A couple of weeks ago I read an article* about “loud women” (whatever that means) and immediately felt compelled to write about it. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily class myself as a “loud woman’” and obviously this is a ridiculous phrase, there were many aspects of this article that resonated with me and I wanted to share a couple of them.
- Loud shaming
I can’t count the amount of times I have been told to use my ‘inside voice’, both as a child and as an adult. Approximately 70% of the time the person telling me to be a little bit quieter has a very valid point; of course, there are certain situations where one should be quiet, and I definitely need to learn how to whisper!
However, being told to use my ‘inside voice’ always brings about a familiar sense of shame – the feeling that I have spoken out of turn or embarrassed myself in some way, when in fact this is just my voice, booming out like a big old foghorn.
Am I being ridiculous? Am I being over-sensitive? Perhaps, but I do believe that loud shaming is an expression that should be recognised and acknowledged.
- What is a loud man?
Obviously loud men do exist, but I think the word ‘loud’ has a different meaning across genders. If I were to simplify it, I would say that loud men are confident, go-getters, intelligent and attractive. Loud women, on the other hand, are overpowering, intimidating and somewhat hostile…perhaps even irritating?
I am being rather presumptuous here, as I have based this purely on personal experience, and the experiences of those close to me.
Therefore, I would love to open this discussion to a wider audience. I would also be really interested in hearing your thoughts in the context of running** (of course!) so please do get in touch!
*The article was written by Viv Groskop, author of How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking
**Gender equality in sport has always been a controversial topic, and one that I am interested in exploring in later posts.
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