Latest Office Policy Sees Exam Leaders Tell Male Civil Servants They Need to Stop ‘Rehearsing’

You may or may not have accepted workplace sins like “mansplaining” or “microaggressions.”

But now there’s a new offense in the office politics minefield: “hepeating.”

The term was coined to describe the act of a man hijacking an idea previously suggested by a woman – and then getting full credit. And now officials have been warned not to.

‘Hepeating’ was coined to describe the act of a man hijacking an idea previously suggested by a woman – then getting full credit (file photo used)

The portmanteau of “it” and “repeat” appears to have been coined in 2017 by friends of American physics professor Nicole Gugliucci, whose tweet defining the term has gone viral.

Although the word has yet to make it into the Oxford English dictionary, staff working for exam regulator Ofqual have introduced it into an internal handbook.

The 28-page book, obtained by The Mail on Sunday under freedom of information legislation, describes ‘hepeating’ as ‘a situation in which a man repeats a woman’s comments or ideas and then is praised as if they were his own”.

But not everyone is impressed by the term.

Jeremy Black, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter, called it ‘an ugly, nonsensical and meaningless new coined word’, and added: ‘It should play no part in teaching advice’ .

Presenter Dame Joan Bakewell said: ‘I’m losing touch quickly. Soon I won’t be able to function as a reporter in anything other than The Oldie and school reunion magazines.

Although the word has yet to make it into the Oxford English dictionary, staff working for exams regulator Ofqual have introduced it into an internal handbook (stock photo used)

Although the word has yet to make it into the Oxford English dictionary, staff working for exams regulator Ofqual have introduced it into an internal handbook (stock photo used)

And award-winning author Dame Margaret Drabble added: ‘I had never heard of that word. It hasn’t really caught on, probably because it’s such an ugly word and not a very useful concept.

The new word joins a growing feminist glossary for male misbehavior alongside “mansplaining”: a man’s condescending way of explaining something to a woman, assuming she’s ignorant.

Other terms include ‘manologue’ (a man speaks at length while the women wait to contribute); ‘bropropriating’ (a slight variation of ‘hepeating’, where a man deliberately steals a woman’s idea); and ‘manterrupting’ (the unnecessary interruption of a woman).

Last night an Ofqual spokesperson said the glossary was a ‘resource and guidance for staff’ rather than a ‘normative document’, adding: ‘This glossary is drawn from public service guidance and ‘other public and private sector sources’.

KATHY LETTE: We use 350 more words than men. No wonder they ALWAYS copy us…

Is it time to take out the “men” of Mensa? With mansplaining, manspreading and now hepeating, guys definitely look like the lower sex right now.

“Hepeating” is where a man repeats a woman’s comments, jokes, or insights and is then praised for them as if they were his own.

Well, you can’t have all the work and no plagiarism, can you?

Kathy Lette (pictured) writes:

Kathy Lette (pictured) writes: ‘In my experience, report a woman has mentioned the same idea or made the same joke before and you’ll be accused of cultivating a whole vineyard of sour grapes’

Sorry, did you hear what I just said? Wait. Imagine it being said again, but in a booming male baritone. Now I have your attention, don’t I?

Every woman I know has experienced this exasperating phenomenon, especially in the office.

A woman will say something creative and intelligent in a meeting and the boss won’t react.

A split second later, a male colleague will express exactly the same sentiment and will be warmly applauded for his originality and genius. Maybe even promoted.

And not just in the meeting room. It happens constantly at dinner parties.

I was breaking bread with friends in North London when the hostess, a woman with a Dorothy Parker penchant for triple meaning, cracked a great joke at her end of the table. But I was the only guest laughing.

A minute later, her husband bellowed the same liner at the other end of the table, and the male diners burst into laughter.

Mrs. Lette says that

Ms Lette says ‘hepeating’ doesn’t just happen in the conference room, but also ‘at dinner parties, constantly’ (stock photo used)

They were almost hospitalized out of hilarity. His wildean-witted wife looked so crestfallen that I interrupted the cacophony of cackles to point out that our host’s wife had made the same quip moments earlier.

The host, a famous broadcaster, looked at me askance. “Everyone knows women can’t tell jokes,” he shrugged. “It’s because we’re marrying them off,” I replied.

At least his wife laughed. But I’ve been in social Siberia ever since.

In my experience, report that a woman has mentioned the same idea or made the same joke previously and you will be accused of growing a whole vineyard of sour grapes.

This is why the female population tends to feign nonchalance, while fuming silently.

But girls, be brave! Ofqual, the exams quango, has advised its staff that this is not appropriate behavior.

When I broke the news to my male colleagues, they started complaining about having their conversations monitored.

But the women I know will raise their metaphorical heels in rapturous relief.

Hepeating is perhaps the highest rated male trait on the female irkometer, but equally off-putting is a guy with chronic correctile dysfunction.

My worst example of this macho posture was at a book party. A literary lion bored Bordeaux with an anecdote, concluding that the whole situation had been “a master class in condescension”.

He then turned to me, looked down and explained, “Condescension – that means speaking with contempt.

Men get away with “rehearsing” because research shows that if a woman and a man start talking at the same time, the woman invariably backs off, out of politeness.

And of course, this kind of sexism is not only sewn into our psyche, but also into our vernacular.

A man who is good at his job is considered a “go-getter” – leadership material. A woman with the same qualities is too often dismissed as a “ball breaker”, an “ambitious bitch” or so mean that she needs to go to the vet to have her nails trimmed.

These same verbal double standards are heightened when it comes to sex. A man with a strong libido is praised as a Romeo, a lothario, a stallion muffin, a god of love.

A woman with the same sexual appetites is rejected as a slut, a tramp, a whore, a moll.

Many men still expect women to be virgins. “So tell me, a man will ask, am I the first man to make love to you? to which the woman replies, “Of course…I don’t know why you men keep asking the same silly question?”

Men may be physically stronger, but women are more verbally adept. Linguists claim that we use on average 350 more words than men in our daily vocabulary.

Which means that in the battle of the sexes, a “hepeater” is disarmed. All a woman has to do is tug on the lip with a deadly one-liner to mute him, knocked out with a whiplash. I call it the black belt in language-fu.

So girls, if you have something important, witty, or insightful to say, say it loud and clear. If a guy “repeats,” just reply, “I’m so glad you took my idea to heart… But there’s no need to be distracted.”

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