Starting from the French Revolution, women have continued to agitate for and organise themselves for emancipation in the society. Though they have come a long way in terms of rights, they still struggle at times to get heard. Women in the White House too, are no different in this case. For starters, the number of women in the White House is definitely less than the number of men. Making themselves heard is definitely difficult.
If looked at the larger picture, women’s ideas across professional and personal sectors are not paid much heed to, because they are interrupted, surprisingly not just by men but by people of both genders.
But the women in the White House devised a technique to make such interruptions less frequent, so that they get the time and space to voice their concerns. According to what a former White House staff said to the Washington Post, women used a rather simple rhetorical technique to avoid being interrupted and called it “amplification”. Yes, so the next time a woman made a valid point, another woman would second her opinion and repeat it, accrediting it to the originator. Thus making it difficult for others to sideline the idea or even conveniently forget about it.
Reportedly, the interruption technique is not something new according to decades of research and has come to acquire a new word for it — manterrupting — the word pertaining to the subtle patriarchal tendencies that these interruptions would signify.
“We just started doing it, and made a purpose of doing it,” said the former White House employee because “it was an everyday thing.” She said their technique worked out so well, that president Obama noticed and began calling on women more often.
History has seen how change comes into form when the agonised come together and make a united effort. And this would work not just in the White House but on any platform where women’s voices are suppressed.