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“You Talk Too Much For a Girl”

Maansi Kalyan bites back after an unsavoury encounter with misogyny at Monday’s Calling

“You talk too much for a girl”

I was recently at Mondays Calling with my best friend, when one comment cast a bit of a downer on an otherwise brilliant night. Being the extrovert that I’ve always been, I thought I’d delve into a conversation that was going on behind me in the smokers’ area (where all the best conversations occur, undoubtedly) – the boy asked me what course I did, then undeniably made a pass at both me and my friend (being the classy gentleman that he was) which we both refused. I still wanted to have a chat, however, and decided to expand on our topic of conversation, at which point he shook his head and mumbled the above.

Excuse me? I talk too much? I’m so very sorry, you were fine with the length of my sentences before we turned down your advances. I went on to tell him that his statement was inappropriate and that I deserved an immediate apology and of course, as expected, what I instead received was another retort: “women should be silently working in the kitchen, not opening their mouths at clubs”.

It irritates me that a small percentage of men believe that women should be quiet, angelic, softly spoken individuals. As soon as we demonstrate any form of intelligence that belittles a man, we are suddenly referred to as ‘‘loud’’, as to not be possessing the ‘‘true’’ nature of a woman. My experience alone demonstrates the double standards that exist for women in today’s society, a society that prides itself on freedom of speech – until, of course, a woman appears to be elevating herself above the role she is given, because then it becomes necessary to ‘‘talk her down’’ before she starts showing someone up – before she gains a power that would challenge the patriarchal power that still runs rife in the 21st century.

It’s the elephant in the room, the elephant in every room: men and women are referred to as ‘equals’, but only superficially. As soon as a woman begins to take advantage of the equality that has so very rightly been bestowed upon her and fought for, it is mankind that pounces on her by asserting her true duty on earth – making a sandwich, apparently.

To those men who say that a woman ‘‘speaks too much’’ or ‘‘talks too loud’’…you are intimidated. You must address these feelings and stop restricting us, because women can say as much as they want to in this day and age. People question why we require feminism, whether it is even relevant nowadays – doesn’t my simple scenario demonstrate that the answer is a definite yes? Because, drunken ramblings as they were, the few words that were said in this infamous anecdote were just the tip of the iceberg. They made me feel like I was doing something wrong, they made me feel like my speech was worthless, and it infuriates me that every girl will feel like this at some point in their life.

Stopping the mouth of the female may have been deemed ‘‘acceptable’’ in the past, but things have drastically changed. It is time that the human psyche evolved to match today’s world, so that a woman’s challenge wouldn’t be a thing of fear, sparking an intense need to ground her.

Because it is criticism that stops us from advancing, from progressing – with a man’s opinion being a woman’s cage.

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