“You can’t complain when other people have it worse” is a lie that people in power tell because it sets people in bad circumstances up in a competition. It means when we share our stories, we are always quietly fighting for the prize of being the worst off, and getting a tiny scrap of sympathy.
That keeps us from getting together and asking, why are our circumstances so bad and how can we make them better? It means only one person gets to complain and that person does it alone. As opposed to people working in concert to change their lives, to give each other strength and advice and encouragement."
After reading about gender-bias and conversation dominance in the classroom, I asked for a peer to observe a physics class I was teaching and keep track of the discussion time I was giving to various students along with their race and gender. In this exercise, I knew I was being observed and I was trying to be extra careful to equally represent all students―but I STILL gave a disproportionate amount of discussion time to the white male students in my classroom (controlling for the overall distribution of genders and races in the class). I was shocked. It felt like I was giving a disproportionate amount of time to my white female and non-white students.
Even when I was explicitly trying, I still failed to have the discussion participants fairly represent the population of the students in my classroom.
This is a well-studied phenomena and it’s called listener bias. We are socialized to think women talk more than they actually do. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are ‘hogging the floor’ even when men are dominating."
Stop interrupting me: gender, conversation dominance and listener bias, by Jessica Kirkpatrick from Women In Astronomy
Implicit bias is a thing, just like privilege. Calling it out isn’t meant to shame anyone, but to alert us to step it up and improve ourselves so everyone can have a voice. Be conscious of what you and others are saying, and know when not to speak.
Important for ALL of us to consider.