Mansplaining

I never really took to the term mansplaining. It doesn’t roll off the tongue. This is a term that has been around for a while that describes a concept that has been around for far longer. While I’ve noticed that this most frequently is done by men, I have (rarely) seen women ‘mansplain’ things to me. The condescending talk, and talking over me is something I’ve always had to deal with. A lot of things bug me about this, but one of the largest is that people will often have more respect for people who mansplain (I’ll use the word even if I don’t like it so everyone can at least know what I’m talking about with the caveat that everyone is capable of being an asshole; guys do it more frequently). When those in power have a condescending mannerism, eventually people will listen and no one will call out the person for mansplaining. I’m guilty of the latter. I will show in passive-aggressive ways that I don’t like the guy, but I don’t ever call them out. I see it less now than I did in industry, but I still see it way too much. And there never was a recourse. Assholes would still behave like assholes. I just wish there was a way for me to call people out on it in either one-on-one or group settings without causing a big problem.

I bring this up because there’s this set of meetings I’ve been a part of in my service activities along with the usual faculty meetings where this has been happening all the time. I keep telling myself, “this will be the day I speak up.”. Then every time I sit there and let it happen. I actually feel like I’m part of the problem when I don’t speak up. It’s not that frequently directed at me, but I feel for the folks it happens to, and I very much dislike it.

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