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Thread: Mansplaining

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Mansplaining

    I understand the principal that mansplaining is when a man interrupts or somehow condescendingly provides an explanation to a woman. Have you ever been accused of mansplaining? Have you ever been on the receiving end?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    Well I don't think you quite have that right. You see, it's not just unwanted and condescending, it's also necessary to correct the extreme ignorance of the fairer sex.

    I hope that clears things up.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    I have an ex-boyfriend that was TERRIBLE about this. We would be watching a movie together that neither of us had seen, and he would feel it necessary to explain to me what was happening every time there was a significant plot twist. It drove me crazy.

    There were other things that were similar, but that's the one that I think of initially. I don't know that I really considered it mansplaining at the time, but it certainly seems like it falls into that category. Especially with a lot of the other condescending things he would say.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I understand the principal that mansplaining is when a man interrupts or somehow condescendingly provides an explanation to a woman. Have you ever been accused of mansplaining? Have you ever been on the receiving end?
    I'm sure I have been guilty of this many times with the ex, especially considering any geographical/spatial relation concept. But having to constantly explain which direction North is, perhaps at least some of it was deserved.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Sorry but there are just as many women who feel the need to be condescending to men as well. But since we're men we are the taget of the wrath. And if you truly feel like someone is talking down to you in a professional setting then have some backbone and call them out, in front of people. I'm getting really tired of all this misogynist talk and "oh how would you handle this?" You handle it by being direct and telling people not to do it. We've become a nation of wimps in every facet. Stand up for yourself and stop expecting someone else to do it for you. That's not directed at anyone here in particular but just a general disgust by how we deal (or don't deal) with things we find difficult or uncomfortable.
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  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    The problem is the condescending & interrupting part. I've run into it when it is an older, experienced engineer trying to tell me how the world turns. My previous female planner encountered it because she was both young and female.

    When I'm encountering it, I have not had a problem saying things like "You keep interrupting & explaining things I know. Do I just need to end this meeting so I can work on something more productive?"

    Women do have a unique challenge in this--often when they push back assertively against such behavior, they get any number of complaints & labels. That same thing doesn't happen between men as frequently.

    I've experienced condescension from women as well, though not as frequently. To some extent I get it, because in each instance the woman involved was of an age that she was likely a ceiling breaker and got kicked around a lot on the way up the chain. I'm usually a bit gentler in my rebuke in that situation, usually just saying "you really don't need to interrupt me or talk over me--we can have a conversation and I will treat you fairly." Working for a woman that came through the good ol' boy system in the 1970s and talked about that experience helped me understand.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Just to be clear, discussing things like misogyny and mansplaining isn't an intention to paint all men as evil jerks. It's an effort to understand the environment in which we work from the perspective of women that haven't had many opportunities to be in positions of power until recently. If I tell someone bluntly/directly that there's no need to interrupt me or be condescending, I will be called a b****. If I tell someone I'm frustrated at how I'm being treated, then I'm being "emotional." The standard for acceptable interpersonal workplace behavior is still primarily based on the way men have conducted themselves in the workplace for the past century even though women are gaining a lot of traction. Calling attention to these types of situations is an effort to raise awareness to hopefully help individuals reflect on their actions and make positive changes.

    For the record, women should not be belittling or condescending to anyone, either. The point is that the amount it happens to women in a lot of professional environments that have traditionally been dominated by men is disproportional.

    Short story: I was in a group of employees that was charged with developing a new program to improve employee engagement. When we put together an action plan, we met with the management team to deliver our feedback. The County Administrator said if it didn't work, he'd scrap the program. I politely asked him if I could challenge him on that point, which he enthusiastically agreed to, and told him that I thought it would take some time to change the cultural expectations and we should expect things to fail before we would get to a point where they were successful. We moved on, and it was fine. I was later told by a woman mentor that that language was too strong and I should find softer ways to communicate my thoughts. I was nothing but respectful and polite during the entire exchange. I don't think that same feedback would have been given to a man making the same statements.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post

    When I'm encountering it, I have not had a problem saying things like "You keep interrupting & explaining things I know. Do I just need to end this meeting so I can work on something more productive?"

    Women do have a unique challenge in this--often when they push back assertively against such behavior, they get any number of complaints & labels. That same thing doesn't happen between men as frequently.

    .
    Yes this - as women we are programmed from an early age to be polite and listen to men - so by interrupting, you get the B#$%^ label which you can say who cares, but it can cost you a promotion when you disturb a male boss ego

    we walk the slippery slope of being assertive without being B#$%^& so we can get what we want from our workday and our careers overall - something my male colleagues don't seem to have to do as much - I think that's the difference

    also being a planner, we are trained to listen so if an elected official starts in, and like our male counterparts, we all have to go to the Bahamas mentally until they are done
    Kim Wexler: Either you fit the jacket... or the jacket fits you.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Doohickie's avatar
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    I won't say my workplace is gender-blind, but the company has done a good job of stressing diversity in the workplace. There is too much work to do to say we won't hire minorities or women or whatever other group you might name. Further, there are a lot of women in all levels of the management chain, from lead engineers up to the CEO herself, in a company of over 100,000 employees. We have annual ethics training the depict realistic scenarios that cover a lot of topics including discrimination and what to do about it when it happens. The scenarios are very often taken from actual situations that occurred in the company. I wish society in general was as progressive in that regard.

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