Woman accusing a man of ‘mansplaining’ gets as good as she gives
Gender wars: Katy Gallagher accuses Mitch Fifield of mansplaining
FEBRUARY 11, 2016 11:07AM
Social Affairs reporter
Senator Katy Gallagher accused Mitch Fifield of ‘mansplaining’.
The spectre of the gender wars has been invoked in Senate estimates this morning after a line of questioning by new Labor senator Katy Gallagher resulted in a spat between her and government minister Mitch Fifield in which she accused him of “mansplaining”.
Senator Gallagher was asking about the status of social security legislation the day after Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister and whether there was any change to the introduction of bills, with Senator Fifield explaining that these were matters for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The argument went on, with Senator Gallagher rephrasing the question a number of times.
“Thanks for the mansplaining,” she said toward the end of the first session of Community Affairs estimates.
“Imagine if I said you were womansplaining,” Senator Fifield said, before adding she was being “sexist”.
Senator Gallagher said his answers had been “patronising and condescending”.
“I thought we were having a good-hearted exchange, I just find it extraordinary that you or any senator at this table would seek to invoke gender in impugning how a senator is responding,” Senator Fifield said.
“Let the record show that Senator Gallagher thinks it is appropriate to refer to a senator as mansplaining.
“I am appalled, quite frankly. I am not endeavouring here to give a cabinet handbook description of the legislative process. Take a good look at yourself.
“If I said to a female senator you are womansplaining, stop being a hypocrite, conduct yourself appropriately for this place. Hypocrisy, thy name is Labor.”
Senator Gallagher responded: “I think you need to settle down, really.”
“Welcome to federal parliament,” Senator Fifield said.
Senator Gallagher, incensed, said: “Oh, where the big people play?
I’m not the one having a breakdown.”
The session was called to order and the senators moved on to more sedate questions.
What is ‘mansplaining’?
Urban Dictionary explains:
Originally, this term was used to describe boorish men who felt the need to “correct” what a woman said, even on topics that the man didn’t know anything about.
However, the term quickly degenerated into a get-out-of-jail-free card used by angry women when a man dares to point out even the most blatant error.
Old: That Bob is trying to tell Jill how to raise a horse? She’s raised championship thoroughbreds for decades and he’s never even ridden a horse. What a stupid mansplainer!
New: OF COURSE HAMSTERS KNOW HOW TO SPEAK IN RUSSIAN! STOP MANSPLAINING!