“Sir, you must forgive my sister…She is not ordinarily quite so outspoken”

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

Do we like women who speak their minds?

And when I say “we” I mean both men and women.

Back in Austen’s day, we know that outspoken women were looked down upon. Just think of what we thought of Mrs. Bennett…Admittedly, she was a buffoon as well, but should people have tried to shut her down? She was shut down by both men and women…

How about Lizzie? Lizzie clearly spoke her mind. But did both men and women look ill at her in that regard?

Now fast forward to the year that shall remain nameless:

Do we still have a problem with women who are outspoken?

How often are women referred to as nags?

Too talkative?

Bossy?

Opinionated?

Bitchy?

I am not one of those women who is universally liked by other women. I’m seen as aggressive and domineering. I have a very “take charge” attitude.

Why are those bad traits?

If I were a man, would these traits be admirable?

So what do you think of women who put themselves right out there for the world to see? Have you ever referred to a woman as one of those traits, but not in a positive, this person is really awesome sort of way, but in a head tilt, talking out of the side of your mouth “watch out” sort of way?

I know my in laws have issues with my personality. They have said to my Husband…”well, when you talk to her, she has an answer to everything. You can never win with her.”

This, of course, makes me wonder if women are just in competition with one another all the time….if there’s some imperative to be the alpha…

So…

Today…

I want you to think about whether or not you really admire women who speak their minds, women who are not afraid to enter into a battle of wits or words or whatever…women who want to share their ideas and theories and stories…

Even now, is there a little part of us who wants some women to just shut up?

83 thoughts on “Speak Out

  1. As I understand it, all people from New York are like you, so you’re probably not a good example. 🙂

    As for people who speak their mind, I find them all irritating to some degree or another, as it usually involves them in giving me instructions and/or disagreeing with me. I like to think I am always happy to listen if they are talking sense, whatever the gender.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d rather have someone speak her mind than stay silent and talk about me behind my back. Speak up, but for goodness sake be willing to listen. No one is right all of the time. (I’m speaking in generalities here LA, not directed at you.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew what you meant😉 but why do we bash people who speak their mind? Are we really not willing to listen to someone who has a different opinion? I commented on a blog the other day and I stated that I would agree to disagree and simply stated my opposition to her argument.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there are long standing cultural norms about how women are supposed to conduct themselves. Men are allowed to be more direct and outspoken, women not so much.

    I have had work experiences where such behavior was just fine for a man, but not for a woman. Women who were more outspoken ran the risk of being called the “b” word.

    I am usually soft spoken, but not always as warm and fuzzy as people would like me to be. I try a lot harder to project “warmth”—but I have felt it is more okay for men not to have a warm and fuzzy veneer than it is for women.

    There is a subculture of Christianity that is superfocused on gender roles, especially in marriage. If a woman is too outspoken she isn’t being “respectful” to the menfolk.

    Women politicians face more scrutiny for being outspoken, opinionated etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mother was visiting once and said to name “but you’re the lady of the house” and I just looked at her thinking “so does that give my husband a fee pass to not do certain things?”

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I believe high time we ditch the idea that women who speak more are bossy, dominating etc. In my mind, one behavior can be seen as bossy, dominating etc regardless of gender. But I can’t speak for what is actually perceived in real life because it seems there are many people who expect different from women.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A very interesting, and thought provoking question, LA.

    I have long ago realized that not everyone will agree with my opinions.
    However, I assertively offer my opinions anyway, and at the same time I try to listen carefully to others who may not share my views.
    I try to treat everyone respectfully, and I try to learn from others’ viewpoints as well. 🤗🌷🌼

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My mom is definitely one who dislikes women in the public sphere who are outspoken, or simply in positions of power–drives me batty. I especially don’t like it when she would spout that kind of drivel around my daughter. She would also pick apart their appearances in a way that she would never do to a man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are we sisters? Seriously…the things out if my mothers mouth! I used to have to to detox my daughter after she spent time with my mother to make sure the ridiculousness didn’t take hold

