There's Now A Hotline You Can Call To Report 'Mansplaining'

Women in Sweden can now call a number to report incidents of mansplaining

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If you've ever been in a meeting or at the pub discussing important topics like politics, the global economy or music and had a man try to explain something to you in a patronising voice you wouldn't even use to talk to your dog, you'll be well-aware of the term 'mansplaining'.

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For the minority of men out there who believe women struggle to comprehend global issues or popular culture, let us be the first to say that you need a reality check.

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Anyway, while the rest of us are left thinking 'seriously, is this guy for real?' or having to explain to said men that yes, we do know what the FTSE 100 is, what's going on in Syria and the score of last night's England v Spain football match, women in Sweden have been gifted a hotline they can call when they experience instances of mansplaining.

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Set up by Unionen – one of Sweden's largest trade unions – the new hotline is staffed by gender experts, feminist politicians, comedians and scientists, and is now open to receive callers from 10am to 4pm until Sunday 20 November.

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According to The Independent, Unionen defines mansplaining as, 'a man explains something to a woman without being asked, particularly something which she might already know more about than the man' and have said that they will provide advice to women on ways they can deal with mansplainers.

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Unionen have said that the hotline is 'about equality' and hopes to eradicate the demeaning, patronising nature of mansplaining that attempts to make women feel less intelligent or inferior to their male counterparts.

'It is about putting your finger on the small everyday problems which become large when they stack up,' reported The Independent.

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The hotline has gained support from women across Sweden, with Linda Landgren writing on Unionen's page, 'Good initiative. Judging by the comments, it seems quite a lot of men feel this is aimed at them, so it shows how much this kind of work is needed.'

However, the creation of the hotline hasn't sat well with some members of society – unsurprisingly men – who say the campaign serves to 'disseminate' sexism and is offensive to men.

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Facebook user Daniel Bergman wrote on Unionen's 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.'

Meanwhile, Jim Brännlund noted: 'Just what we need in society, more polarisation. And people wonder why right-wing populism is on the rise.'

Is a hotline calling out mansplaining helpful for women or offensive? Let us know what you think at @ELLEUK.

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