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Old 18 November 2016, 11:22 PM
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Jaded Sweden Launches National 'Mansplaining' Hotline; Men Call in to Complain

Sweden has just launched a "mansplaining" hotline to encourage citizens to vent their frustrations about the practice of "maneuvering, tricks and suppression techniques designed to put women down."

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-new...mplain-n685966
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Old 19 November 2016, 12:20 AM
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Oh lordy... They just keep proving our point, don't they. For some reason, idiots feel the best way to respond to accusations of sexism is via outrageous displays of sexism. Because that somehow proves their point and isn't an attempt to shut down the discussion.
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Old 20 November 2016, 07:32 PM
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I admit I may need a better definition of the term 'mansplaining." A quick Google search defines it as "to explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing," which is more-or-less how I understood the term. (It seemed to be particularly used to describe a man offering explanations for differences in male and female perceptions or behavior, or telling a woman how feminism is supposed to work.)

Here they seem to be broadening the definition to encompass a variety of other behaviors which, while also sexist, patronizing, etc., don't really fall under that particular definition. Is that definition too narrow? Could it be a translation difficulty between the English and Swedish version of the term? Am I engaging in it by questioning it? I hope not. (I will admit that I have sometimes questioned the application of the word in some particular instances, but this isn't what I'm trying to do here, just to make sure I understand what it's supposed to mean.)
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Old 20 November 2016, 07:35 PM
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The woman who coined the term did so after a series of men tried to lecture her not only about her own line of work, but a specific book that she had written. So to me, the key is that the mansplainer is assuming (perhaps unconsciously, but still problematically) that he knows more than the woman he's talking to, simply because he's a man and she's a woman.
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Old 20 November 2016, 09:45 PM
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I admit there are a few authors who I would like to lecture about their own books, but I think the context would be different.
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Old 21 November 2016, 02:15 PM
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A lot of men like to jump in and claim 'but women do that too!' when mansplaining is, well, explained.

But I have a couple of issues with that defence.

1) Women know what somebody who is just condescending sounds like and we talk to other women too. The idea that women can be condescending isn't alien to us. But there's a sufficient difference in tone that the word 'mansplaining' was invented.

2) When men describe situations when they've been 'womansplained' to, it typically involves condescension about things like childcare and household tasks. The field of 'mansplaining', however, can involve anything. The underlying assumption seems to be that men are the voice of authority in any situation, not just a particular field that is traditionally gendered (although that kind of 'splaining is wrong too).

3) Men don't usually complain about womansplaining unless the issue of mansplaining comes up. On the other hand, it seems like most women have a mansplaining story. The term was invented, semi-jokingly, to describe an experience shared by lots of women in lots of situations. Maybe it's not entirely fair. But maybe women shouldn't have to think about the feelings of men all the time when discussing things amongst themselves. Commiserate with your male friends about 'womansplaining' if it's something that happens to men often. Don't only bring it up to dismiss women.
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Old 21 November 2016, 07:21 PM
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Blatherskite, I always know how I feel about these issues, but can never phrase them meaningfully. You always seem to articulate just about exactly how i feel.
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Old 22 November 2016, 02:42 AM
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A woman I know just posted an article on Facebook. One of her male friends replied in the comments about how the whole issue was overblown and explained why. This particular comment was irritating because:
a) He obviously hadn't read the linked article, which described in detail the points he was making in the comment, and,
b) She had written the damn article!!
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Old 23 November 2016, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravo View Post
Blatherskite, I always know how I feel about these issues, but can never phrase them meaningfully. You always seem to articulate just about exactly how i feel.
Why, thank you!

For some reason I've given the subject of mansplaining a lot of thought.

For instance, I don't think the explanation for it is as simple as 'men assume they always know more than women'. I think that's definitely a part of it - our culture and media bends over backwards to help reinforce the idea that men are more authoritative (my favourite example is how shampoo adverts often have a female model to show who they expect to use the product, but a male voiceover to explain 'the science bit' as one particularly egregious advert put it).

I think another big factor is communication differences between men and women. Men are on average slightly more competitive. This isn't a bad thing - a bit of competitiveness can help you to push yourself to achieve more - but it can lead to some men using their knowledge as a way of showing off rather than as something to be shared with others. When talking to other men, this showing off takes the form of one-upsmanship (I bet I know more than you!) but for women it takes the form of 'peacocking' - a way to impress them. The hopeful peacock looks for things to impress the woman with based on what she says she likes or does for a living - any little thing he knows about the subject becomes a way in to her heart (or other body bits), even if it should be obvious that she's more knowledgeable on the subject. So the end result is that he's talking at rather than with a woman about her special subject.

However, this only makes sense if you assume mansplaining is more likely when the man is attracted to the woman he's 'splaining at.
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Old 23 November 2016, 02:37 PM
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I have occasionally seen women engage in behavior that may unintentionally encourage mansplaining, usually when interacting with a man they find attractive.

It's understandable: asking someone for an opinion, or to explain something, signals that you think the person is smart and knowledgeable. It's flattering, it gets a conversation started, and it makes the person likely to think positively of you. The approach may be effective even if the person knows nothing of the topic you're asking about, and if your priority is to make that connection, you may not care about the quality of the information you're getting.

