R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I’m about to give you all of my money
And all I’m askin’ in return, honey
Is to give me my propers
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)
Ooo, your kisses
Sweeter than honey
And guess what?
So is my money
All I want you to do for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

Recently, a friend of a friend blocked me on Facebook after accusing me of “mansplaining,” and then telling my friend that I was a douche bag.  This was in response to me responding to a Facebook post about international politics.  She had posted that she disagreed with a statement by the president that her country couldn’t resist China, and I had replied to the post and pointed out that China’s defense budget was 50X larger, so what did she suggest her president do?

If I’d said nothing, it’s unlikely she would have blocked me.  If you have a friend who passionately posts things without much critical thought, is the respectful thing to say nothing?  In that scenario, you’re thinking, “Wow, this person’s an idiot, no point engaging with them on the issue.”  But you have the plausible deniability that you didn’t see the post, so the thought never translates into a public judgement.

This is the second time in about a week that I’ve been accused of ‘mansplaining.’  The first time was at work by a sales person when she had pasted some bad code into a tool that broke the page she was constructing.  She didn’t bother to check her work and came to me saying the site was broken.  When I found the problem, I said, “Let me show you how to use this tool,” – and that was apparently mansplaining.

Could I have used softer language?  Sure.  At what point does using softer language become an implications that the person you’re talking to is emotionally fragile and needs to be coddled?  Is that respectful?

More and more, I get the feeling that mansplaining is not a word used by successful women.  It’s used by people as a defense mechanism when they’re put into discussions that make them uncomfortable.

Why post it on this blog?  Well, there are going to be many conversations around money.  There will be many times when a person I’m talking to doesn’t understand the financial situation they’ve put themselves into.  Explaining that situation to them could be interpreted as “mansplaining,” and whether or not I agree with that characterization, the person still needs to be helped, so I need a fuller understand of what drives people to respond this way, and how I can pre-empt that kind of show-stopping reaction so they get the help they need.

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