Opinions, Opinion: Justice Sonia Sotomayor Deals With 'Manterruptions, ' Too. Here's How We Can Stop Them - Cnn

Opinions, Opinion: Justice Sonia Sotomayor Deals With 'Manterruptions

Opinion: Justice Sonia Sotomayor deals with 'manterruptions,' too. Here's how we can stop them

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10/19/2021 10:00:00 PM

'If some of the most experienced and venerated women in the country can't hold court without being interrupted, just imagine how much of a problem 'manterruptions' are for the rest of us. Here's how we can stop them.' | Opinion by Kara Alaimo

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(CNN)At a diversity and inclusion conference last week, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that part of the reason the court had to change the format of its oral arguments was that female justices kept getting interrupted by men. Indeed, a 2017 study of three Supreme Court terms in which there were four women justices found that the three justices who were interrupted the most were all women.

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Kara Alaimo If some of the most experienced and venerated women in the country can't hold court without being interrupted, just imagine how much of a problem "manterruptions" are for the rest of us. In 2014, the empirical linguist Kieran Snyder found that, at least in the male-dominated tech industry, men interrupt people who are speaking twice as often as women. Men are also three times more likely to interrupt women than they are to interrupt other men. And a 2014 study at George Washington University found men interrupt women 33% more than they interrupt other men.But the phenomenon of so-called "manterrupting" is a symptom of a much larger problem: Women's expertise simply isn't valued as much as that of men. It's up to all of us to acknowledge this problem and tackle it -- yes, without interruption.In one of the more iconic pop culture"manterruptions," Kanye West famously snatched the microphone out Taylor Swift's hands during her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Research suggests most women have had similar experiences -- but, a lot of the time, they pass without notice. Facebook's alarming plan for news feedsRead MoreCarnegie Mellon University researcher Joanna Wolfe, who studies this phenomenon, says when she shows men video of themselves interrupting women, they're often surprised because they didn't realize they were doing it. So, the first thing we all have to do is pause and recognize that this problem exists. Then, people who lead meetings need to take steps to prevent it. For example, after former President Donald Trump repeatedly interrupted rival Joe Biden during the first presidential debate in the 2020 election, debate organizers later muted the microphones during the initial statements of candidates when it was not their turn to speak. The strategy would work well in other settings, too. And when meeting leaders or participants see a woman interrupted, they should intervene to ensure she has an opportunity to finish her thoughts.During the 2020 vice presidential debate, Kamala Harris famously had to insist, "Mr. Vice President, I am speaking" when she was interrupted by Mike Pence (he interrupted her 10 times during the debate -- twice as many times as she interrupted him). While I thought this was a strong line, research shows that when women stand up for themselves they're more likely to be perceived negatively than when men do, which is another reason why debate moderators and meeting organizers really need to take the lead on policing this kind of behavior.But that still wouldn't get to the root of the real reason why women are so often interrupted: Our contributions simply aren't valued as much as those of men. For example, research shows that when men speak more than their peers, they're perceived as more competent. When women speak more than their peers, they're seen as less competent. Confronting Kyrsten Sinema in a bathroom was outrageous -- and counterproductiveAnd in addition to interrupting or devaluing women when we try to speak, people just don't seek out our expertise as much as that of men. For example, one study of professionals in the health field found that when women use Twitter, they end up with half as many followers as men -- and far fewer re-tweets, as well. "Manterruptions" are one of the lesser-acknowledged forces that can help explain why women are so much less likely than men to make it to the top of the corporate or political ladder. Just 8% of chief executives today are female. And only 24 countries have female heads of state or government. At this rate, according to the United Nations, we won't see gender equality in the world's highest offices for another 130 years. Get our free weekly newsletterSign up for CNN Opinion's new newsletter.

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She should identify as a man. Problem solved. Sometimes you just got to shut a woman up… Women need to respond by telling the one, who interrupts with 'I codially request interrupter to kindly shut the F* up until I have finished. Y.Y.. THIS PIC THREAD ED Cc ASSASSINATE ILCC PIC

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