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Ad-Ding To The Conversation: Mansplaining In Advertising And The Work Place. It’s Funny Because It’s So Blatant

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We’ve all heard enough and more about mansplaining but as a concept, it continues to confuse many. Mainly the men, because how could he, a man say something, something that he has no idea about, and us women not lap it up hungrily. In a brain addled by ego and misogyny, this sort of eye rolling reaction simply doesn’t calibrate. Mansplaining, basically, is a man ignoring and undermining a woman’s knowledge and instead explaining something to her in a patronising tone.

I work in the advertising industry, on that’s known essentially for creativity, bad haircuts that pass off as cool and morals as loose as a the nada on an old pyjama. And despite this exterior of coolness, there is no denying that sexism exists. While the “agency culture” is often considered to be all fun and frolic with creative and liberal minds around, there are men who feel the inherent need to indulge their ego in some mansplaining time and again. I don’t doubt the fact that the industry I am a part of is far more accepting and welcoming of women as compared to other industries, but we still have a long way to go. 

Trust me when I say that I’ve been mansplained, multiple times at that. And the men who have waxed eloquent about a concept that I am entirely clear about, are surprised that I am not slack-jawed because they were so impressive. We often let it pass because we’d like to believe that a man might have “casually” spoken in a condescending way but this is deep rooted, it stems from sexism and undermines a woman and her capabilities in the workforce. And that is deeply problematic. 

Sometimes, I wonder where this assumption about math being a woman’s inability to understand things even comes from. I’ve been subject to such an assumption and I am anything but cool with that thought. There was this one time when my colleague happily assumed that I was incapable of figuring the revenue and finances for a certain project and started explaining those to me like I was a kid unable to grasp a concept. This was mansplaining at its best. This is when I didn’t even ask for an explanation or at no point did I mention that I needed help with understanding the process. I don’t blame my colleague at all, I am a woman after all so I obviously suck at math. 

And this was just one of the few instances. We were working on this pitch once and we were planning how to go about getting the majority of the work done, given that we were short of time. The men in the room did all the talking and they didn’t even shy away from cutting a woman’s points abruptly, being rather dismissive of her. And while this isn’t mansplaining, it’s equally annoying. It’s really funny how people presume that women are just supposed to take orders, do as told and leave the thinking to the men. Trust me, God gave us a brain. You know, after they blessed you with yours. 

 

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Yup. #history #art #mansplaining #medieval #shero

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If Not Mansplaining, It’s Character Assassination

When they come up for air, exhausted from all the mansplaining they’ve been doing, I find that if a woman excels at her job, it’s often implied that she either manipulated or sweet-talked her way to the top. I kid you not, I was told that I “charmed my way” with the client. Yes, those were the exact words. I work in the account management vertical, a huge chunk of my job depends on building a client relationship and the client isn’t stupid to be “charmed” without work being done. It’s absolutely ridiculous how people assume that only because I am a woman, I charm my way out and more often than not, all the hard work and knowledge goes unseen. Women are often taken to be dramatic, dependent and helpless souls who they need men to guide them. 

There’s no debate that mansplaining is prevalent, be it at a workplace or otherwise, but this at no point boils down to a woman having to accept it. So the next time if you think a man is mansplaining you, remind him of who you’re, what your capabilities are, throw logic at him and make sure you mention that he needs to back off but in a calm manner. This is a tried and tested way! It has worked brilliantly for me. 

Nasreen Talukdar is a contributor and works in the advertising industry. She pens down her thoughts and gives us a peek into her world- the cool world of advertising. And of course, she looks at it from a feminist lens, and it’s fascinating. Watch this space for more. 

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