I host two podcasts for people who stutter to share their stories. The Women Who Stutter: Our Stories is going strong more than two years in. And the occasional series for men who stutter, He Stutters: She Asks Him, is more than a year old.
Here’s an interesting trend happening with the women’s stories. About 8 women, months after their episode has been published, have contacted me and asked if their conversation could be removed. That is a little complex, as they are numbered, archived and on iTunes.
Compromises were reached and the last names of some of the women were removed. Some names were changed entirely.
People are discovering that upon a Google search, their names are popping up associated with stuttering. If they are doing a job search, they don’t want to be linked to anything relating to stuttering. They are afraid that potential employers will draw conclusions that may result in adverse employment decisions.
Several women came right out and told me that is the reason they wanted to remain anonymous and not be outed on Google.
As open as we are about stuttering, and the more progressive we get about advocacy and raising awareness, some things don’t change.
We still fear being exposed and still believe that being found to be a stutterer will result in negative social punishment. Including missed job opportunities or promotions.
And it appears to be more of a women’s issue. Hmmmm . . . . . .