Hotline for female staff to report 'mansplaining' launched

Hotline for female staff to report 'mansplaining' launched

Sweden’s largest trade union, Unionen, which represents 600,000 private sector workers, launched a dedicated hotline on Monday – open from 10am to 4pm - for female members of staff to report mansplaining in the workplace – The Independent reports.

Mansplaining is defined as a man explaining something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising.  

The hotline will be open for a week to highlight the practice that, according to Unionen, diminishes women by making them appear less competent than they are.

It will be staffed by a gender expert, and a group of feminist politicians, comedians and scientists, who will offer guidance to callers on next steps, and how to move on. However, there are no set answers, so those answering the calls will answer based on their experience.

A Unionen spokesperson says: “The campaign is not intended to single out or add debt to all men.

"The campaign aims to raise awareness among all of us, regardless of gender, about this phenomenon and hopefully begin a joint change. Everyone benefits that we visualise suppression techniques and talk about them.

"There is a structural problem built into the concept mansplaining that cannot be ignored. The Union shares the analysis that mansplaining is more often performed by men and we believe it is important to talk about the problem on the basis of the analysis for us to bring about change." 

Peter Tai Christensen, Unionen's Gender Expert, says: “We all react differently to changes in society. Some of us develop and integrate while others of us consciously or unconsciously resists.

"Mansplaining can be interpreted as a reaction to the fact that traditional gender roles are being renegotiated.

"Mansplaining is manoeuvrings, tricks and suppression techniques designed to put women in their place and thereby consolidate or restore a privileged position.

"It is obviously not the case that all men expose women to mansplaining all the time. It would be an absurd assertion that lacks reality. But enough women are exposed to enough mansplaining for it to be a problem that needs to be highlighted, discussed, and solved."

When the news was announced on their Facebook page, it was greeted with a mixed reaction.

Daniel Bergman wrote: "How would women react if you used words like 'old biddy chat' or 'female whining'? Equality can't be won using negative invective, but should be built using mutual respect and partnership. But maybe I'm the only one who thinks so.”

Jim Brännlund agreed with Bergman: "Just what we need in society, more polarisation. And people wonder why right-wing populism is on the rise.”

Linda Landgren defended the campaign: “Good initiative. Judging by the comments, it seems quite a lot of men feel this is aimed at them, so it shows how much this kind of work is needed."

Craig R Brittain, CEO at Dryvyng, tweeted: 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below… 

Comments (3)

  • Agnes
    Wed, 16 Nov 2016 3:50pm GMT
    Agree with Helen, it's putting a badge on men rather than tackle real issue of lack of mutual respect and partnership, achieving equality can't be done by giving the tool to one side to complain about the other......
  • Helen
    Wed, 16 Nov 2016 1:20pm GMT
    why pick out mansplaining? How about peersplaining, boss-splaining, Genx-splaining etc.....
  • Greg Turner
    Greg Turner
    Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:46pm GMT
    Can we have one for when the women in our office 'nag' us?

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