Fempire Diaries

Well, Actually, There’s A Hotline For Reporting Mansplaining

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Unionen, a Swedish trade union representing over half a million office workers in that progressive, Scandinavian nation, has set up a hotline for reporting mansplaining. While (rather unfortunately) not permanent, the line will, in the words of a union spokesperson, “contribute to awareness and start a discussion which we hope will be the first step in changing the way we treat each other and talk about each other in the workplace.”

All this week, a team of academics and gender-relations experts have been answering calls from union members reporting instances of mansplaining in their workplaces and getting advice on how to handle it. The New York Times reports that callers and the responders on the other end of the phone are chatting about more than just men ‘splaining what’s already been ‘splained. “Others have asked how to address clients or colleagues who address only the male employees—even when a woman is in charge,” the Times writes, “and how to address men who get credit for a woman’s work.”

Of course, there’s been an angry, angry online reaction to the announcement of the hotline by a certain subset of angry, angry men because that’s what a certain subset of angry, angry dead enders do. As Unionen’s spokesperson says, however, “Our intention has never been to point fingers or blame all men, our intention has simply been to spark an interest and start a debate at our work places and in society.”

Hopefully, Unionen has indeed started that debate and—fingers crossed here—a certain side of it won’t be joining the conversation with, “Well, actually…”

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