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Mansplaining - no need to explain

Mansplaining. A portmanteau of the words man and explaining, often used to refer to the manner in which a man takes it upon himself to explain something, often condescendingly, to a woman, with little or no consideration of her knowledge or expertise on the subject.

Not all men do it, and certainly I doubt whether many men intend to, but it happens.

And more often than it should in a year where genetic designer engineering is a reality and all the world's information is only a click away.

I can't count the number of times I've had male colleagues or classmates disregard what I've said completely, only to repeat my words, almost verbatim, 20 seconds later and receive kudos for their insight or observations on the topic.

What surprises me even more is the number of male friends I have, in completely different industries with entirely different academic backgrounds, who go on long "mansplaining" rants about what's wrong with my industry and how I should be doing my job.

I certainly don't claim to be an expert in media, I'm not, but I am a professional with two university degrees and several years' experience immersed in the industry, which I think makes me better placed to understand it than someone who watched 20 minutes of some SBS documentary once.

And it's not just journalists.

I have a female friend who's a university professor with a PhD and whose area of study includes cross-cultural feminism, yet she often laments her male colleagues, or even students, "mansplaining" feminism to her.

I can't fathom telling one of my male friends, who's say an engineer or a lawyer or an accountant, what's wrong with their industry and how they should be doing their job.

Because what would I know? Certainly not more than them (at least, I hope not).

If I could have one wee wish for International Women's Day (only a little one, because obviously if it was a big wish I would use it to end domestic violence or economic inequality) it would be for the mansplaining to stop.

Need I explain more?



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