- 2020-12-31 09:59:13
So caught up was I in my assigned role as ingénue that I was perfectly willing to entertain the possibility that another book on the same subject had come out simultaneously and I’d somehow missed it. He was already telling me about the very important book—with that smug look I know so well in a man holding forth, eyes fixed on the fuzzy far horizon of his own authority.
So, Mr. Very Important was going on smugly about this book I shouldhave known when Sallie interrupted him, to say, “That’s her book.” Or triedto interrupt him anyway.But he just continued on his way. She had to say, “That’s her book” threeor four times before he finally took it in. And then, as if in a nineteenthcentury novel, he went ashen. That I was indeed the author of the very important book it turned out he hadn’t read, just read about in the New York Times Book Review a few months earlier, so confused the neat categories into which his world was sorted that he was stunned speechless—for a moment, before he began holding forth again. Being women, we were politely out of earshot before we started laughing, and we’ve never really stopped.
Yes, people of both genders pop up at events to hold forth on irrelevant
things and conspiracy theories, but the out-and-out confrontational
confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men
explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what
they’re talking about. Some men.
More extreme versions of our situation exist in, for example, those
Middle Eastern countries where women’s testimony has no legal standing:
so that a woman can’t testify that she was raped without a male witness to
counter the male rapist. Which there rarely is.
ok.....how do i get rid of this stupid highlighter?
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