Mansplaining

By Emily Price via lifehacker.com  Article

How to Deal With Mansplaining at Work

“The term mansplaining is relatively new, but the concept is an old one. If you’re not familiar, the term refers to when someone (most often a man, thus mansplain) explains something to someone (typically a female) in a condescending or patronizing way. If you’re a woman, then chances are this happens to you on a weekly if not daily basis. …

About 10 years ago, I worked as a barista part time as an excuse to get out of the house and to satisfy my coffee addiction. I was a pretty successful writer already at the time, but I loved the human interaction on a regular basis (working from home can get lonely!). One day, a regular customer came in and started to explain a new web app to me. He had gotten an important detail wrong, and when I politely corrected him explained to me in a condescending way that I was wrong because he had read an article in PC Magazine about it and pleasantly suggested I should ‘See if my dad had a copy’ because I ‘seemed interested in tech.’ I had written the article. …

Confronting mansplaining can be hard. Debra Bednar-Clark, former Head of Business Strategy and Growth at Facebook ’s Creative Shop, and now founder of the career and style coaching form DB+co recently spoke to Inc. about mansplaining in the office, and how women should deal with it. …

Bednar-Clark suggests confronting mansplaining behavior when it happens, even if it’s happening in a large group. Rather than be combative, she says to maintain a professional tone and approach the problem head on. Firmly explain what the issue is, and offer a solution on how to solve it.

‘Being kind, approachable and strong are not mutually exclusive,’ she says. … She says that explaining firmly why you’re upset with the offending person will often correct the issue for good, and when it’s done in a group setting send a message to everyone else in the room that the behavior is unacceptable as well.

Doing it right then, rather than in an email or conversation later, helps that person realize exactly what they did wrong. In some cases, the mansplainer might not truly realize they’re doing it.

It can also help to think about what might be causing the mansplaining behavior. In many cases, the men that are doing the mansplaining are doing so not because they think someone needs to be talked down to, but because they themselves are insecure.”

 

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