‘We must act.’
‘Send a woman in to us to speak on their behalf and we will listen to what the women have to say.’
An intelligent woman is found, an educated woman. A pretty woman. They all study her appearance, some discreetly, others not.
The woman speaks. For a long time.
It seems to go on and on. The boss frowns and looks around at the others. He feels uncomfortable, off-centre. He takes a sip of water.
Is he hearing her correctly?
He looks around at his colleagues and sees frowns, looks of concerns, some smirks on the faces of his colleagues.
Their reactions don’t make him feel any better; he is flummoxed by her.
When the woman stops talking, they all turn to him creating a pregnant silence. He clears his throat, thanks the woman for her time, and she leaves.
He looks around at everybody.
‘Did any of you understand that?’
They all shake their heads, mumbling and grumbling among themselves and he can feel their relief that nobody else has understood a word she has said. He is hugely relieved too… it wasn’t just him, which means he hasn’t lost his touch.
‘Why did you send in a woman who can’t speak our national language?’
‘We did, boss. She was speaking our national language, but she was speaking the woman’s version.’
They ponder this.
‘That explains it… I understood the individual words but not the way they were put together. And her tone…’
He notices others shudder.
‘It was unusual.’
‘Shrill.’ He hears someone else mutter.
‘Women should be softer. It isn’t constructive to use such atone.’ another says.
‘A bit of a know-it-all,’ another says.
‘Yes, boss,” Number One chimes in, taking notes.
‘So this is how women speak?’ the boss asks.
‘Yes, boss. We believe it’s a different dialect.’
‘And women of our country wish us to speak like this?’
‘There are two things, boss. The women of this country wish you to understand their dialect, and they also wish women who speak this dialect to join the government so that they can use their own voices.’
‘Why don’t we just get rid of men altogether?’ one man explodes.
‘Settle down now. Women politicians to represent women citizens?’
The boss ponders this. He can see the merits, it would be away of delegating this extra load of unexpected issues to those who are raising them. But what if they made decisions that the men didn’t agree with, or even worse, didn’t understand.
Did you hear...
The Woman Who Ordered The Seabass Special? Click here to listen!
The Woman Who Grew Wings? Click here to listen!
The Woman Who Was Swallowed Up By The Floor? Click here to listen!
The Woman Who Was Fed By A Duck? Click here to listen!
Look out for more Audiograms from award-winning comic and actress Aisling Bea as well as Lara Sawalha, actress known for her work on The Hurt Locker and Transformers and Invictus actress Adjoa Andoh.