posted on Nov, 20 2016 @ 08:59 PM
Well, I'm 52 and if I used my working hours as 40-hour weeks I'd be about 120. I've worked everything from the line to corporate officer. I hold both
views here, so bear with me:
First, I support that TO VARYING DEGREES "cultural gender traditions affecting workplace (and all other) communications does exist."
But the term 'mansplaining' is inherently sexist and demeaning and stupid.
The first rule of understanding the reality of gender communications is that there is no problem that is not shared by both sides. I assure you there
is a woman'splaining version that is probably as bad or worse than the men's.
But back to the 'source' of the issue -- the issue being the 'response' not the source -- which has some merit:
1. Culturally, yes, it is common that both genders have communication and other gender issues in the workplace. On the side of women -- only because
that's what this topic is about, because there are legit issues for men too! -- there's a problem, a woman wants to go to the person who could fix it,
and is told by higher up not to 'bother' that person. (Or someone complains that the woman is nagging or harrassing them or their employee or
whatever.) Then, same problem, a man goes to the same person with higher-up not caring at all, and person responding without any complaint, problem is
solved. Man gets promoted because he gets things done. I've seen this repeatedly in about 100 variations -- women are "nags" men are "problem
solvers." Now, sometimes women really ARE nags honestly but the situations I'm talking about having witnessed were not like this. They were simply a
matter of men "framing" their reactive response to women differently than how they respond to other men.
2. In meeting with many, a man can get emotionally irate -- I've seen utterly hilarious behavior from male execs (like taking off a shoe, pounding it
on the table while shouting -- omg! What, are you THREE??) -- but if a woman even sounds slightly exasperated (when the situation would fairly call
for all but pummelling someone) she is "emotional."
3. In meeting with many, a woman can have a completely fair, calmly stated opinion which in a debate makes a stand, e.g., "I don't think X is going to
sway the Boston market. Y has..." to be met with a response such as "Now Jane, we're all on the same team here." WTF? When everyone else -- mostly men
-- had comments exactly like that, often with emphasis -- this just shuts down a woman's valid business opinion by interpreting even the slightest
disagreement from a woman as "her being emotional."
The irritating (emotional. ha!) part of this, is that often in our culture women ARE emotional -- though men are too -- and this SHOULD be called out
in business, aside from the norms of human interaction and genuine concern for the work of course, because it's inappropriate, no matter who is acting
that way; people need to learn to handle their emotions.
But much like women insisting men are sexist for nearly everything, makes people start to not listen or care and have a knee-jerk reaction to that
(even when real) from then on, it's the same in reverse -- men treating women like they're all emotional, or like they are herding them like children
or sheep because that's their job on some level, also makes them taken less seriously at least by women when they gripe that someone is bothering them
or is emotional.
The goal would be not to entrench women-as-whiners, but to improve the situation with some degree of education. It is possible the 'scientists' on
that hotline are collecting info and it might be used for such a thing (workplace edu).
It is also possible that it results in a lot of feedback to HR teams as a result of getting someone who goes, "Oh my gosh, yes totally, that was so
sexist of him." or whatever.
I think the development of various groups, movements, etc. such as this that are highly gender-specific, are a lot like the development of groups that
are race- or religion- specific: I am not against people exploring or supporting whatever they are, of course, but if it's a sort of "combating a
problem" it really should be framed by THE PROBLEM not by THE ASSUMED BAD GUY.
In other words, if "Cultural or personal bias within business communications" is the real issue, then that should be what is promoted as the issue.
People should call not just if a man says something they don't understand or agree with. They should call if a woman does, too. And men could call,
not just women.
When approached like this, it becomes an educational thing that all people may be willing to consider, recognize.
When approached as being about a given gender or race (or anything/everything 'but' that gender or race), all it does is make people psychologically
jerk into a self-defense position, while the other half pulls into a "using victimization to bully others" position. Both are not only useless for
improving our world, but they make things notably worse.
As the social politics situation in the USA so well examples.