The Best Way To Respond To Hepeating When You Need To Shut Things Down

by Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro

It seems like women and gender nonconforming folks are constantly coining terms to describe sexist behavior they deal with in the workplace and day-to-day life from men. Mansplaining has been a popular term used by many people use to describe when men condescendingly explain your experiences back to you, but now, the internet is in a tizzy over a new word: hepeated. Nicole Gugliucci, a social advocate and professor, first explained the term on Twitter, saying it's “for when a woman suggests an idea and it's ignored, but then a guy says same thing and everyone loves it.” Her original tweet, published on Sept. 22, has been retweeted over 67,000 times — clearly, this is something plenty of women relate to.

Though women and feminists alike now have a new word they can use to describe this sexist AF behavior, the experience itself is all too common. Men have been stealing and taking credit for women’s ideas since the literal Stone Age, and it seems unlikely things will change anytime soon. Men historically have benefited (financially, personally, and career wise) from claiming feats accomplished by women. So, how, in these situations, can you make sure you receive credit where credit is due, or shut it down? This is how you can respond to hepeating when you need to stop it in its tracks.

Amplify women in your workplace to make sure they're being heard

Amplification is a strategy that was used by Barack Obama's female staffers in the White House that combatted "hepeating" long before it was even a thing. The Washington Post reports, "When a [female White House staffer] made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own." Simply put, make sure you are actively supporting fellow women and non-binary peers when they speak.

Make "hepeated" a regular part of your vocabulary

Language is powerful and can be empowering, so why not use "hepeated" and make it part of you regular vocabulary? Share the word with your fellow female and non-binary coworkers, so if and when a man starts hepeating, you can give feedback (as an individual or group) in the moment. Create a culture in your office where the term isn't only recognized, but truly understood.

Join the Feminist Fight Club.

Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace is an acclaimed book by Jessica Barnett that helps women combat workplace sexism. Even if you don't have time to read the full book, check out Feminist Fight Club's online newsletter. The Manterrupter Edition suggests women "...establish a no interrupting rule. Think of it like that elementary school trick of passing around a 'talking stick.'" Many of Feminist Fight Club's suggestions could keep you from not only being hepeated, but will also prevent men from interrupting and mansplaining.

Keep talking about workplace gender discrimination

Discrimination, harassment, the pay gap, and other disparities among women and non-binary people in the workplace are as rampant as ever. But luckily, women are speaking out about these issues more than ever, too. At a recent panel discussion, Hilary Gosher, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners, said, "People aren’t going to change unless they’re forced to change," referring to the board of Uber's inaction when sexual discrimination within the company surfaced. Gosher's right: You can only start to change sexist workplace behavior the more often you call it out.

Hopefully as "hepeated" gains popularity, more people will begin to recognize the term in action, and will be able to shut it down even before it begins. Women and non-binary people deserve equality in the workplaces, so let's start with the basics: respect them and their intellectual property.