Sweden is ahead of us in many ways: universal healthcare, shorter work weeks, meatballs. Now it seems like Sweden is also leading the fight against mansplaining. According to the New York Times, a Swedish union has sent up a hotline where employees can report incidents of mansplaining at their jobs. It's part of a weeklong effort to raise awareness of the condescending way certain men explain things to women that they already know.
The hotline was set up by Unionen, a trade union that represents roughly 600,000 private-sector workers in Sweden. The line is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day this week, and both men and women are being encouraged to call in with their stories. Their calls will be answered by 20 gender experts (both men and women).
"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," union spokeswoman Jennie Zetterström told the Times.
Zetterström said that many people have called the hotline asking for advice on what to do when they feel like they're being run over by male colleagues or on how to help female colleagues when they're being ignored by men.
Unsurprisingly, there have been mixed reactions to this. Since news of the hotline broke, Unionen's Facebook page has been flooded with negative comments from certain men who are Very Mad!™ (Probably the same men who might benefit from learning about mansplaining.)
Zetterström said that it was never the union's intention to "point fingers or blame all men," just to raise awareness of gender discrimination in the workplace and start discussions that might help to stop it.
Any chance they're taking international calls?