I’VE become a victim of mansplaining. Or is it womensplaining? Or is it just unexplaining?
A woman wrote to me and condescendingly told me I had no credibility, write crap (with a poo emoji!), am a stain on the human race and am an uneducated fool. Those were the nice bits. She was a teacher, of course. The funny thing about this letter was that it had to be pointed out to me by a male colleague that I’d actually been mansplained. To me, it was just another angry person.
Whatever you want to call it, let’s not get into a gender war about being called an idiot.
Predictably, I’d incurred the wrath of a bunch of teachers, and this one in particular, because I had suggested they teach numeracy and literacy, rather than brainwash kids with Left-wing ideological fantasies.
It seemed a simple enough request. The dictionary definition of mansplaining is “what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does’’.
My argument was that most teachers were Lefties but they had a moral and ethical responsibility to leave their political views at the classroom door. I’m not going to get a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the news that most teachers vote Labor. But her vitriol got me thinking. This whole mansplaining thing is a cruel hoax. It’s a myth. Does anybody really think that men have a mortgage on talking condescendingly to women?
Does anybody really think that a man has never condescendingly lectured another bloke about a subject he has little idea about?
Among men, when a bloke starts rabbiting on about a topic that he thinks he’s an expert on, but is clearly not, we just dismiss him as a gibberer. Men sanction such behaviour by steering clear of the said gibberer, leaving him to bore himself to death.
Surely, some women will be familiar with a female colleague or friend who has been unfairly critical, even condescending. Is that femsplaining? Which brings me to the nub of this gender equity rubbish.
Gender quotas in politics and business are patronising and demeaning — not to men but women. After last week’s victory, Labor’s Daniel Andrews made sure his Cabinet was 50 per cent women. The move followed a similar 50 per cent ratio of women in Labor’s Queensland Cabinet.
I recently received a call from a grandmother, lamenting the fact that her 28-year old grandson had been discriminated against by a major bank. He’d gone for an assistant manager’s job at a regional branch and missed out to a woman.
His colleagues were shocked, she said. His resume was much superior to the woman who beat him for the role, she said.
He’d worked his butt off to get an economics degree, toiling as a barista four nights a week to put himself through university, his grandmother said.
A month later, after a few drinks at the pub, one of his superiors acknowledged he was the better candidate but “we’ve got to get the (female) quota up’’.
He resigned a week later and is now running his own coffee shop.
Life is tough. Especially in business and politics. In today’s cutthroat world, employers take no prisoners. The notion that a man is being discriminated against for a job because his company — or political party — needs to hit a quota is offensive and unfair.
When it comes to merit-based ascension through the business and political ranks, the cream should ultimately rise to the top, through hard work and a bit of luck, whether you’re a man or a woman.
And that’s just plain speaking. PETER GLEESON IS A SUNDAY HERALD SUN COLUMNIST