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I know there are places where I watch my tongue more than others. Sometimes I learned from reaction but I admire women who speak up. Sometimes the situation might not allow us to if we are new to a job or a field or something we need to let a few things go. Often if you have others on your side, it is easier to say something.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am also one of “those” women. I have been told I am bossy, I know too much, I call people out if they do something wrong. But guess what, anytime a big trauma or code came in, they all wanted the bossy, do the job right and know what to do Nurse! The male nurses never were labeled the same, they were, competent, leaders, and assertive. I do believe people, and frequently other women, don’t like women who strive for better. I believe there are still many who believe women should be more subdued. I do believe women are in some type of competition that those of us who don’t give a darn don’t even know about.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I like it when women are outspoken and are not afraid to express their opinions. What I despise is women and men who use the “silent treatment” and are passive aggressive. They make me feel like I need to walk on eggshells around them.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This kind of isn’t just a one or the other kind of thing. It is one thing to speak your mind, but it is another to share an opinion or give advice when it isn’t asked for or wanted, but I apply that to both men and women. I admire women that are more outspoken than me because I’m not as comfortable speaking up and making myself the center of attention. I don’t like it when people butt into conversations they weren’t invited to participate in or those that will give advice, opinions, instructions, or corrections when none were asked for. A lot of times, the people that do those things aren’t great at identifying when someone just needs an ear or a shoulder and not a problem solver. I know there are times I struggle with this myself because I like to help where I can and that is kind of a gut instinct for me with friends, so I’m learning to ask if they want advice or a shoulder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One of my blog friends talked about this recently, she said she just used to offer advice or assistance but has learned that she should ask first if/what they need. I know that I have a blog friend who disappeared from blogosphere and I’m worried because she’s had issues in the past, and part of me wanted to message her IRL friends on insta but what if she just doesn’t want to blog anymore? When does it go to stalking?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually hunted someone down when they dropped off the internet, but it was from a small online group that was probably a little closer than what I see blogging (with a couple rare exceptions). It did feel a little odd, but it was after a tornado and we all decided as a group to check in on her. If I had a direct email for a blogger that went quiet, I would probably check in (and have). It is a tough call to make.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It is important to speak your mind, bit it also depends on the context. Sometime, no matter how talkative you may be, especially in a certain occasion where the husband is, the woman is expected to let the man talk. Her I know it attitude is not welcomed. But on the other hand, a yes woman all the time is not the best…and that is my take.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have no problem with women who are outspoken, but when they get nasty I pull back, of course it is the same with men, if I feel they are nasty, in your face aggressive I will also pull back. You need to be calm and willing to listen to others in order to engage with me. We might still agree and I will be fine if not admiring of you speaking your mind and that is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love it when an woman speaks her mind. Especially when she delivers it in a well spoken, calm tone. So often women are called irrational and I know it’s due to our tone. Irrational I think not but
    Passionate … absolutely! So when a woman can carry a calm but yet passionate tone I’m all in. Same for men too. If they are trying to use a deep firm tone with me I will immediately stop the conversation.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I admire women (people) who speak their minds–so long as they allow others to do the same. I have met a few people who are quick to speak their minds and then quick to shut down or dismiss others who try to do the same. Those aren’t people I want to be around for long.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m the kind of woman who speaks her mind, most of the time. In my early years I was hella rude, though, and I found it wasn’t what I said, but how I said it (a lesson my mother tried to teach me). Now, people kind of come to me because they know they’ll get “the truth” and what I really think. So, yeah. I admire women who can speak their minds.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The best boss I ever had was a woman. Interestingly, when she came in, she was not received kindly by men . . or women. The boss she replaced had been riding on fumes, counting the days to his retirement, he really had both feet out the door. So life was good for the peeps who got to do things they way they wanted to do things. She came in and cleaned up shop and yes, she made a positive difference, even if it meant that several people left- some quit, others were terminated. In no uncertain terms, she was seen as the “bitch on wheels” and worse. Again, not just by the men I worked with, but the women as well.

    It was clear what was happening here. The perception of this woman was that she was a bitch, simply because she got things done and was unapologetic about it. Men didn’t like it that she was introducing a new process, even if the process worked. But neither did women. They made the same derogatory references and they disliked her every bit as much. So the judgements were not a matter of sex, but of expectations. Man or woman, they had certain preconceived notions about a woman in charge, and they tended to be equally stereotypical ones.

    For me it was a matter of getting shit done, and I did and there were no issues. So for me, she was a boss who worked towards the best possible outcomes and was fair, so long as you gave a shit and did your job well. So for me, no issues. In fact, when I encountered an issue to which I needed advocacy, she was there. I called her every day and we would talk through how things were being handled. She was the best boss I ever had, hands down.

    Sorry for the ramble but this post brought her to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You illustrated my point really well. She was tough but wasn’t unfair. She was trying to get the job done to the best of her ability and she got grief from both sexes. A man would be seen as a go getter….women are not supposed to be maternal 24/7…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ooooh what an interesting point and question! Personally I think a lot of it is HOW something is said. I have secretly listened in on so many of my husbands Zoom meetings and there are a lot of women in his environment. The majority speak quietly, too many ‘ums’ and ‘erms’ with a voice perhaps an octave higher particularly when they’re nervous and don’t possess any of the authority I would expect. Listening to women at the top of their game on the radio or tv, they are a different calibre altogether. Anyway I’m getting off the point. Having strong opinions is fine. Knowing what you stand for is great. Listening is most important and being open to others opinions is key otherwise one has the tendency to be quite a bore of a know-it-all. I think there are times to listen and times to talk, times to lead and times to follow. It just makes for a good rounded character. I’m sure you’re just fine! Katie

