Silence and Friendship

We’re all expected to be quiet.

That’s the trade-off we make for careers.

We know that the moment we speak out, we trade our futures for the chance of torpedoing our careers.

Every time we publicly mention the things that happen to us, we cut the number of people willing to hire us by another slice. We wonder about the moment when a future employer googles us, finds out we’re a “troublemaker” and doesn’t give us the interview. Or we envision the nicely worded letter that tells us that we’re not really a good fit for the office “culture”.

We stay silent while our bosses touch our legs and our back. While they make jokes they would never make in front of their mothers. While the other bosses shrug and brush it away.

And we know that the moment we speak up, we stand a good chance of losing everything we’ve ever fought for professionally, socially, financially.

Even worse, the men who have the ability to speak up… often don’t. We have to remain silent because the man who refuses to stop kissing us at greeting could fire us if we complain. The other men and women on his level remain silent because… well, I don’t really know. But they do.

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