I saw pictures of myself in a group and cringed. There I was, curling into myself - my shoulders hunched, I bent low, tried to close in on my space. I didn’t want to read too much into that posture but the bites on my tongue meant I should.
Y’know, it is said well-behaved women seldom make history. No one notices how they’re so busy creating space for The Others. All those downtrodden souls that just need a woman’s understanding to flourish, brighten their souls, let their dreams soar. We should mentor that young intern, poor thing, such a shrinking violet. Apologise to the guy, he’s having a hard time. Buy him lunch. Hold her space. Let her win. Let it slide. Let it go.
Update - August 25, 2017
I was reading an excerpt from Ellen Pao's Reset where she speaks of something similar:
At another point, the investigator asked, in a “gotcha” tone, “Well, if they look down on women so much, if they block you from opportunities, they don’t include you at their events, why do they even keep you around in the first place?”
I hadn’t thought about it before. I replied slowly as the answer crystallized in my mind: If you had the opportunity to have workers who were overeducated, underpaid, and highly experienced, whom you could dump all the menial tasks you didn’t want to do on, whom you could get to clean up all the problems, and whom you could create a second class out of, wouldn’t you want them to stay?