Speed Reads


Sweden set up a hotline for women to report mansplainers

Sweden's largest union, Unionen, has launched a hotline for women who are fed up with having men offer unsolicited explanations of things they already know, The Independent reports. "It is obviously not the case that all men expose women to 'mansplaining' all the time," Unionen's gender expert Peter Tai Christensen said. "It would be an absurd assertion that lacks reality. But enough women are exposed to enough mansplaining for it to be a problem that needs to be highlighted, discussed, and solved."

The hotline is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday and is staffed by a gender expert as well as feminist politicians, comedians, and scientists. It will offer advice and a sympathetic ear to callers as well as help them move on. "But there are no set answers," The Independent adds. "Instead, the people staffing the line will have the freedom to say what they want, based on their own experiences."

Unionen represents 600,000 private sector workers and says that mansplaining diminishes women by making them seem less capable than they are. "There is a structural problem built into the concept [of] 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," Unionen said in a statement.

Not everyone is on board; some men expressed frustration with the hotline on Unionen's Facebook page. "How would women react if you used words like 'old biddy chat' or 'female whining'? Equality can't be won using negative invective, but should be built using mutual respect and partnership. But maybe I'm the only one who thinks so," Daniel Bergman of Sundsvall wrote.