I once attended a meeting in which a man said to me, “Did I say you could talk? I’ll tell you when you can talk.”

Oh, where to begin.

First of all, this is a guy who has been laterally passed from department to department like a flaming bag of dog poo. No one wants him. Everyone wants him to be someone else’s problem. He’s a mess that no one wants to clean up. He has zero people skills, and his management style is intimidation, confrontation, and condescension.

I am a grown woman. This man was talking to me as if I were 3. If I talked to him in that manner, it would be considered insubordination.

Insubordination is a nifty catch-all phrase. What it boils down to is that senior staff can treat you like shit, but you are supposed to sit and quietly take it, or you lose your job. The more the term insubordination gets trotted out in a company, the more likely it is that employees are dealing with a mountain of abuse.

But this man, in particular, is the poster child for mansplaining. As is explained in this video, studies show that men dominate 75% of conversations in decision-making groups. This is why the term mansplaining is becoming so popular. I know it exists because I live it.

I’ve actually had men say to me, “Don’t worry your pretty little head,” and “What’s on your little mind?” I’ve had my ideas discounted, my comments interrupted, and my suggestions ignored for most of my life. And it’s usually by someone with a much lower IQ than I have.

I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating this is. I’m done with patiently waiting my turn. Who gave you the right to divvy out these golden tickets to speak? I’m talking. Right now. If that means I’m a nasty woman, so be it.


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10 thoughts on “Mansplaining

  1. Sam Ramirez

    Hi Barb: I’ve had many bosses like you ones you described above. I worked with my last one for 12 years. I’m still baffled why these people are even employed or given positions of authority. Please don’t feel that women are the only ones put down and told to be quiet. During staff meetings, our last school principal would ignore my questions or shoot down every comment or suggestion I made. When I stopped talking and contributing in staff meetings, he seemed surprised. He even subtly threatened to fire me (for being late a few times) in front of the entire staff. Publicly humiliating his staff as one of his favorite tactics. When he was removed (or as they gently implied… he was transferred) they even gave him a farewell dinner, complete with speeches and accolades. I refused to go and told my new supervisor the reasons why. Ironically, I thought my absence from this mock ceremony would be considered insubordination. And… are you sitting down..his new position is as a priest at our school’s church. Now this pillar of the community is attempting to guide souls to Heaven. I’m still quite baffled. Sam

  2. Elaine

    Having worked as a nurse for mumble mumble years, I grew to hate the docs who talked down to me, discounted my suggestions and then turned around and presented same ideas to their patient or supervisory doctor as their own. Yes I was talked over, ignored and interrupted constantly. This improved somewhat as I aged. However, it left me with the lifelong feeling I am not quite bright enough to have a valid opinion. In recent years, I have met people, one in particular, who have validated my ideas and optinions, lifting me instead of pushing me down. Thanks SecondLife friends in general and Simulat in particular.

  3. Preach on, girlfriend! I’m in a predominantly male field. Fortunately I work for the state which is a little more gentle than for profit businesses but you hang in there! If a man has to dismiss you, it means he’s probably intimated and the guy you described sounds like he isn’t making friends and is probably a good excuse away from being sent out

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