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New hotline allows women to report mansplaining

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Have you ever had a man painstakingly explain something to you, despite the fact that you already knew about it?

Congratulations, you’ve been mansplained!

One of the most infuriating afflictions of the modern workplace, most women have come up against mansplaining at least once in their careers.

And now, women in Sweden have been given the opportunity to actually report instances of mansplaining via a new national hotline.

phone

Launched on Monday, the hotline is being manned by a gender expert and feminist politicians, as well as comedians and scientists.

It was founded by Unionen, Sweden’s largest union, which represents over half a million private sector workers. The group defined mansplaining as when “a man explains something to a woman without being asked, particularly something which she might already know more about than the man”, and said the new hotline was “about equality”.

“It is about putting your finger on the small everyday problems which become large when they stack up,” it told The Independent.

The hotline will be open from 10am to 4pm everyday throughout this week, with the aim of highlighting – and ending – the damage of mansplaining.

Those manning the phone lines have the freedom to say what they want to the callers, with no set scripts.

As is to be expected, news of the hotline ruffled the feathers of a number of men in Sweden, with some taking to Unionen’s Facebook page to complain about the “sexist” nature of the service.

woman

“That the union chooses to make pigs of a certain gender is so far from my values,” user Klas Jonsson wrote. 

"Just what we need in society, more polarisation. And people wonder why right-wing populism is on the rise," wrote Jim Brännlund.

However, there was also support for the scheme, with Facebook user Sophie Brömster writing, “Great that you take this up and working for gender equality in the workplace.”

The union released a statement in which it pointed to recent research by the American Psychological Association which showed men "tend to overestimate their intelligence to a much greater extent than women" and found that "self-assurance in men grows with age", as reported by The Local.

And in the statement they were firm on their intentions for the hotline.

"There is a structural problem built into the concept mansplaining that can not be ignored,” the statement said. “The Union shares the analysis that mansplaining is more often performed by men and we believe it is important to talk about the problem on the basis of the analysis for us to bring about change."

Bravo. Now, when are we getting a hotline in the UK?

Images: iStock

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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