Stop Mansplaining #FeministMondays

 

Truth is, I didn’t know this word mansplain existed until late last year. But a quick search of its meaning and I realised I had experienced it quite a number of times. It wasn’t something unknown. I knew what it meant even though I didn’t know there was a word to describe it. And I say it’s time to stop mansplaining.

 

Did you know about #mansplaining? #FeministMondays Click To Tweet

 

Well, if you are a woman, I’m sure you do. Even if you hadn’t heard the word before, I’m sure you must have endured it in varying degrees at some point or the other in your life.

 

“Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.”

― Rebecca Solnit

 

A quick google search will tell you that mansplain means (of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

 

Typical, isn’t it? Typical to assume that men know better and women don’t. Typical to assume that women always need help and handholding.

 

How many times has a man thought he is better equipped to express what you want to convey? How many times has a man interrupted you even when you hadn’t finished saying what you started out to say?

 

I have seen it happen countless times in meetings and on calls. I have seen it happen to far too many women than I would have liked. I have seen it happen to me too. I have experienced it myself and to be honest with you, it felt like an insult each time.

 

But I’m the kind who doesn’t take kindly to be interrupted, to being ‘helped’ as some men would like to put it. And I’ve always made it perfectly clear as well. In the official lingo of course that makes me ‘bossy’ and ‘sensitive’. Surprisingly, it doesn’t occur to people that I, like other men at my level, know what I want to say, have to say and should say. But that hardly deters those misogynistically inclined, does it?

 

Why does every other man out there feel they can articulate a woman’s views better than the woman herself?

 

Needless to say, that needs to change.

 

Men in boardrooms and the corporate circles find it easy to trample on a woman’s confidence rather than that of one of their own. It has been this way for ages. As it is a woman has to win a lot of battles to climb up the corporate ladder and be taken seriously because let’s face it it’s easy for the powers that be to ignore women while deciding who’d make the cut. So, when she finally makes it to that room where there are hardly any women, imagine what happens to her confidence when a man decides to explain what she meant to say because apparently, she can’t. That’s just mansplaining 101 for you, make the woman look incompetent and unsure in front of everyone else. That’s mansplaining at the worst. Even Justin Trudeau, the poster boy for gender parity seems to be one to mansplain!

 

Board and meeting rooms across the world are full of men who think they know a woman’s portfolio better than the woman herself. The moment a man says ‘let me explain’ interrupting a woman who might actually be the subject matter expert, he must be asked to stop and wait for his turn to speak.

 

Time to stop #mansplaining! Click To Tweet

 

Often women chose to let this kind of overstepping pass to avoid clashes. But I say, we should let these men know that we are perfectly capable of speaking our mind. We should make it clear that we don’t need their handholding.

 

Of course, the moment a woman does that she is branded difficult to work with. Often, warned of consequences as well. But I say stand your ground and stand tall. These are just tactics to reign you in and keep the balance of power skewed.

 

Time to stop mansplaining!

 

It’s important to fight the mansplaining rampant in workplaces across the world. It encroaches upon our space to be who we are at work. It takes away from our credibility and reliability, projecting us as a bunch who need men to move forward. And I don’t need to remind you what utter rubbish that is. Sometimes I think men are intrinsically conditioned to behave this way. It’s a subconscious switch that goes off and they can’t help it. Because wouldn’t the society just love it if men continue being men, authoritative and so sure of themselves while the women meek and weak!

 

 

The presumption that a woman needs help is what irks me the most. We don’t need unsolicited help. Thanks but no thanks.

 

 

Tell me, what do you think?

 

Time to STOP MANSPLAINING

 

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This post is part of the #FeministMondays series (previously called #IAmAFeminist series) on the blog. Inspired by a TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists, I intend to talk about the need for feminism through my posts, posts on my experience and observation as a female. I intend to talk about issues concerning women.

Join me and let’s work towards a world of gender parity. Remember, each voice counts. Tell me your story.

 

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Linking to #mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville

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21 thoughts on “Stop Mansplaining #FeministMondays

  1. Surely not the most ideal situation to be in, Naba. I can understand the annoyance when you are told to do something which you know perfectly well how to do. Can be frustrating.

    Slowly, though, I think the shift is happening. With more women speaking up and asserting themselves, men are beginning to realise that it’s a level playing field. Hopefully, as the years roll by equality will be a reality and mansplaining a thing of the past. Well, we can hope.

  2. Oh God, never knew until now such a term existed for a very commonly occurring situation. Its one of the most annoying things when men often feel women are sort of incapable of having any opinion/ vies. Agree it impacts her confidence and she often tends to doubt or question herself if she indeed is doing the right thing… Lets learn to ignore it all, and get going. hopefully it would send the right message across.

