As though pay inequity, glass ceilings and sexual harassment weren’t enough for working women to deal with, they often have to endure "mansplaining" as well.
Merriam-Webster defines mansplaining as "what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he's talking to does."
Put more bluntly, "no matter what a woman says, a man always seems to know better," Christina Knight of Sweden’s largest trade union Unionen told CNN. "While it can happen both ways, more women tend to be the victims of this presumption that women need men to explain them things."
An American Psychological Association study, which was reported in the Independent, offers some mansplaining insights. The study showed that men "tend to overestimate their intelligence to a much greater extent than women," and it also found that "self-assurance in men grows with age."
An article on thoughtcatalog.com includes a real-world example from Bonny, whose job at the Goddard Space Flight Center involved integrating new communications equipment and fiber optics on the Hubble Space Telescope:
I was looking over the drawings when a member of the team came in the conference room. He looked at me and said, "This is going to be difficult if you can’t read a schematic, but I guess it’s going to be my job to make sure you get it right." He stepped toward me into my personal space and began pointing at the drawings and said, "Do you know what these are?" . . . At this point I looked up and made eye contact with him. I turned the drawings around and pointed to the legend where my signature was.
The 600,000-member Unionen has initiated a campaign to raise awareness of mansplaining, which (to be fair) men don’t always realize they’re engaging in.
"Mansplaining is a fallacy that can both be linked to inequalities and discrimination in the labor market," Unionen’s Marina Åman said in a press release. "By drawing attention to mansplaining, we hope to stimulate interest in discussing gender equality and discrimination."
"The traditional view of gender is . . . changing," Unionen’s Peter Tai Christensen said in a statement, "and although tough challenges remain before the community is fully equal, it is obvious that many male privileges previously taken for granted are disappearing."
He added that societal changes prompt varying reactions. "Some of us develop and integrate while others of us consciously or unconsciously resist. Mansplaining can be interpreted as a reaction to the fact that traditional gender roles are being renegotiated," and, as a form of resistance, it is "designed to put women in their place and thereby consolidate or restore a privileged [male] position."
Although it's slightly ironic having a man explain mansplaining, let's go ahead and assume he knows what he's talking about.
Bloomberg BNA’s International HR Decision Support Network provides resources, including labor and employment law primers on more than 70 countries, to help you stay compliant and develop policies for your international operations. Start your free trial today.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)