Hey, do you love terms like “manspreading” and “mansplaining”? Do you wish there were more words like that to describe how terrible (white) men are? Well, you’re in luck! Cultural historian Lynn Stuart Parramore is here to tell you about a new one called “manterrupting.”
As you might have guessed, this describes that moment when a (white) man interrupts a woman who is just trying her best to say the sensible and logical things that women are known for. Parramore, in an NBC piece on Monday, told us that the way Trump behaved in his “60 Minutes” interview with Lesley Stahl was a perfect example of “America’s ongoing manterrupter problem.”
We literally no longer know whether these people are serious anymore.
“The entitled male is hard to shut up,” Parramore writes. “Recent displays of infuriating ‘manterrupting’ illustrate how tough it can be to manage the problem. CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl, in her ‘60 Minutes’ interview Sunday with President Donald Trump, was interrupted, talked over, instructed and lectured about how to speak. Despite — or perhaps because of — her unrattled persistence, Trump finally cut her off completely and walked out of the interview early.”
Because she knows you may have doubts about the premise of her article, Parramore writes, “As every woman who has sat seething through a meeting knows, ‘manterrupting’ is real. Social science studies suggest that men interrupt women 33 percent more than they interrupt other men.”
Uh-huh. We’d love to see the data behind that claim.
Maybe you’re not convinced that this is a problem worth discussing. Well, Parramore has news for you.
“Male justices, research shows, interrupt their female colleagues three times as often as they interrupt one another during oral arguments, regardless of the women’s seniority,” she tells us. “Studies show that these ‘highly gendered’ arguments can affect the outcomes of cases — making manterrupting a practice that can distort the fundamental laws of the land. The moderator of the vice presidential debate, USA Today’s Susan Page, acknowledged that Pence’s frequent interruptions of Harris resulted in his having more speaking time. This suggests manterrupting even undermines the democratic process.”
So there you have it: This phenomenon – which you hadn’t heard of until this moment – is tipping the scales of justice and destroying our very democracy! Wow.
And we thought it was bad when men were taking up too much space on the subway.
Question: Is manterrupting more or less important than the Black Lives Matter movement? Would public health officials endorse a protest against manterrupting, even if it violated social distancing guidelines? Would female sports athletes be justified in taking a knee for this cause? Can gay men be manterrupters? Can liberals? Or is this purely a white, straight, male “problem”?
We’ll have to wait for the social sciences to tell us more. In the meantime, we’ll be listening.
Well, unless we have something to say that’s more important…