If a man has enough experiences with women apparently valuing his opinion on a wide range of topics, regardless of his knowledge of those topics, I can see how he might think any woman he meets would welcome his opinion on any topic.

ETA: The example that sticks in mind happened in my office on 9/11. There was a young woman working in the office who was clearly interested in a young man who worked there. On 9/11, she kept asking him all kinds of questions about the attacks, their historical context, their implications and likely effects, etc. He didn't know anything about any of that stuff. He was in fact extremely uninformed about history and current events. She had no reason to believe otherwise -- certainly his answers didn't provide any. My WAG is that she knew he didn't know any more than she did (maybe less, but she didn't seem particularly well-informed herself).

Last edited by Lainie; 23 November 2016 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 23 November 2016, 02:41 PM
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Allow me to re-post this...


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Old 23 November 2016, 03:03 PM
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I've noticed that I don't speak with authority unless I'm 110% certain I can back myself up on every angle of the topic. I expect to be called on what I'm saying, so I hedge my words a lot by saying things like "I remember reading that..." or "I think I heard someone say". It's bad, and I'm making an effort to own what I say more.

It bothers me, because my husband is the type who will speak with authority about things, even if he's wrong. It's just his personality type that he'll state something as fact even if it's opinion or if he's got the details wrong. It makes me squirm a bit, because I'd never feel comfortable speaking that way without covering my butt. On the other hand, when I bring in back-up by googling the answer or citing studies, I'm taking things 'way too seriously'. I feel like I give up on debates or arguments where I know I'm right because we're following different rules and in many cases, forcefulness and simply stating you're right win out. (My husband is a lovely man and usually we just have interesting discussions, but sometimes things get more heated and frustrating because of our different debate styles).

I'm trying not to rely on the authority of others to express my own opinions, and to not be so apologetic for thinking I'm right, but there are only a few topics where I feel I know enough to do that.
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Old 23 November 2016, 04:48 PM
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quink, my wife and I have the same dynamic, where she is quite forceful in what she "knows", to the point of correcting me on various engineering things or environmental issues that, well...I have a freaking Masters and 20 years of experience in, she doesn't. She has gotten better on it since I have started calling her on it, but she still does tend to do so when we are with others. I think a lot of it comes from having four VERY loud siblings, so if you don't burst right in there to say something you will never get to talk. (At family events, the other people who married into the family usually sit there quietly on the side, or wander into the other room to have our own conversations.)
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Old 04 December 2016, 08:50 PM
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Dad tried this once on me, though probably more to do with the fact he occasionally still sees me as his little girl.
But anyway, he tried to correct me on a veterinary matter. I asked him calmly but sharply: "Dad, which one of us has done a 6 year study on this subject?"
He gave me a sheepish look and relented.
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Old 05 December 2016, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Angua View Post
on a veterinary matter.
...
He gave me a sheepish look and relented.
Did you check his copper level?
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Old 05 December 2016, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Did you check his copper level?
Nope, but if he had continued, I would've told him to piss orf.
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Old 14 December 2016, 12:09 PM
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Last night, a Facebook friend posted an article. I responded with "in my experience." He responded with "I disagree" and a paragraph on how wrong I was. I asked how it was possible to disagree with my experience, when I hadn't drawn any conclusions from it, especially not the ones he implied. I provided a link to the Wikipedia article on mansplaining. He totally lost his NFBSK and wrote a 7 paragraph diatribe personally attacking me for being "triggered." I PMd him to ask if he thought he was being remotely reasonable and he attempted to mansplain what mansplaining is and why I was so wrong to accuse him of it.
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Old 14 December 2016, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Last night, a Facebook friend posted an article. I responded with "in my experience." He responded with "I disagree" and a paragraph on how wrong I was. I asked how it was possible to disagree with my experience, when I hadn't drawn any conclusions from it, especially not the ones he implied. I provided a link to the Wikipedia article on mansplaining. He totally lost his NFBSK and wrote a 7 paragraph diatribe personally attacking me for being "triggered." I PMd him to ask if he thought he was being remotely reasonable and he attempted to mansplain what mansplaining is and why I was so wrong to accuse him of it.
And he's the one complaining about you being "triggered"?
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Old 14 December 2016, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
And he's the one complaining about you being "triggered"?
Yeah, the "TRIGGERED!!!" argument tactic always gets me.

"You're the one who's upset!!! You're the one who's all angry!!! See! I am the more logical one in the argument!!!" *jumping up and down, red in the face, pointing aggressively*
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Old 14 December 2016, 05:00 PM
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Avril, I just do not believe that. There is no way he wrote seven paragraphs in response to that comment. Five max, four more likely. I mean, I don't think you are lying, just that you misunderstood. I'm sure you were upset when you read it. That, and here's what probably happened to make you think there were seven paragraphs. (BTW, the convention is to write out a number under 10.)

So anyway, people sometimes put spaces between sentences, especially on a medium like FB. So you probably saw a space and counted a new paragraph. But sometimes it is just for emphasis, or to add a parenthetical- like I did up above about the numbers. That was still one paragraph.

I hope that makes you feel better and explains what your friend wrote.

Just to be sure, I will keep an eye on your ULMB posts for the next few days in case you need me to explain anything.

Alright, see you around.
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