We were both right
Are you certain it is because of gender and not rather a question of rank, personality and authority? How would the situation have played out if you had a different opinion than your boss or the CEO of Oracle, for example? Would gender make a difference?
Good question that made me stop and think. It wasn't so much about it who I was communicating with - but about, as a woman, how we are socialized to communicate - and how I'm learning to STOP myself when falling into old patterns. So it wasn't about Jeff, it was about me. Does that make sense?
The way I see it, it is easy to jump to conclusions when analyzing yourself. It is difficult because of personal bias. For example, to determine whether some behavior is based on social influence, or perhaps rather a strategy to avoid confrontation to hide your own weaknesses.
Besides, and I digress, according to my life experience so far, men and women often have different personal preferences and a different point of view, naturally. I think it is not a good idea if men try to be tougher than women, or women tougher than men. Equality between gender, however, I think is not realistic, not even fair, not even within the same gender.
Anyway, when I read your response, I was tempted to mark it as abuse. I think the gender topic and this forum should perhaps better avoid showing real names, and to express your experience, it wasn't really necessary to mention a name. It can be thin line between analyzing or reporting a situation and not casting an unwanted shadow on someone.
No shade cast.
I disagreed with Helen on something and I think she doubted herself by force of habit, and discounted her own experience and authority.
Not sure about the names bit bit it doesn't seem like there were any negative bits here except Helen calling out herself.
I just thought it was perhaps better to avoid real names in such discussions -- you never know who's reading it, or whether someone else might be seeing bits or bites in the end.
With regards the names, it's not really 'abuse'.
By the sounds of it, Helen knows Jeff well enough to know that she's not 'talking behind his back' and he's even here involved in the group and the discussion, so unless Jeff has a complaint (which doesn't appear to be the case) then no abuse has taken place.
Of course, talking about people who aren't necessarily able to come here and 'defend their corner' would be another matter, but the group is open to everyone.
I would simply say, if you're going to name drop someone in a discussion such as this, at least ensure they are aware so they can take part if they wish.
Define abuse. Obviously I did not land on the abuse button and was merely pointing out a potential risk. I think the whole gender issue and exchange of related experiences is very perceptive for men and women and depends on personal preconditions and motivation. Bringing experiences or disputes to the table is fine, but like I said, I suggest to keep the real names of perpetrators out of the business.
A work place is usually a protected area adhering to laws and corporate policies. People have their strengths and weaknesses regardless of gender. If anyone believes they have a weakness that exists because of gender, or because some community or information tells them so, I suggest to analyze the situation very carefully -- always consider the source and interests. Personally I think the gender equality topic has a lot of populist and opportunistic aspects.