The other day, I was explaining something to a woman.
She interrupted me (in a nice way though), saying “You don’t need to mansplain to me”.
It took me aback 🤔. I was shocked 😱. Embarrassed 😳. I lost my words. And spent a few days reflecting on her comment.
What I was explaining to her, I would have explained the same way to a man.
Long before the #MeToo movement, I have been a proponent and active contributor to diversity and gender equality in the workplace.
The teams I have built had a good gender balance.
I work very well with women (even co-founded a startup where we decided my wife would be the CEO), and women work well with me, at least based on the feedback I got over the years.
My conclusion is:
the challenge with “-isms” (sexism, racism, ageism) is that if one suffers the consequences from it regularly, s/he will default to seeing it as the reason behind.
I do communicate a lot – because I think both high-level and low-level, and like to share and provide more context, to help people understand better.
It’s not a communication style that works with everyone.
But mansplaining for me is explaining something:
- the woman should know better than a man
- to the woman in a group of men
So if you are a woman, please do not assume that I’m mainsplaining things – just that I overcommunicate! 😇
Has anyone had a similar experience?