If you’ve kept up with Insecure this season, you’ve likely seen workplace misogyny on full display—particularly with Molly’s character. Throughout her story arc she endures all types of sexist scenarios at her new law firm. Namely, male coworkers interrupting and speaking over her in meetings.
While navigating office politics is no cake walk, it’s disappointing that the scenes felt so #relatable. But instead of sitting by and passively stewing like Molly does, we want to proactively arm you with mansplaining comebacks to bring out the next time you face an awkward situation:
Scenario one: When they interrupt you in a meeting
If your coworker grabs the metaphorical mic halfway through your sentence, keep your cool and wait for them to finish. Then jump back into the conversation with a simple and confident, “Thanks for reiterating what I stated earlier, Joe.”
Reassert your control of the convo in the meeting, and be direct in your communication (verbal and non-verbal) with the person who interrupted you.
Scenario two: When they mansplain your expertise to you
It’s offensive as hell, but unfortunately a lot of men don’t even recognize they’re doing it. If this happens to you, shoot back with: “I didn’t know you were so passionate about this subject, Bill. I spent years studying it—what are your thoughts on the recent discovery about XYZ?”
This allows you to make your expertise known without putting the mansplainer on the defensive, which let’s face it, is all too easy to do. #fragility
Scenario three: They think you’re more junior than you really are
Sad but true: Some people just aren’t used to seeing women in high-powered positions. If you’ve ever held a meeting with a room full of men and had them ask you where the coffee is, clap back with a “Do you usually ask the executive where the cream and sugar is?”
They’ll get the memo fairly quickly about who’s running the show. Extra points if you make anyone else in the meeting laugh and say “owned.”
Scenario four: They take credit for your idea
Nothing’s worse than hearing someone else get congratulated for your brilliant idea. If it happens in a meeting with something you’ve already said aloud, say, “I’m so glad we’re all aligned here with what I suggested earlier.” Or, “I’m so excited to see so many of the ideas I talked about getting traction.”
Moving forward, be protective of your ideas. Especially if the person tapping you for a brainstorm is running off with all of the glory. When Mike asks again for help with his presentation deck, simply say, “Sounds like fun but I don’t have the bandwidth to help. Good luck, I’m excited to see what you come up with.”
In other words, “No.” Remember, your ideas are your currency, and your currency is gold.