I am the only woman on my team (there are 7 of us). Once, we were all in a meeting and our boss (G) was unhappy about a feature we were working on. G went around the room and gave us what he thought was “feedback” on our work, a few of the other men replied and it felt like they were having a discussion. When G came to me, any time I replied to something he said, he took it as a personal attack, like I was trying to undermine him. He got louder and louder and angrier and angrier until it was literally yelling at me in front of my peers. I tried to remain calm, but I was really upset and had to try not to cry while I was being berated.
Afterwards, three of the men that were in the meeting came up to me and asked if I was okay because they were uncomfortable with what they saw. They also agreed with me, and not G, on the approach that we should take with the feature.
Not a single one had said anything at the time. I thought I was alone and that my work was genuinely bad. If someone had spoken up in the meeting, it would have saved me a lot of heartache and stress.
Men: it’s not useful to know that you agreed with me after the fact, or that you were uncomfortable. Hell, I was uncomfortable because I was being yelled at. What I needed in that meeting were allies. Speak up. Be better. Also, don’t yell at your colleagues. Go to therapy or something.