Our airways and screens are teeming with talk about gender equality, misogyny, sexism, paternalism, old boys networks, equal pay, women's rights, glass ceilings, etc. Whether it's because of the American presidential candidates, chauvinistic advertising executives, a feminist Canadian prime minister, tone-deaf reporters announcing female Olympic winners, or something else ... #feminism is definitely taking centre stage in important discussions today.
I was recently challenged by a friend to take the gender out of the term "mansplaining" after reading a satirical article entitled, "9 Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women" from TheCooperReview.com via The Guardian. While satirical, the strategies hit very close to home for many women who had actually been counseled to do some of the silly things such as "thanking a male coworker for stealing and presenting your idea" and "softening direct instructions to staff to make them seem less harsh."
I took on the challenge with gusto, and created the following neologisms to help people call out these inappropriate and/or unnecessary behaviours for all genders:
RESPLAINING - when someone explains a basic concept to you that you already understand, and does so in a plodding, pedantic manner.
IDEACARNATION - when your old idea gets presented back to you as their new idea
DOPPELSAYER - the person who hears you express an idea, then proceeds to immediately restate the idea as theirs, with no attribution to the original
HARSHMALLOWING - when you believe you have to pad a direct request or instruction with all kinds of soft/apologetic/puffy words so as not to appear threatening and 'harsh'
SANDBRAGGING - burying your idea in a opaque, diminishing, often self-deprecating statement so as not to appear boastful or 'uppity'
SHRILLINESS - when someone confuses bold, loud, declarative speech with yelling or screaming because the speaker's natural voice is in a relatively high pitch