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Comportamento / 12/03/2021

Machismo also lives in the details

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Machismo also lives in the details



The word is a combination of man (man) and interrupting (and interruption) In free translation, keep interrupting means "men who interrupt". This is a very common behavior in meetings and mixed lectures, when a woman is unable to finish her sentence because she is constantly interrupted by the men around her.

In March, a typical case hit the internet: at a SXSW 2015 panel, an innovation, music and cinema event that takes place every year in Austin, Texas, a brilliant woman discussed the low female presence in technology alongside two men, equally smart. They were Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Steve Jobs' journalist and biographer, Walter Isaacson, and the US government's Chief Technology Officer (Pentagon), Megan Smith. And although the talk was about expanding the possibilities for women, the men at the table were not willing to give space to her. Each time Megan Smith tried to make a statement, she was interrupted unnecessarily by one of the two men:

"Yes, Mrs. Smith, I know that you can talk about this better than anyone, but is that ..."

“I think this question ( the audience) has a lot to do with Ms. Smith's area, but I just wanted to say that…”

(speaking over it) "Yes, Mrs. Smith, but what is worth saying is that ..."

This classic maintainrupting stance was so striking that one person in the audience asked why they wouldn't let Megan speak. The audience, who were uncomfortable, gave a standing ovation. Another famous episode is that of Kanye West, who interrupted Taylor Swift during his speech of thanks for the award for best female music video at the MTV Music Awards in 2009. He invaded the scene to defend Beyoncé, who competed with her in the category. The interruption started with “Hey Taylor, I’m really happy for you and Imma let or finish” and ended up breaking the internet, with a flood of memes. But, disguised as a joke, there is machismo. Not only because it does not allow Taylor to speak, but also because he expresses himself on behalf of another woman, in this case, the powerful Beyoncé. Unnecessary and aggressive. Excuse me, Kanye, but we're not going to let you finish anymore ...


The term is a combination of bro (short for brother, brother, brother) and appropriating (appropriation) and refers to when a man appropriates a woman's idea and takes credit for it in meetings. When we put an idea, we are often not heard. And then, a man takes the floor, repeats exactly what you said and is applauded for it. Who hasn't seen himself in this situation?

In her book “Make It Happen”, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's Director of Operations, invites women to sit at the table. To be aware of their places and their importance in the meeting room. She explains that we are created as delicate, soft and gentle, never as emphatic or assertive. And when we impose ourselves, we are seen as masculinized. There is no doubt that this interferes with our professional life.

And this behavior is not the privilege of some areas. In all markets it works like this. In any meeting room. Bropriating helps to explain why there are so few women in corporate leadership. In addition to the alleged market disadvantages and gender bias, we also serve as a platform for the growth of male colleagues, simply because we are less heard and taken seriously. Girls all over the world, let us own our ideas!


The term is a combination of man and explaining. It is when a man dedicates his time to explain to a woman how the world is round, the sky is blue, and 2 + 2 = 4. And she speaks didactically as if she is unable to understand, after all she is a woman. But mansplaining can also serve for a guy to explain how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or to present varied and incorrect ‘facts’ about something you know much better than him, just to demonstrate knowledge. It happens a lot in conversation about feminism!

A very illustrative case was that of a CNN commentator, speaking about the Hollaback! Case in New York, and mansplaining sexual harassment in public places for the anchor and the other interviewee:

Some ed pearls (with comments):

"There is nothing a woman likes more than hearing how beautiful she is." (gee, thanks for that information #sqn)

"If she doesn't like singing, she shouldn't go out on the street." (great idea! No, damn it.)

“And why don't women just answer guys, since they don't like it? (Hi, there are women who die because of that, friend. #Exhausted)

Mansplaining's true intention is to belittle a woman's knowledge. It is taking away her the trust, authority and respect about what she is talking about. It is to treat it as inferior and less intellectually capable. You may not have noticed it so explicitly in your daily life, but you will surely now pay attention to the way your boss or your husband talks to you, with the unnecessary or idiotic compliments you receive, in the silly congratulations messages for the day of the women. Everything is full of depletion.


Gaslighting is emotional violence through psychological manipulation, which leads a woman and everyone around her to think that she has gone crazy or that she is incapable. It is a way of making women doubt their sense of reality, their own memories, perception, reasoning and sanity. This behavior affects men and women, but we are culturally easier victims. On a daily basis, I bet you've heard it - or several:

"You are exaggerating"

"Wow, you are too sensitive"

"Stop freaking out"

"You are deliring"

"'s your sense of humor?"

"Don't you even accept a joke?"

And the most classic: "you are crazy".

The term gaslighting came about because of a 1944 film of the same name, in which a man discovers that he can take his wife's fortune if she is hospitalized as a mental patient. Therefore, he begins to develop a series of tricks - like blinking the house light, for example - to make her believe that she has gone crazy.

A recent case, which occurred within the American navy, was reported in the press: five women claimed to have been victims of rape within the corporation. A few months later, they were all dismissed due to emotional problems. Other women report cases within the institution. After denouncing the aggressions, they heard back:

"Don't come to bother me just because you had sex and regretted it."

"This never happened. Now you can go. ”

That is gaslighting. A form of manipulation that triggers a total emptying of the victim's autonomy. A tool present in many relationships, which lead women to give up their choices, their opinions and even to take care of their own life. It is disempowerment, oppression and control. Something that should not be admitted in any situation.

Keep interrupting, bropriating, mansplaining and gaslighting. Knowing that these problems exist is already an important part of the solution. Being attentive to small everyday gestures and transforming them little by little will make your life, and that of many women, better.

Small dictionary:

#manterrupting: when a woman is unable to finish her sentence because she is constantly interrupted by the men around her.

#bropriating: When, in a meeting, a man appropriates the idea of ​​a woman and takes credit for it.

#mansplaining: It is when a man devotes his time to explain something obvious to you, as if he is not able to understand, after all you are a woman.

#gaslighting: emotional violence through psychological manipulation, which leads the woman and everyone around her to think that she has gone crazy or that she is incapable.

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