By Anjali Patel

Can women be vocal about their opinions?

According to Emily Taft Douglas, “If women understood and exercised their power, they could
remake the world.” But are women allowed to exercise this power? Power signifies the ability to
act. Hence when one can’t access this ability, all goes in vain. Women’s potential opinions get
decorated by titles or get unheard at workplaces, curbing their self-confidence.

Gender equality has been a burning topic for decades now, but does acknowledgment of opinion also require a gender? A woman expressing estimation about a cricket match becomes a subject of a joke. But when this estimation gets verified, the woman is decorated with the title of beauty with brains. The title; meant to be a compliment or maybe not. Strong women expressing their
opinions have been a controversial issue many times. Priyanka Chopra got once vented on for being a hypocrite. She tweeted a patriotic message holding the position of the UNICEF ambassador for peace (Chopra, 2019). Lakoff’s book cover features a woman with her mouth taped shut, representing society for curbing a woman’s expressions (Lindstrom, 1975). Slowly and steadily, due to evolving virtues of people’s mentality, the oppression is changing obliterating, and men started understanding the situation. In the survey conducted by the team of Harvard Business Review, half of the male managers stated that women willingly allow the
interruption by men, as they lack evidences to back up their opinions.

Dynamic women from the most diverse and distinguished workplaces have to experience the suppression struggle. Even after being the expert at the table, many women feel oversight and struggle to express opinions (Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn and Mary Davis Holt, 2014). Prof. Veronika Hubeny was interrupted by Prof. Holt while presenting her research into string theories and quantum gravity; during the panel of notable cosmologists and physicists convened at John Jay College in New York to discuss some of the biggest questions in cosmology (Watson, 2019). Many women feel it challenging to present their opinions in a room filled with designated people, most of them being a man. During the delivery of opinions, women are often challenged for not being precise about facts and are interrupted. “When men dismiss women, women may interpret it as being put in their place,” said a female vice president. Being at such a high position and exclaiming such a remark, this vice president has definitely carved her way out of such interruptions of men (Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn and Mary Davis Holt, 2014).

Modern-day women are more informed and knowledgeable analyzed to earlier decades. But when it comes to expressing opinions, women still lag. The inability to express opinions can lead the woman to the contraction of self-confidence. When silence grows more compared to the expression of opinions, the furiousness goes missing. In this kind of society, a woman in a powerful position needs to have opinions that are less furious and controversial. These segregated barriers can be seen in the path of women (Remove the barriers, n.d.). No wonder powerful men are furious. When deserving position gets served to a fellow male colleague due to lack of presentation of opinions, woman starts re-evaluating her self-confidence.

Free speech and expression for women seemed to be a myth from many decennary. But slowly and steadily women are coming forward and holding strong opinions due to on-going wind of feminism and gender equality debates. But we still have a long way to go for normalizing women for being vocal about their opinions. Many women are still struggling for establishing their opinions due to stereotypes like getting judged and demotivation resulting in curbing the self- confidence.

References :


Chopra, P. (2019, August 12). Priyanka Chopra called out as ‘hypocrite’.

Dixon, S. b. (2018, March 16). Women in India’s Economic Growth. Retrieved from The World
Bank:
https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2018/03/17/women-indias-economic-growth

Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn and Mary Davis Holt. (2014, June). Women, Find Your Voice.
Retrieved from Harvard Business Review:
https://hbr.org/2014/06/women-find-your-voice#

Lindstrom, N. (1975). “Rosario Castellanos”: Representing Woman’s Voice. Letras Femeninas,
33.

Watson, S. (2019, February 1). The Unheard Female Voice. Retrieved from The Asha Leades:
https://leader.pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/leader.FTR1.24022019.4

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