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  • Melissa Turkington

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, Heather. I think there is value in learning how to speak with authority without alienating people, but I also think that there is a ridiculous double standard that makes people particularly sensitive to women who speak their minds in any context. People can get very upset when you disrupt the status quo. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten this piece of advice from authority figures: "the best way to get your idea across is to make [insert person of power here] think it's their idea". I would love to see a poll on how many times women get this type of feedback versus men. It will be harder for you to be an outspoken woman in our society, but we need outspoken women.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Thank you for posting this. I've experienced the "you're too aggressive" comment in workplaces and it makes you want to shut up sometimes, just to avoid alienation from co-workers. The downside of that is you feel like you can't be yourself in the workplace. But aside from this, wow- your personal experience is core to who you are and I can't imagine how it has influenced the way you respond to people's "aggressive" comments to you. I imagine you sometimes feel the need to pause and think before responding?

    • Heather Charles

      I have a bad temper, so I tend to struggle with learning to shut up, and I naturally speak a non-standard dialect of English so I've had to learn to code switch, so yes, I do, but most of the time I say what I want and it tends to work out for me and I highly encourage others to do the same.