On Being Interrupted
Duration (in minutes): 4
Difficulty: Medium (college/community)
Category: solo voice(s) with solo instruments
Instruments: mezzo soprano
Publisher: Rebekah Driscoll Music
Description: For decades, studies have documented that men interrupt women who are speaking, particularly in the workplace, with much higher frequency than they interrupt other men (or than women interrupt anyone).* There are many theories as to why this may be and how to remedy it, but the incidence of interruption does not seem to have changed much over the years. This piece lists some of the tactics “experts” recommend women use to avoid being interrupted.
Additional strategies include teaming up with other women (and sometimes male allies) to point out when a colleague is interrupted and ask that she be allowed to finish her thought. But this is obviously not feasible in situations involving one woman among a group of men who do not acknowledge any bias—unfortunately still a common circumstance in 2019.
* This phenomenon likely applies to other marginalized people as well, but the research I’ve seen focused on gender in binary terms.
Vocal range: A♭3–D5.