Mansplaining: when a man has the audacity to explain something simple to a woman who clearly knows way more than him. Unfortunately, it happens way too much in the work place, so here are six of the worst encounters that made women want to rip their hair out in fury.
Using Her Own Words Against Her
“I’m a female assistant editor for film and TV. It’s a very technical job, as it requires a lot of organization and experience. You work side by side with the editor and above both of you is a post supervisor, who manages the department. Post supervisors are almost always wannabe editors that failed up. They have technical skills but usually no drive or creativity. They are almost always excellent at letting assistants do their work and solve their problems, and then taking the credit. They are also excellent at side stepping blame when something goes wrong. I’ve never met one I liked.
At any rate, I’m on a job and the supervisor is probably the biggest tool I’ve ever met. Plus, he understands nothing about the work flow. At one point as we’re finishing a movie, he asks the entire office why a film is split into 20 minute reels during finishing. I explain that it’s so minor adjustments can be made at the last minute to one reel, without affecting the others. I can’t believe I have to explain this to someone who has supposedly done this job for 20 years or whatever. A few days later, he’s giving a producer a walk through. I overhear him explaining that he’s guiding us through the important step of splitting the film into reels and why it needs to be done. A few days later, that producer calls me and explains to me that another movie of theirs is entering post, and how important it is to split it into reels.
The kicker was a pre-production meeting on the next movie, where that awful post supervisor started explaining to me what reels were. And that’s the film industry for women.”
Atrocious Aviation Encounter
“So I work in aviation. I few years ago we were having a problem with a plane. It was basically one of those cases that started out as one problem that couldn’t be fixed. Then it morphed into all these other problems contributing towards it. We had mostly an all female team, with just 2 inexperienced male coworkers.
Well one of the male higher-ups overlooking the operation didn’t believe the problems we had found. So he brought in someone else experienced with the plane. He was a really awesome dude. I worked with him before and he is a really great mentor. Well we explained the problem we found, he did some troubleshooting of his own, just to say the same exact thing we said.
These words will ring in my head after he was told this news. ‘See! He knows what he is doing!’ my male boss yelled across the hangar. My female supervisor was so fed up that she just dropped her tools and walked out. I wish there was a better ending but no, she just told me that as a woman in a very physical and mostly male dominate job, that you will have to work extra hard to just even be heard.”
She Went Off
“Once, there was someone who was trying to explain not only my job (which he didn’t understand), but also which information I was aware of. Keep in mind I had far more experience in this field than he did. I did IT support while studying the subject in college. My boss was alright, but the person in charge of IT for the other department had no idea about IT. We butted heads quite a few time. He would repeat the same criticisms to all of us. It’s not fast enough, this old-fashioned process always worked, I didn’t see you, so you didn’t work.
I exploded when he painfully explained to me why setting up a student project did not work. We did not communicate with them enough. And we did not do our work. And we took too long. And we had every bit of information provided to us that could have been necessary. All in all, it was entirely our fault.
I exploded in his face about how he had no idea what was fast or slow, and how we had talked to anybody anywhere on the line and no one gave us even half the information. He should be thankful we were working more than our monthly hours, and he could be thankful we did not just let the project totally tank. Unfortunately, I was asked to leave his room. But he was a bit less of a pain in the neck afterwards.”
“I was packaging meat. Exciting, I know. Anyway, I was packing six sausage links to a bag, before placing them to my left for the next step (where they got sealed). This was assembly line type of work, so you do your job, and the next person does theirs, so on and so forth. Well of course, the people before are finishing earlier than me, as I am the second to last step. The guy who was cutting the sausage right before me finishes then looks around. He notices me and comes over to ‘help’ me.
He comes over, sees how I am packaging the meat, and then tells me I am doing it wrong. He then has the audacity to tell me how to pack the sausages. By the way, I had already packaged about 70 bags of the 80 to 85 bags that where getting done that day. So now, as I am continuing to package the sausage, I have him next to me MANSPLAINING in my ear exactly how to package the meat. His words, of course, mimic exactly what I have been doing all along, and his words are just replicating my exact motions. I even told him to stop Mansplaining to me, only to have him tell me he’s not, and then have him mansplain to me what mansplaining actually is.”
“I Left After Less Than Two Months”
“There was this guy, just one year older than me, who hired my husband and I for different positions in his small business. I left the place in less than two months. While he seemed to worship my husband, he micromanaged and second-guessed everything I did, even questioning my ability to work remotely. I was working part-time there, and he even knew I did remote work for several other clients. He would question me because, ‘Who’s there to check up on you?’
He was positively shocked one day to discover that I have a PhD (apparently he skipped actually reading my resume). He would almost refuse to believe it, telling me, ‘YOU have a PhD?!’ which I found quite offensive.
And after I quit, for very good reasons, he tried to pull one of those ‘Women, eh?’ sorts of rhetoric on my husband, implying that women weren’t cut out for that office job. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well. And I found out he had been atrocious to other women in the workplace before me, his own wife included (which is why she stopped working there, but she is sadly still married to him).”
“It’s Just Not Me”
“For a while, I worked as the maintenance person for our library. After another four years, a position opened up within the union as a clerk at the library. After years as an auto mechanic and jobs like that, I was more than happy to take a 50 cent pay cut to do a less physically demanding job. We hired a new guy for my old job. The job focused on outside lawn care and snow removal, with basic janitorial duties and light maintenance on the interior as needed. It also entailed coordinating with contractors for electrical work and whatnot.
His cleaning was beyond subpar, which I kept bringing up. I endlessly offered help, advice, you name it. He stubbornly refused to try it. Part of the problem was when we saw him walking around with only a spray bottle and a rag. Next, we see him carrying one small office trash bag at a time. The thing is, when I started that job, I asked for the really nice cleaning cart that could hold everything, contain garbage, and carry much-needed replacement items. Finally, I asked him why he isn’t using the cart. He told me, ‘Well you see, using it seems… it’s just not me.’
I asked clarification, and finally he admits that it was not masculine and was degrading to use the janitorial cart. No joke. Three years later, and he still hates to admit that this job involves cleaning.”