It’s an experience many women I know have had repeatedly. In my professional life, especially, it’s been the cause of much teeth gnashing. (Less assertive men know the experience as well.) “It happens with jokes too,” said a friend of mine. “You give a witty response; nobody hears it. Two minutes later a man/more glamorous person cracks the same response, gets a big laugh from all present. Should we just talk louder?”
I don’t know if talking louder helps, because of course then we’re dismissed as “shrill” or some other variety of “straw-feminist” cliché.
So there’s got to be a word for it—but what? My pal, writer Maura McHugh, suggested “Manpproval? Manappropriation?” While I like that analogue to mansplaining, I think we need something more metaphorical that gets at the unfairness we instantly feel at having our thunder stolen. I’m trying to think of a film that captures this in as instantly recognizable a way as “gaslighting” (from Gaslight), but I can’t think of the right single-word title.
What do you think? Have you experienced this phenomenon? What do you call it?