MEN TALK AT ME
Not to be too rigid about gender categories, but inasmuch as gender is a performance, those of us who were socialized to perform womanhood know that this experience is universal. AND FRUSTRATING AF.
- •It is part of my constant burden as a woman that every so often (key word being "often"), I am drawn into conversation with a man that quickly morphs from dialogue into a monologue. They may not notice that they do it, or maybe they do and just don't care, but a lot of times men don't talk TO me.
- •They talk AT me.
- •They lose sight of the fact that I haven't contributed anything to the conversation past polite nods punctuated by the occasional "Okay" or "Right" or "Well that's interesting."
- •They fail to notice that they haven't even given me the opportunity to contribute anything else to the conversation.
- •Sometimes they even fail to see that I neither know nor care about whatever they have trapped me in conversation about. I have merely shown an ill-advisedly polite interest for their sake.
- •No, too often men just take the reins of a conversation and think, "This woman is my student now. I will teach her about this thing. Never mind that she maybe already knows or most probably doesn't care about what I have to say."
- •Or maybe they think, "Well I have this 45-minute lecture about the most boring topic imaginable ready to spring on an unsuspecting somebody...how about...the nearest woman in hearing distance? I'll have to ignore the obvious signs that she's trying to hide her boredom so I don't get distracted while I deliver this lesson."
- •But most likely they're just thinking, "GOD DOES MY OWN VOICE SOUND INCREDIBLE."
- •Why do we raise boys and men like this??? Why don't we teach them the same rules of politeness we teach women!! Why do we let them believe they can monopolize everyone else's fucking time? And why do I feel rude if I try to interrupt to politely excuse myself??????
- •I'm so exhausted. Sometimes the mental energy required to tolerate men's behavior without bursting into flames is too much for me to handle.
- •Anyway happy Valentine's weekend.