No one likes being interrupted. It’s disrespectful, and is a common occurrence in speeches and incidents related to gender inequality. Women often experience being cut off or out of a conversation by a man. It happens day to day in various situations. It happens on the news, at home, at work, and even during important presidential debates.
In fact, Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton an astonishing 51 times in just over an hour. In comparison, Clinton interrupted Trump 17 times.
The ad agency, BETC Sao Paulo is tired women constantly being interrupted, and decided to do something about it. They have created an app called “.” It is designed to gather worldwide data about the frequency of women being interrupted by men.
They want to bring attention to the issue and educate men about the way in which they speak to the women in their lives.
Users who download the app first record their voice speaking without any interruptions. After doing this, they record conversations that they have with men, through the microphone on their phone, which tracks interruptions by male voices.
The number of interruptions are tracked by day, week, month, and year, similar to the fitness tracker function built into the iPhone.
The conversations are not kept and only serve as data points that show interruptions after the recording is turned off. This data can be used to change the perspective of many who might not even notice the problem going on, common with men. It is not that they usually interrupt purposely or with malintent, but that we as a society have been conditioned to not even notice when a woman is interrupted and favor hearing a man give direction or ideas.
This app will be a great a tool to bring attention to this problem and start a conversation on how to fix it.
Since this is a universal problem, the creators of the app hope to gather data points from women all around the world to see and compare the frequency of male interruptions across different continents.
Gal Barradas, BETC Sao Paulo founder and co-CEO told Adweek, “At first glance, it may seem like a small problem, but it reflects deeper issues of gender inequality at work and in society. The app is a way of showing that in fact the interruption is real and alarming.”
This is not the first time that this issue has been acknowledged. There are many studies that present the variety of ways women get interrupted by men in various fields. For example, there was a study conducted from Brigham Young and Princeton Universities that found men tend to dominate 75% of the conversation during conferences.
Furthermore, a writer for Slate Magazine found that men in the tech industry interrupt women at twice the rate in which women interrupt men. An article in the Harvard Crimson student newspaper found that women’s voices were significantly underrepresented in law classes.
So what may appear to be a miniscule problem actually snowballs to result in a lot of damage. This app can help women more powerfully defend themselves, even so far as having data, when it comes to being interrupted and disrespected.
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