There are two voices having a conversation. One: loud, boisterous, polluting the room. The other: soft, barely heard over the raucous of the coffee shop. It took me awhile to hear the other voice, not sure if the one was monologuing or responding to someone. Neither has a problem hearing the other.
One, most likely was encouraged to be loud, to have a voice, while the other was discouraged.
Looking at the people talking, the loud one has a more open posture, more confident, more sure of themself. The other, closed posture, hunched and protective, far less sure, far less confident. One is asking questions, the other is answering. They appear to be coworkers, perhaps there is a hierarchy existent in the relationship, but that is hard to ascertain. They are definitely working conjointly on a project of some kind. Talking about patients, most likely in the medical field. These conditions persisted for the entirety of my half an hour stay in the coffee shop.
Can you guess which voice comes from which perceived binary gender? Don’t think too hard, you are most likely able to guess correctly due to the expectations you’ve come to have and see in your own experience.
The confident, boisterous one is more masculine presenting. The meek, quiet one: more feminine. There could be many explanations for why this is the case, however I encourage you to do your own observations and find if this holds true in other situations. Personally, I was not surprised by my observations. I’ve experienced it first hand, and if it weren’t for the military, I’m not sure I would have found my voice at all.
Despite discovering that I have a voice, and that I can use it, it’s been difficult for me to employ it. Recently, my therapist has been trying to coach me on self-advocation. It’s something that I find hard, and I think a lot of people who grew up feminine-presenting find it hard as well.
It’s evident in the kids that I nanny for, despite the progressive household that they live in. I feel like I’ve helped in some ways, but it is a battle against society. The best I can do is to be aware of what I can control, and help teach them that society is wrong. Everyone has a voice and should feel confident to use it. They matter, and the world needs them.
Take a look around public spaces. Observe. What do you see? Everyone has a reason for how they are, whether they are aware of it or not. Every reaction has a cause.
I, of course, took my observations and my own experience and melded them together into a potentiality. It may or may not be a true conclusion. However, as experiences add up, it can support one conclusion or another. We are all scientists if we want to be. So, observe, listen, consider, and keep an open mind to new perspectives.
Best of luck out there!