  3. Yes, mansplaining is annoying. I think sometimes it is because of the superiority that certain men feel they have over all subjects. I have seen certain women indulge in this behaviour too though on a lower scale. I wish there was more empathy towards women. With women being more aware, I think that men will eventually become more sensitive and careful in what they say.

  4. Thanks for the word. I have faced the situation so many times but never knew it had a name. Starting from the autowallah to my boss, all of them try to explain things to me as if I am some moron, only because I am a woman. This is indeed a great post to start the day with. Thanks.

  5. Oh I don’t take it easy when someone tries to explain my stuff to me. Just an hour ago I retweeted a tweet on mansplaining where a guy is explaining to a girl, the number of times she goes through her periods in a year. I had to laugh!
    I loved the quote and it is spot on. Some do end up making women in corporate world feel like this world is not theirs. The only way through this is to arm ourselves with knowledge and voice our opinion with confidence. Confidence can be very intimidating – be it a guy or a girl.

  6. I had never heard this term, but this totally refers to my brothers and how I was tarted all my life, especially by one of them! Thanks for explaining this and also for hopefully helping stamp it out! Us women need to stand up for one another so much more. Thank you for linking up with me #mg

  7. I was not aware of the word Mansplain but I have known it in its meaning. It emanates from the superiority complex of the men. The only way to counter it as a woman to keep speaking up for herself. Not only in the corporate sector, it is also widely prevalent in the close confines of homes where the husband acts from a similar mindset and subtly belittles the wife.

  8. Urgh, hate being mansplained too, although sometimes I do think it’s unintentional in as much as some people speak to all people in that way, and sometimes they genuinely think they are being helpful. I try and cut that off by asking a very technical question which very often they can’t answer #mg

  9. I have heard this word but fortunately, never experienced it. Maybe because I’m a teacher, there are many more woman although senior management are men! #mg

  10. It is disgusting to say the least and occurs everywhere I see. It is sad that in our Indian society it is prevalent so widely and is now been entrenched into the mindset of people that will take a lifetime to alter, if at all. Changing mindsets is the biggest challenge we face today be it at the corporate level or in the closed confines of our homes. Women continue to bear the brunt everywhere.

  11. It’s really annoying when you see women with years of experience and knowledge being talked down too by men with far less of both!

  12. I was trying to think when if ever I have been mansplained; surprisingly I couldnt recall. I have had a few trying moments with a few male vendors who assumed that I was a girl and therefore helpless but it took me all of 30 secs to put a stop to it with them. My job is such that I deal with labour/carpenters etc – all with huge male egos and cannot tolerate a woman speaking down to them – but I have been able to hold my own and your post made me reflect on it and feel proud.
    Infact a very dear male colleague had given me the moniker “Hunterwali” after he watched me in action on a work site.
    I have had an elderly female vendor tell me how impressed she was with my handling of men around me; especially since I am a woman.
    Your post made me stop and think of all those moments and I cant tell you how good I am feeling right now!
    Thank you for this post Naba and I hope more women take a leaf out of Miranda’s book and hold up their hand to stop the man from interrupting them!!

  13. I’m with you!!! I was Chair of a Board of am education company, and the men did this all the time. Or they’d ignore what I was saying, and then five minutes later one of them would suggest it to great acclaim. Aaargh!

  14. Though I have heard of Mansplaining, I haven’t experienced it as I haven’t been working for a decade now. I can surely understand how annoying it would be if I happen to be at the receiving end. Coming to think of it, sometimes I do experience mansplaining when people expect my husband to answer for me. When among a certain crowd, we let that happen too. But it shouldn’t be. Next time I will keep an eye on the situation. The things that happen to undermine a woman’s ability every day is ridiculous, isn’t it?

  15. I had heard this word before but didn’t know what it meant. Wow! I’m like you. I hate being interrupted by anyone so I don’t let it happen but I had no idea that was what mansplaining was. I just didn’t like being rudely interrupted. Now that I know though, I’ll be more aware when it happens.

  16. I had heard this word before but didn’t know what it meant. Wow! I’m like you. I hate being interrupted by anyone so I don’t let it happen but I had no idea that was what mansplaining was. I just didn’t like being rudely interrupted. Now that I know though, I’ll be more aware when it happens. #mg My connection is being dumb or the internet is so this comment might be a duplicate. Sorry:(

  17. Oh yes, this is very real and needs to be tamped out! It is very degrading and insulting when you are the person being mansplained too… really great post! #mg

  18. Mansplaining is annoying as hell. I give it back properly when I face this. Some men actually have had the audacity to ask me “How can you talk like that as a woman?”. I once replied “When a man talks shit like this, women have to talk sense like that”. And I’m not sorry at all for that.

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