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October 9, 2020
‘Lean in and speak softly.’ This was told to me, by someone leaning in and speaking softly, as if it were an elixir, wisdom, the way to take charge. I had always seen from the footlights the hunkering of shoulders of powerful men gathered together, heads down talking quietly, shortly followed by booming laughter. My anxiety may have inclined me to think that all womanhood was the object on which all these jokes were built. But I know that inserting myself into this elite claque and softly whispering a joke of my own would not have them erupting with laughter.