“What war” you may be asking yourself. And Mansplaining, what is that? If you haven’t heard, it’s a term used to describe when a guy talks down to a woman, especially when she is a colleague or other business associate.
A condescending attitude is not a new thing—many of us have felt talked down to by someone at some point in our lives. Adults do it to kids, especially teens, bosses do it to people they supervise, neighbors do it to neighbors, and friends to friends—in other words, it’s fairly universal, and no one wants to be on the receiving end of it.
But now it’s being labelled as a behavior that is more exclusive to men who talk down to women; which according to the recent uproar following the roll-out of an anti-mansplaining campaign by a trade union is an issue for a lot of women. However some have been asking if it’s fair to men. After all, many people of both sexes have been guilty of it.
One has to wonder if this is more about the feelings women have towards males that often get preferential treatment in the workplace because they are men. The system leans towards guys who were once the large majority of workers, and who are still seen as the ones in power. But is this actually true?
Many women are earning college and advanced degrees, their numbers are growing in all the professions. More and more we see women who are the bread winners for their families or who earn the larger paycheck. Women are holding elected offices, and are seated at the head of the table in boardroom of top companies. Women have made a lot of progress and we came very close to having the first women elected to the highest office in our land. Impressive, so why the outcry when mansplaining became a talked about topic recently?
What about these two possibilities? What if men are feeling defensive due to the success and achievements of so many of their female counterparts? A condescending attitude can be a sign of defensiveness rather than a signal that the guy really sees her as less.
It’s also possible that women hold on to feelings of inferiority towards men. Perhaps their recent successes as a group haven’t caught up to them, especially if they still feel a need or make the decision to take a back seat to the men they are romantically involved with. Maybe their accusations are just a reflection of their own defensiveness and insecurity, and if so—the best way to deal with this would be just like a guy would who is being talked down to. They should assertively confront the person, putting their concerns right out there and letting the guy know this is how he is coming across.
Why is it that women talk to EVERYONE else when they are unhappy with someone? If you want to level the playing field with men, be direct, and be assertive ladies. There’s no place at the top for timidity or passive-aggressive behavior.