If you ever had a conversation with a man, and he spoke down to you in a condescending way, then you know exactly how it feels to be mansplained. To end this sexist practice, an organization in Europe is empowering victims to speak out against it.
Unionen — Sweden's largest trade union with over 600,000 workers in private labor — opened a hotline for women to call and report cases of mansplaining in the workplace.
"The campaign is intended to make us all, men and women, aware of this phenomenon and hopefully to start a change together," Gabriel, a representative with Unionen, wrote to A Plus. "Everyone wins when we expose suppression techniques and talk about them."
The hotline, which is available this week to both men and women, features an array of feminist politicians, comedians and scientists who are answering the phone calls.
Everyday Feminism describes mansplaining as men explaining something simple to women in a patronizing way because of the assumption that she wouldn't understand it due to her gender. While this sexist practice could occur anywhere, the workplace seems to be an obvious target. A 2012 study found that women speak up 75 percent less than men in meetings.
We all must play a role in actively fighting mansplaining. For men, this means deferring to women with expertise in certain subjects and trying to treat everyone with respect. For women, this means defending other women who have been victimized by mansplaining. And if you happen to be in Sweden this week, the hotline from Unionen is there to help.
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