The gender pay gap is a real issue that has long been part of the workplace. However, another kind of gap occurs in the office: mansplaining. Mansplaining happens when men explain things to women, often condescendingly, without being asked to do so. It’s like explaining something to someone as if they were stupid or uneducated even though they know more about it than you do.
Men are often not aware that they’re mansplaining, as it comes from a place of superiority and entitlement. Mansplaining can happen any time you find yourself in a position where you are the only woman present—in meetings, on calls, at social events, etc. Mansplaining happens especially in male-dominated industries like business and tech. So, if it’s time to nip your coworkers’ unwanted explanation in the bud, here are some ways to shut down mansplaining at work.
Challenge The Concept of Authority
Mansplaining is a real phenomenon that can be extremely frustrating for women and other minority groups, but it’s also an opportunity for men to learn about their own biases. By challenging the concept of authority and taking the time to learn from those you previously overlooked, you can get your point across without offending anyone in the process.
Authority is the foundation of mansplaining, and a lack of authority is what makes mansplaining so challenging to combat. You can certainly argue with a man who has mansplained something to you, but you’re not likely to be taken seriously if you do so. By challenging the concept of authority, you can put men in their place when they try to explain things to you.
Name The Behavior “Mansplaining” In Public!
Find a way to call out mansplaining in public by name directly. That’s right—call out men who explain things to you in front of other people.
It is easier to identify and shut down mansplaining at work by naming the behavior! You can do this by just saying the word out loud. If your coworker says something particularly condescending, say, “That’s so annoying! You’re mansplaining again.”
Use humor to disarm the situation
Humor can be an excellent weapon to deal with mansplaining at work. Humor will sometimes shut down mansplainers, and other times it will make them stop and think about what they’re saying.
You can often shut down mansplaining with a humorous response or retort. Men enjoy using humor to put women down, so women need to get good at using humor to put men down when needed. Humor can also help professional women avoid mansplaining in the first place. If a woman makes a joke, even if it’s just a small one, it might discourage a man from mansplaining to her.
Turn It into A Joke—You’ll Be Surprised How Well This Works!
Mansplaining is annoying and uncomfortable, but it happens a lot. It can be hard to shut down without being too harsh or causing an argument. But there is one quick, simple, and effective way to stop mansplaining in its tracks: a joke. When you drop a funny comment, the conversation will shift away from the topic that annoys you.
Don’t Be Defensive. Shut It Down!
Don’t waste your time in a heated debate if you have the misfortune of dealing with a mansplainer. It will do nothing but fuel their ego and make them even more determined to prove themselves correct. Instead, shut it down with these simple phrases.
“That’s not true.”
“No, my friend.”
Silence Them with Facts And Logic!
Facts and logic are the most powerful tools. They are so effective that they can instantly silence even the most outspoken men.
The mansplainer can be found at the dinner table, in the office break room, or even at a tech conference. He may not realize it, but he’s being sexist. You don’t have to put up with it—instead, give him some facts and logic in response.
Don’t Wait for A Perfect Reply (You’ll Never Find It)
If you’ve ever spent any time with a mansplainer, you know that they don’t need much provocation to launch into a rant. This is because they have no sense of personal accountability and very little capacity for empathy.
This is why the best way to deal with mansplainers is just to shut them down right away. Don’t wait for them to finish explaining something before you explain it back to them in simpler terms. Don’t wait for them to tell you why what happened to you isn’t that big of a deal.
Don’t Take It Personally
Don’t take mansplaining personally at work. Reply to it with confidence by saying, “I can see you are very passionate about this topic. I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise. However, I’ve been working in this field for X years, and my experience differs.”
Speak A Bit Louder
If you don’t want to be mansplained, you need to speak up when it happens. If a man is talking over you or cutting you off in a meeting, let him know that he’s doing it.
It’s hard to avoid mansplaining on your own, but it’s fairly easy for others to come to your rescue when you work in a team. So, if you hear someone mansplaining at work, speak up! Talk louder than them and correct the conversation by explaining your point of view.
As a woman entrepreneur, it can be frustrating to experience mansplaining. However, with the right attitude and these tips for women entrepreneurs, you will be able to stand up for yourself successfully. To learn more about the struggles women face in business and how to overcome