Self-help: Tips to help women speak up


To soften the blow, Moran takes the approach that we, men and women, are all ‘The Guys’, rather than pit ourselves against each other. If we try to focus less on our difference of gender, and more on the fact that we are part of the 7 billion on this glorious, messy planet, maybe we might just get on better.

So, instead of competing with men, we women need to put ourselves out there. As the journalist Rosie Spinks demands, we need to “be mouthy” or as Hannah Horvath in the show Girls regularly recommends, we need to “speak our truth”.

Unfortunately, we still can’t even do that unconditionally. When the really brave women do, they get hammered for it by the tirade of criticism and even abuse on and offline. Clinton was often criticised for being stiff and lacking charm. Yet, as she said, she’s in a bind: “But I’ve learnt that I can’t be quite so passionate [as men] in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that’s a little bit scary to people. And I can’t yell too much. It comes across as ‘too loud’ or ‘too shrill’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that.’”

Not only should we be mouthy, but please, ladies, let’s stick up for one another! Now we don’t all have to get along, but if we have to criticise one another, let it be on the content of our character, and not because we forgot to brush our hair that morning, or our bra strap is showing, or we’ve gotten fat.

Another question that Moran asks to determine whether there is sexism is: “Are the men doing it too? Are they worried about it too?” What flummoxes me about the US election is that a man who liked to grope women, has not declared his taxes, insulted women and minorities, gone bankrupt and flip-flopped as much as Boris Johnson, won the presidential election against a woman with over 30 years of dedicated public service. And 53% of white women still voted for him! If Hillary was a man, would voters still have distrusted her so? I sense a bolt upright coming on…