Swedish union launches ‘mansplaining’ hotline for workers

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One of Sweden’s largest trade unions has launched a dedicated hotline for workers to complain about “mansplaining” in a one-week initiative to highlight the problem.

Women who have things mansplained to them in the workplace can now report it to a dedicated hotline.

‘Mansplaining’ is defined as when ‘men explaining condescendingly to women, particularly something which she might already know more about than the man’

The initiative is orchestrated by Unionen, which represents around 600,000 workers in the private sector.

Unionen said the hotline is aimed at “recognising and countering domination techniques like mansplaining in their workplaces” and is encouraging members to call up when male colleagues give them unsolicited lectures on things they already understand.

The goal is not to punish individual offenders, but rather to raise awareness of the problem. So far, the union says that they’ve received 215 calls.

The advice line launched on Monday and will be open from 10am to 4pm everyday for a week as part of a campaign to highlight and stamp out the insidious and damaging practice.

Feminist politicians, artists, scientists and comedians will answer phones on the temporary hotline, which both men and women are invited to call.

Unionen said it was important to look at historical, structural inequality in society.

“The campaign is not intended to single out or add debt to all men,” the organisation said in a statement. “The campaign aims to raise awareness among all of us, regardless of gender, about this phenomenon and hopefully begin a joint change. Everyone benefits that we visualise suppression techniques and talk about them.”

“There is a structural problem built into the concept mansplaining that can not be ignored. 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.”

 

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