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A Poem for Female Attorneys Who’ve Ever Encountered “Mansplaining”
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Summary: While female attorneys may not be able to stop mansplaining, at least they can laugh about it. 

It’s hard being an attorney, and data has shown that it’s even harder being a female attorney. Female partners are paid 69 cents to their male counterparts’ dollar, and female attorneys slowly quit at different stages of their career to the point that only 27% are left when they reach their 50s. It’s been a great debate on why women have such a hard time in the boys’ club that is the legal world, but one common complaint from women is that men “mansplain” over them.

  
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“Mansplaining” is a term that combines the words “man” with “explain.” It describes the act of a man condescendingly explaining a topic to a woman that she already knows. The reasoning is that he thinks he knows more than her or that he is just a jerk. One famous example happened late this summer when a random guy on Twitter decided to correct a female NASA astronaut on science. She posted a picture of her inside a space equivalent zone with the caption, “My first venture >63,000′, the space equivalent zone, where water spontaneously boils! Luckily I’m suited!” Some random guy, a non-NASA astronaut, tried to correct her statement and school her on the laws of physics, and he was rightfully skewered online for his arrogance.

While it was satisfying to see a mansplainer online get called out, in real life, microaggressions against women by men are often unchecked. No one is around usually to catch your male coworker stealing your credit, talking down to you, or calling you demeaning names like “honey” when you’re trying to have a business conversation. Additionally, mansplaining is not only annoying, but when men do it, they tend to interrupt or correct the women they’re talking to, moves that diminish a woman’s authority.

Until the day male attorneys alter their behavior towards women, at least ladies can find solace in the poem “Differences of Opinion” by Wendy Cope. The 2006 gem went viral a few months ago for capturing the frustration that all women who have ever been told to “calm down” or “be likeable” has experienced.

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Differences of Opinion    



by Wendy Cope

HE TELLS HER

He tells her that the earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong,
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round. 

Photo courtesy of NPA Worldwide

Have you ever experienced “mansplaining?” If so, what happened? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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