January 14th, 2015

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Taking Pride In My Rude Single Mindedness

Sheryl Sandberg recently wrote a NYT op ed on the problem of "speaking while female" in the professional world. i.e., that women who "lean in" and participate vocally in meetings -- in addition to being potentially penalized for it in ways men are not -- find themselves constantly interrupted, over-ridden and their ideas appropriated without credit.

This Vox piece emphasizes that many (perhaps even most) men interrupt without even realizing they are doing it. Nor is it just men. Women interrupt other women more frequently than they interrupt men. It is a problem of implicit bias.

Which brings me to a story of my own some years back. I took part in a training exercise in which an undisclosed (until the end) function was an analysis of implicit bias. My results back were that I did not display significant changes in behavior based on race or gender. Rather, when I had a particular thought or idea, I was equally signle-minded and rude to everyone and as likely to argue, interrupt and pushback regardless of race, gender or any other factor. But when not being single-minded and rude, I was equally respectful to everyone.

I take great pride in my single-minded rudeness to all, regardless of race, gender, secual orientation or religious affiliation.