Why Aren’t Women Listened To?

Misheard, or Not Heard?

I had a Zoom meeting this week that I was initially very excited about—it was to talk about my book. I have no interest in publicly shaming the guy I had a meeting with, but I do have an interest in talking about how I was not listened to and then used in advertisements for something I don’t believe in.  
 
Our meeting was recorded—and transcribed with an AI service. I was uncomfortable with both, but, did not speak up (this is common when women are in situations where they feel they lack authority). I still, initially, thought the Zoom went well.

The next day I woke up to tagged videos of me online. It was clear not a word I said had been heard. My words were taken out of context—one example was a video clip that was truncated immediately before my response, where I disagreed with what was being said. Because my response was cut off, it looked like I was agreeing with the person on this topic!
 
This person implied I wanted to take an easier path with something important to me. Anyone who knows me knows I do not take the easy path and never have—whether it’s getting funded for a startup against all odds, or going abroad for school, or moving to San Francisco not knowing anyone…I have never chosen the easy path.
 
Why on earth would I start now? I live my life like a Robert Frost poem—how could this person get it so wrong? How could they mishear everything I said, including me talking about the driving force behind why we were talking in the first place?
 

Erasing a Woman’s Voice

Another tagged post talked about how I was able to eradicate my perimenopause issues naturally and avoid a surgery. I had 2 major surgeries. My surgeries were the catalyst for me writing my book…and the reason we were having this Zoom in the first place.
 
I most likely would have avoided surgery, and possibly prevented the issues I had in the first place, had I not been gaslit by doctors for 7 years. Instead, I was told to “wait it out” and my issues got so bad I required surgical intervention.
 
However, I was able to avoid a hysterectomy. I kept my uterus. But I spent almost 9 months in and out of healthcare offices, having two major surgeries under general anesthesia.
 
I spent at least 20 minutes talking about this history on the Zoom.
 
But somehow, after clearly communicating my story….it was completely misheard?
 
Not only was I misheard, but my words taken out of context for this person’s agenda. I was used to help bolster a philosophy of HIS that is completely against my beliefs.
 
What the heck? Ignored for talking about being gaslit?

woman who has been ignored and dismissed standing looking at the ocean

Gaslit in Healthcare And Life

Women are gaslit in healthcare—this we know. A 2022 survey revealed that 71% of women had doctors who told them their symptoms were imagined. I was told I had nothing wrong with me, despite one fibroid trying to birth itself and causing a hemorrhage. It was only after an ultrasound—in which there was ample, photographic proof of an issue—that I was listened to by my doctors.
 
One reason women are not listened to in the doctor’s office may be a lack of information about women’s health, symptoms, and how to address them.
 
After all, it wasn’t until 1993 that women had to be included in clinical trials! Think about that—all these drugs prescribed to ladies, including birth control, that weren’t mandated to be tested on actual female bodies. Doctors are taught about menopause for less than eight hours in medical school.

women are gaslit in healthcare
Gaslit for Pain

Women receive 25% fewer painkillers in emergency rooms and hospitals compared to men.

Gaslit for Cancer

Women are diagnosed with cancer 4 years later than men (and yes that directly impacts survival rates!).

Gaslit in the ER

 One study  found women with severe stomach pain waited almost 33% longer than men with the same symptoms at the emergency room.

please share your stories!

Where Are The Studies On Women Not Listened To At Work? (Send Them My Way!)

I could write a book about not being listened to in healthcare. (haha!)
 
But to have it happen on a Zoom call?
For a work thing?
With someone I know through friends?
 
So…gaslighting is one thing, but what’s the deal with not being listened to in a work environment?
 
I Googled, and asked Bard, delved through Harvard Business Review articles to find studies—actual studies-on what every woman I know has experienced—being ignored, misheard, or dismissed in a work environment.
 
I couldn’t find much research??? The irony?!
 
Some of the studies I reviewed were more about how to get promoted at work, or how to step into leadership positions. But—and please send me links to any YOU find my readers—I was at a loss to find studies with statistics on not being listened to, or misheard.

The most useful place I went to was Reddit, where thousands of women have complaints like mine.

Shamed For Speaking Up

I asked the person to untag me from the clips, and to immediately rectify what was misconstrued or flat-out untrue.  
 
The posts were eventually taken down and I eventually received an apology, but… his first responses back were objecting to my objecting! It was implied that I was overreacting.
 
Was I overreacting to a flat out untruth about my surgeries? Or a truncated video clip that implied I believed in something I didn’t?  
 
Good old hysteria—another man implying a woman is “hysterical” when she speaks up or disagrees with him.
 
I wish I could say this was the first time something like this has happened—but it’s been common in my career and life. I had a situation just the week before where a guy online was saying people needed MBAs to run successful businesses and do strategic marketing. I wrote a response that I had several successful businesses, and was paid to be a strategic marketer, without having an MBA. He argued back with me and called me hysterical. I deleted my comment and blocked him, because I was afraid of what he’d start saying online.

We are silenced.
I have been silenced. 
I’m just now calling it out.
 
So—anyone reading this blog, please chime in and let me know about your experiences not being heard. Have you been ignored at work? In the doctor’s office? Have your words been taken out of context?
 
Please share your experience with being gaslit or ignored. We’ve all had them and things won’t change if we are silent. There is strength in numbers!
 
 

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