Listening to Strong Women in Focus Groups: Speak Up Lady!
Today we heard a conversation about many conversations between women invited to participate in our Strong Women segment. These are the ideas we began with:
What are our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship with power, influence and authority and how does this show up in the way we talk? The position women are placed in the socially defined hierarchy of power impacts and affects all aspects of our lives, our thoughts, our passions, the way we conduct ourselves, the way we talk and also the conduct of others towards us. What is the cultural template that disempowers women and where do we get it from? Why are we constantly apologizing? Why is it easier for us to just be quiet? What are the mechanisms that silence women, refuse to take them seriously, and that sever them from the centers of power? What is our common experience? What words are we using, who is listening to us? The public voice of women – is there an authoritative one? Are women’s voices publicly heard? And what is the price women pay to be heard? How do women get their point heard? How do they get noticed, How do they get to belong in the discussion? What are our gendered assumptions about public speech?