted her 51 times.
Given Trump’s track record in dealing with women – in that he talks down to anyone except the daughter he’s creepily obsessed with – the interruptions and the shouting and the general lack of respect for a colleague and fellow politician aren’t surprising. People in fact seemed more surprised with how Hillary managed to keep her cool.
Rather than call Trump out on his behaviour she managed to stay calm and collected, often smiling wryly and looking into the camera like she was Jim Halpert on The Office dealing with the real life Dwight Schrute who might soon be the actual leader of the free world (I know, terrifying). It was impressive.
Despite what you might think of Hillary’s politics over the years, you’ve got to admire her stamina (no pun intended). Her years as a professor, senator and secretary of state have taught her something that most women know and take for granted – you have to put up with this shit a lot.
In professional contexts men dominate up to 75 per cent of the conversation. Research partially conducted by Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s COO – found that male executives who speak more often than their peers are deemed 10 per cent more competent, while female executives who speak up are considered 14 per cent less competent.
Whether you call it mansplaining or manterrupting or whatever kooky name the internet has given it, it’s a problem women deal with on a daily basis. But last night it was daily problem exemplified on a world stage by Hillary Clinton.
The fact that even a woman as accomplished as Hillary Clinton can still be talked down in the workplace by louder, over-confident and less talented men is a message to all of us. It should shock us, but it doesn’t.
Now that everyone has taken notice of it though, it would be great it we could address the balance. And that won’t happen while Donald Trump is President.
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