When astronomer Nicole Gugliucci tweeted last week about “hepeating,” a word a friend of hers had coined to refer to the phenomenon wherein a woman suggesting an idea is ignored, while a man repeating the same idea is praised, many women, non-binary folks, and other people living on the planet who aren’t white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men knowingly nodded and murmured, “Ah, yes; I, too, am familiar with the signs you’re being hepeated.” For although the word was new, the idea was not — and finally… finally… many of us had away to describe something we’d experienced time and time again.
Gugliucci first posted her tweet on Sept. 22, and in the days since then, it’s gone viral in the most magnificent of ways. “My friends coined a word: hepeated,” she wrote. “For when a woman suggests an idea and it's ignored, but then a guy says same thing and everyone loves it.” She continued in a second tweet, “Usage: ‘Ugh, I got hepeated in that meeting again.’ Or, ‘He totally hepeated me!’”
On the surface, it seems like there’s only one obvious, tell-tale sign that you’ve been hepeated: You said something; it was ignored; a dude said the exact same thing you did; and then, suddenly, everyone was absolutely in love with the idea, despite the fact that they’d utterly rejected it not two minutes ago when you first put it on the table. However, this is not the only sign that hepeating has occurred — and it’s actually important to brush up on all the other indications of it having reared its sexist head as well. Sometimes hepeating is a little more subtle; indeed, sometimes people don’t even know it’s actually going on. As Gugliucci later tweeted, “So many folks deny that this happens. And yet so much evidence and research shows it happens to women AND black and brown men and women.”
Twitter users across the internet chimed chimed in with other applications and examples of hepeating in action, illustrating as they did the many signs of hepetition. Here are nine of them — which, although far from comprehensive, are all part of the bigger picture.