Sweden Has A Mansplaining Hotline (Yes, Really)

Unfortunately, there are myriad ways that women can experience mansplaining in their lives, but it's perhaps most prevalent in the workplace. "Mansplaining" is what happens when a man explains to a women something she already knows, usually in a subtly (or not-so-subtly) condescending way. While most people are forced to grin and bear it, a Swedish union is providing a solution: a hotline specifically for people to report instances of it. The New York Times reports that the temporary hotline will last a week in hopes of raising awareness of this workplace phenomenon. Started by Unionen, a trade union representing around 600,000 private-sector employees in Sweden, the hotline was designed to "contribute to awareness and start a discussion." Jennie Zetterström, a union spokeswoman, hopes it "will be the first step in changing the way we treat each other and talk about each other in the workplace." While it may sound kind of funny to have a hotline dedicated to this one thing, the main message is that these small instances can add up to reveal a larger issue of sexism in the workplace. So far, Zetterström reports that the calls have been about speaking up when women feel pushed aside by male colleagues, and how men can help when they witness this happening. Of course, it's also been met with some negativity. “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,” Zetterström explained. “Of course it’s regretful if someone feels offended.” Send any offended men our way. We'd be happy to woman-splain the issue.

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