One thing I’ve trained myself to notice more often in the past year is the loudness of a man’s voice when you (a woman) are debating or arguing with him. In most cases, when you disagree with him or he feels challenged, his voice gets louder and louder as he tries to reassert his opinions, sometimes interrupting or trying to talk over you.
And a lot of people, when I mention this, play the devil’s advocate and insist that all people do this naturally when trying to get their point across or prove themselves right. They tell me I’m too sensitive, that I’m just trying to demonize men for my “feminist agenda.”
But if you’re a woman (especially one without a deeper voice), you probably don’t subconsciously do this while arguing, especially with men. I know I don’t. Because when women get loud, especially in passioned, emotional ways, we are not more likely to be listened to. We are called hysterical or shrill, told to calm down, regarded as “bitches,” and our words are disregarded. I know that when I argue with men, I go out of my way to keep my voice even and calm even when my blood is boiling. Even when their voices escalate, even when I’ve been talked over for the fifth time. Because otherwise, I will be discredited for using the same tactics that are being used against me.
That’s without mentioning the fear so many women have of shouting, loud men. An overwhelming amount of violence women face is from men, and when they become loud or belligerent, we don’t know what to expect, and many of us fear the worst. Because to be weary is to be concerned with our survival.
A shouting man may not realize that he is forcing any woman with which he argues into a battle to subdue her own emotions while flaunting the systematic power he holds over her, but he is. And if you don’t think that’s a mechanism of the patriarchy and its silencing of women, you need to open your eyes.