Yes, it's a real thing.
A workers' union in Sweden that calls itself "the largest white-collar union in the world" has actually set up a hotline for workers to call and report any instances of "mansplaining in the workplace."
"Mansplaining" is a term some in the feminist movement use to describe a man who they say feels the need to explain something to a woman in what they deem a condescending and patronizing manner.
Unionen, a trade union representing around 600,000 private sector employees in Sweden, temporarily set up the hotline to raise awareness about what they consider to be a very serious issue.
Unionen spokeswoman Jennie Zetterström said on Wednesday, "Our objective is to contribute to awareness and start a discussion which we hope will be the first step in changing the way we treat each other and talk about each other in the workplace." She added, "It’s important to create awareness about how seemingly small things that we do or say add up to a larger issue.”
Unfortunately but not surprisingly, Zetterström did not comment on the idea that an individual is responsible for their own feelings.
The union is encouraging both men and women to call any day this week between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm and discuss how instances of mansplaining in their workplace affect them. The men and women answering the hotline calls are so-called "gender experts," authors, and academics ready to help these employees handle their mansplaining crises. Zetterström expressed that everyone answering the hotline have both knowledge and passion about the issue at hand.
Female callers have apparently called in to ask for advice on how to assert themselves when they feel ignored by men in the workplace, and how to handle men who get credit for a woman's work. There has been no word on whether these women have tried normal communication methods to alleviate their problems.
Understandably, there has been a backlash from men in the Swedish community. Zetterström responded to the reaction, explaining that they simply want to start the conversation, and their intent was not to offend anyone.
"Our intention has never been to point fingers or blame all men, our intention has simply been to spark an interest and start a debate at our work places and in society. Of course it’s regretful if someone feels offended.”
At a time when human life has never been easier, humanity finds itself increasingly unable to handle even the most trivial of pressures, which doesn't bode well for our survival as a species.