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m sure – particularly if it’s controversial! I was brought up in the era of ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ which in todays society doesn’t help much. I think anyone brought up with that should be entitled to free therapy! 😄. Such a great post and good to have something to think about.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I think the double standard is alive and well in the US at least. There have been times when younger, that I found outspoken women made me a little uncomfortable, because it wasn’t something I was used to. Later I found much to admire about them. And maybe even aspire to be one.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The one aspect of this conversation I’d like to address is the person who wears his or her right to speak their mind as a badge of honor. “I calls it as I sees it” is the mantra. Then he/she goes about spreading gossip. What they perceive, or pretend is freedom of speech is actually permission to bully.

    As regards women not being heard and needing to speak up – where do I sign to join the committee? If I am in a room full of men – and it happens a lot in my life, given the hobbies my husband I pursue – I am invisible, if not “put on mute” by the others. Drives me nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I personally feel that that type of woman wields A LOT of power within her sphere of influence……but whether I find it admirable or offensive totally depends on HOW she uses it. Is she still kind and careful and tactful? Because that’s the critical part for me. I tend to be the opposite….so I usually admire that ability/quality in others, as long as it is not presented in a “loose cannon” or “bull in a china shop” manner. For me, kindness reigns above all else.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I don’t like men or women who act like they know it all or act or speak in a condescending manner. Being around a strong , honest confident woman should not threaten good people. But someone who makes me feels like they think I’m not on their level or they’re constantly evaluating me , that stresses me out. Those people are not leaders , they’re prideful tyrants. For example , Kamala Harris. Can’t stand her type of personality and can’t listen to her talk . Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are always going to be people we don’t particularly like. As long as it not only because they’re a woman, or a man, it’s fine. We can’t like everyone

      Like

  22. I’m sorry I missed discussing this one. I have issues with this idea because I see more people admiring, albeit grudgingly, a domineering man (POTUS). For some, this goes as far as sexual attraction (50 Shades).

    On the flip side, a woman who acts similarly to the domineering man (H. Clinton) is not grudgingly accepted unless they are forced to accept. There are some with that fetish, but those men are not accepted as manly.

    I have a third point that’s a new development: up till recent employment, I preferred a male boss over a female one. I experienced better leadership from males and mostly the bitchy sort from females. *However,* my current boss is an adult tomboy. She’s had a family, worked the job I’ve worked and moved up, and manages a lot like a male (logic, reasoning, no nonsense, a bit hands-off). So, perhaps it is what the other commenters have said and is more about approach and tone than female/male.

    That said; I do, unfortunately, think size and attractiveness also play a role. Sorry, LA. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Attractiveness goes both ways unfortunately. Some assume a less physically attractive person is smarter, more attractive is used to getting their own way….it’s our often backwards way of perceiving things…

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I have no problem with women who speak their minds (and usually prefer them) as long as they are not using their words as weapons against others. I don’t care for that kind of bullying from anyone, male or female. But as for speaking your mind, or being a take charge kind of person….that’s actually a good thing. You can get stuff done, and people know where you are coming from!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I do admire women who speak their mind, but it depends on how they do it. There’s many ways to make a point and those who choose to engage in constructive ways will always win in my book. I once worked for a “strong” woman who was rude and belittled others…especially those in subservient positions. She was the owner of her own business and very savvy in her own right. But, she was not kind to others and I’ve not found anyone who actually likes her as a person, although they respect her as a businesswoman on some level. Being kind is not the same as being nice. A strong woman can be kind and still take charge, speak her mind and get things done. “Nice” comes with the impression of unnecessarily acquiescing to others by compromising your position. Fast forward to the year that shall not be named…..there are many “strong” women in politics I do not care for simply because I view them as arrogant, rude, haughty and hypocritical. Show me intelligence and that you can make a point and be influential without resorting to name calling and blame shifting. Thoughtful as always. Hope your weekend is wonderful. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I have been called Opinionated more times than I can count, it used to bother me when I was younger, now I don’t care, I am not asking anyone to agree with me, just putting my point of view across.

    Bright blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Again?! Probably yet another issue that led to my divorce. I told him everything and he told me next to nothing. I would get passionate and want to talk a lot and sometimes my voice would rise. He would tell me I was getting too loud and give me a look that I recognized as his way of telling me to shut up before he blew a gasket. Even my mom, who is in no way a shrinking violet or low key speaker has told me I am rude (for telling the direct truth rather than being like her and just giving a long sort of true story instead). I’m sure there’s some value in the opinions and feelings of both of these important people in my life, but I think I’m too old (another benefit of aging) to try to change my manner of speaking now. And, also again, I think my daughters are much better at this than I am.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s