How can women disrupt male speech domination?


#1

There has been posts here about mansplaining. I deal with this style of speech a lot in my own life. I’m also dealing right now with a mixed gendered group where the male boss is overriding every suggestion with his own judgement.

I appreciate that women are frustrated by it, but I’m wondering if there are productive ways to break the male domination of conversation. When I Google Fu it up, all I find are snarky ideas. I want some ways to stop a man from his mansplain when you actually like the guy and want to preserve his dignity and your relationship with him. I want ways to get a man in charge to open up to the people who aren’t in charge. Anyone have ideas?


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#2

Working in IT helped me learn the points at which an explanation is needed, and when it’s not, and also what things to explain and how to explain them in a way that wasn’t condescending or just plain useless information. And working in libraries, a career field traditionally dominated by women, has been remarkably helpful for me in that I get to witness how men interact with my coworkers (and after which I would sometimes recognize an old behavior of mine and feel like the biggest jackass in the world).
But how to stop such behavior, other than by saying, “hey, mansplainer, thanks, we know all that already, now why don’t you go back to your desk and let us handle the important things?” I don’t know, but it’s a damn good question.

And how this person sat and listened to hours of mansplaining directed at her…Cecile Richards must have some serious willpower-fu.

and I got first post, as a dude, in a mansplaining thread. I think I’m fucking up the rotation here…


#3

How about this idea from Silja Bara Omarsdottir?

Men should not be allowed to talk in a meeting unless a woman has expressed her opinion first.

The theory is that women often take time to consider their response, by which point they are at the back of a line of people clamouring to speak.

Silja Ómarsdóttir was one of 25 people who rewrote Iceland’s constitution after the financial crisis.


#4

If you like him, the worst place you should call him out is in a group setting. Maybe a closed-door one-on-one meeting is in order. It’s possible he doesn’t know he’s doing it.


#5

I think lots of men also deal with this dominant speech behavior. I think there are men who learn that being listened to in a fawning way while they explain the world to you is to be respected. Is there some way to move the conversation off their spew while not making them feel unappreciatead?


#6

I’ve been accused of mansplaining!

My take away was I was a man. Explaining things… Mansplaining.

It was in the context of calling me a sexist too. A sexist mansplainer.

I guess perhaps they were saying they’d like a chance to speak?

Well… For me. Telling me that I was talking down to someone and they didn’t like it, and that I was talking so much they didn’t have a chance to be heard. Well… I would have listened.

Because then it’s behaviors I have a choice about, not some gender biased stereotypical concept I’m hit with.


#7

This is a great example of how not to do it - insulting you; it’s obvious this tactic did nothing to change your behavior except to make you defensive.

I think that a lot of men expect to have the floor in a way women don’t. I don’t think they realize that when they get mad about being interrupted maybe a woman hasn’t gotten nearly as much speaking time as them. I don’t think women need to get men to give them permission to speak, but I’m wondering if there are ways to get women more floor time by using humor or ??? something to change the dynamic.


#8

I’d say that try this approach first and then move on to calling him out in a public meeting. The only problem with that is @ChickieD runs the risk of retaliation if she’s the only one to speak out in public (like she says something, and everyone else just clams up). Maybe she should try to private option and if it continues to be a problem, she should turn to her co-workers who also think it’s a problem and then bring it up in a meeting where he’s doing it… She could also try and go over his head, if that’s possible?


#9

I almost bought one couple a chess clock for their wedding present. He was my flatmate before they got married (I got custody of the flat).


#10

There’s a listening technique that they teach in Kripalu yoga where you sit facing each other. One person talks for a timed amount. The other person listens. It’s really about listening with compassion, not interrupting, staying attentive, being a loving presence. For the speaker, it’s a chance to vent knowing they will not be interrupted. It’s a great technique.


#11

I always come back to this article:

http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/prejudice/women/

In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:

The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.

And Rebecca Solnits excellent essay “Men explain things to me” (she coined the term mansplaining) wherein a man, explains to her, that a very important book is coming out and she must read it and he resists being told three times that she is actually the author of said very important book.

https://www.guernicamag.com/daily/rebecca-solnit-men-explain-things-to-me/

I have no solution. But getting people, both men and women, to admit that there is a problem at all is fucking hard.


#12

I feel like there must be a solution. But I can’t figure out how.

I think a lot of men don’t see it, and a lot of women, like me, don’t know how to address it without just appearing to be mean or critical and it doesn’t end up with the result of us getting listened to.

I am trained in listening techniques, but what about speaking techniques? How do you interrupt someone in a way that doesn’t say, “I think what you say doesn’t matter.” How do you build a relationship where a man starts to see you as an equal? It’s great when I’m in charge of a meeting and I get to dominate the conversation. But when I’m in a meeting or in a conversation, I’m at such a disadvantage.


#17

I think I’m about to die of irony-posioning.


#22

Wow. and once again an issue related to women and equality devolves into woman bashing.


#23

Amazing eh?

Like, I even thought you were being too soft and accommodating to mens feelings and egos in your approach (my old cynical approach is more “fuck them”) - and look what you get for actually trying to be nice? Amazing. So Amazing.


#24

Anytime the wife calls me out on it I find it totally helpful. So I agree that you should talk to him and I agree that you should do so privately.

But definitely call him out on it. We are dumb as posts about a lot of things.


#25

I swear it must be national derail a thread week or something.


#26

This topic is temporarily closed due to a large number of community flags.


#27

#28

So, um…?