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Anne Kevlin

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Lesson 25

Gaslighting at Work


“I had never before asked anyone to give me a raise, but I was underpaid at my job as an attorney for a small insurance company. Not yet 30, I had three solid years of experience and had carried more than my weight, with good results. My boss was nice enough. I entered his office and made my case: I knew I had performed, and I knew that the going rate was $10,000 above my salary. What could be done to get me where I deserved to be?

My boss shook his head. “Anne, why is it that women are targeted by advertisers so much? Don’t you find it offensive that young women feel the need to spend so much more money than men because of the way they are marketed to?” I probably looked as confused as I felt. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“I just don’t think it is right that women feel like they have to shop so much that they go into debt,” he said. “It must be so hard to be a woman in this society to feel compelled to spend, spend, spend.” I was bewildered. My boss had deflected a reasonable request for a raise by suggesting that I spent too much money.”


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“Just say ‘no’ to the naysayers. They will not see the vision you see, and…It’s your responsibility to live that vision and believe in it.” from Overcoming the Obstacle of Naysayers, by Wendi Weiner


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