LISTEN: “Doubtmouth” by For Esmé
Take a listen to the new single from multi-talented For Esmé, fronted by Martha Meredith. “Doubtmouth” is the lead track from her upcoming LP Righteous Woman out this May. The song was inspired by Martha’s professional experiences as a woman working alongside all male teams. Repeatedly she felt if she spoke the same way as the men she was labeled “too combative” and “too confident” even though those qualities earned her the positions in the first place. Feeling ultimately frustrated by the pervasiveness of the bias, she asked herself – how do we overcome it?
Mar’s full thoughts on the song:
“Over the past few years I’ve worked in four different all male teams for different jobs and I was exhausted from all the tiptoeing I felt I had to do be heard. I found repeatedly that if I spoke the same way the men on my team spoke, that I would be treated negatively for being ‘too confident’ or ‘too outspoken’ or ‘too combative’ — even though it was precisely these traits that got me those positions in the first place. I have experienced being labeled an ‘angry woman’ first hand, and I am a very level person. I dove into some psych studies and found the results disturbing. In a blind test, when men and women promote the exact same opinion assertively to a group (word for word), subjects overwhelmingly shift their opinions to agree with the man when he speaks, and are more likely to push against and oppose the same view if it comes from a woman. It was a relief to discover this wasn’t in my head, but it was also incredibly frustrating — if the bias runs that deep in both men and women, how do we overcome it?”