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Mansplaining, like menstruating, is a regular, unpleasant and even infuriating aspect of being a woman.
The strength of mansplaining is that the dude doing it is usually unskilled and unaware that he is doing it. So if you confront him directly, he will often genuinely believe that you are the bitch who derailed for no reason (he believes) an otherwise (for him) pleasant discussion.
But in judo, you can use someone's strength against him.
My female friends have 4 simple and efficient strategies do ju-do just that.
On the other hand, they are not exactly looking forward to become the center of attention of all the machos of the internet.
But I don't mind. In fact it's an honor to act as the litteral man in the middle.
If the machos want to be upset at me, I welcome their hatred!
And indeed it's a great strategy to keep your calm in this shitstorm.
If you can't beat them, join them in the condescending game.
I have a friend who graduated from the best IT engineering school in France, has 15 years of experience in the sector... but is often mistaken as the intern who just reconverted from marketing.
She would have reasons to be upset, but instead she learned to laugh from it.
Better than that, she leverages it for her own profit.
When she arrives in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people who handle her as the new intern, she switches in candide mode and ask naive questions like:
Wow, what you are doing guys looks super impressive.
Do you think you could explain me what you are working on exactly?
And sure enough, they are more than willing to do just that!
And they give lots of details, much more than they would ever have described if they were tasked with writing down technical documentation in Confluence.
And my friend learn things faster this way.
What happens next is that one week later or so, the devs eventually learn who she really is.
And it's a bit embarrassing for them.
But she laughs it off... and makes new allies in the process.
But what to do if you are being mansplained on a subject that is in the chore of your professional skillset?
You can't just pretend to know nothing, you have to protect your professional value.
Let say your job is to help companies with their testing strategies. A company does ask you to help them, but then, against all elementary logic, the dudes start to grill you on whether you know that, according to Test Driven Development, you need to write first a failing test before you write the corresponding code to make it green.
You try to talk about the pyramid of tests, but they have better ideas than yours.
Basically they act like if you are an incompetent liar. And that's infuriating because in fact you are not an incompetent liar.
The third way to judo mansplaining is to remember that you can choose to work with good people and skip the bad ones. And those dudes have shown that they not the good ones.
What you do then is that you call their bluff
Look, the more I listen to you, the more I realize that you have lots of good ideas already on how to solve the problems you are facing.
From my side then, my advice will be very simple:
Trust your ideas, focus on implementing them and see how that goes!
If they don't need you, you don't need them.
The judo strategies described above are relatively straightforward and efficient, at least much better than staying infuriating.
Yet, you have an uneasy feeling, you don't want to be rude, you want to be nice, make sure you understand them first?
That's normal, you have probably been educated to be nice and understanding with everyone.
And being nice and understanding is a good default position indeed.
But it's a trap with people who mistakes that for being weak and willing to be benefited from.
When you are in a plane, you are being told than in case of an emergency, you need to put your mask of oxygen first before trying to help and understand the others.
It's the same here, you need first to protect yourself and that means setting and protecting your boundaries.
Whatever are the reasons those dudes are behaving like jerks, it doesn't matter, they are behaving like jerks.
And most likely not only with you.
I too fall in the mansplaining trap from time to time. But when a woman makes me realize I am doing it, I am not upset by the messenger, I apologize like a real man shall do, and we move on.
The only people who get upset when you set boundaries are the ones who benefited from you not having any.
Let me end on a personal anecdote:
I understood how infuriating mansplaining must be for women the day I made the connection with a similarly infuriating phenomena.
At Amazon they tell you that when taking decisions, you need to beware of the HIPPO, or Highest Paid Person's Opinion.
What happens in many companies is that there is an important decision to be made, so you research the subject, try to find good practices, then discuss with people to see what objections they have, finally try to find a reasonable solution to them. Basically you do the work.
But then at the day of the decision, a suit that is paid significantly more than you just walks in. He has thought about the topic at hand for at least 5 minutes, and armed with his high confidence decides that no, we are doing things his way or the highway instead. Why? Mostly because he likes it better.
And oh boy, that's infuriating.
That's also an inefficient approach to decision making.
But honestly, it's first and foremost infuriating.