“Mansplaining” is a man “talking down” to a woman because he presumes he knows more. Do women do a parallel thing to men? Oops. Yes, we do — in the domestic world of traditional division of labors. In the business world, when a man presumes to know more and speaks in a condescending way to a woman. . . well, that’s what gave rise to the term mansplaining.
In a clip of just 3 ½ minutes, Jimmy Kimmel and Hillary Clinton demonstrate “mansplaining,” the “double bind” and how women just can’t get it quite right. A video is worth 10,000 words…
I had two opportunities to experience unconscious gender bias this week. A bike mechanic and a chimneysweep each looked through me (the paying customer) to a male companion. This bias I call “presumed vs. earned credibility.”
The term “mansplain” has been coined to describe this: someone who talks as if he or she knows something – and does not listen to what someone else does know. It describes when someone dominates a conversation rather than having a dialogue. Women do it, too; but the term suggests men do it more. I explore reasons for this, including sources from the masculine end of the masculine-feminine continuum. A friend suggests that male birds attract and impress female with bright plumage. Lacking that, human males dominate conversations. I’d prefer plumage to mansplaining!
I am out to expose and eradicate anything that gets in the way of women being able to reach their potential. One thing that gets in the way is “mind-sets” — often unconscious ways we think as a result of our early-life experiences. Images from the 1950’s capture ways people discounted the value of women. That thinking that may still influence the experiences of women – and give rise to obstacles like the double bind and gendered definitions of leadership.