When to stand up for ourselves? Struggling with the idea of "overreacting"
I remember seeing a post on Elpha awhile ago about a woman who pitched a VC. That VC then started a similar company and called her looking for more information. She was furious about how nonchalantly he acted. I couldn't help but feel like this attitude, at most innocuous, was a form of male privilege. At most malicious (let's hope not), a form of intimidation. Most of the comments encouraged her saying "it's all about execution" and "imitation is the best form of flattery." That is all very true, but easier said than done now that she's unfunded and up against someone backed by his old buddies. Of course we women will work hard and execute, that's expected. But the funding stats make it clear we are executing from different baselines.However, I'm talking today about a different topic. These comments, women to women, also made me wonder: why were we encouraging her to keep silent? I think back guiltily to the time I counseled a friend not to speak up, in a situation far worse than mine, for fear she'd ruin her reputation.I was taught growing up not to make a fuss, kill them with kindness. I've been so conditioned to think silence is golden, that when I feel angry, that anger is mixed with shame, because women who take things "too seriously" are "silly," or worse, "crazy." Sure, the world is round and professionalism is a must. But left unsaid, the man may never realize the error of his ways, the woman may only be further shamed into silence, and the system is perpetuated. Still, when I want to speak up, that little voice in my head says, "don't overreact." Here's an interesting article outlining the stats: https://www.healthline.com/health/workplace-bullying#whos-affected"According to 2017 research from the Workplace Bullying Institute, about 70 percent of bullies are male, and about 30 percent are female. Both male and female bullies are more likely to target women..."So men are more likely to bully women than vice versa. Is it because we are less threatening, less likely to fight back? "People believed that targets of bullying were more likely to be kind, compassionate, cooperative, and agreeable."Kind, compassionate? Sounds like the woman I was brought up to be.I fully believe the solution should be for all bullies to become more kind, rather than the other way around. I pray we get there. But in the meantime, I ask myself:WWMD (What would a man do)?