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A Group Discussion was held on 10th March 2017. It was an illuminating experience. During the group discussions, we came across a few girls who had not been victims of ‘Mansplaining’ themselves but had witnessed it around them. One girl claimed that this issue is inconsequential because women are now empowered enough to silence anyone who tries to shun them or tell them otherwise. What she did not seem to understand, even after hearing a lot of girls around her state various examples of being mansplained, is that the majority of the women in this country are not actually empowered. They are made to believe and feel like they have all the power to do what they want but our subtly subjected to the problematic patriarchal mind set through ‘Mansplaining’. One girl pointed out that when a girl drives well or does anything remotely ‘unwomanly’ well, she is often told “Wow, you are so much better at this than other girls”. Girls tend to take this as a compliment, but fail to realise the patronizing subtext of this statement, and that is where the problem lies. If enough people are made aware of ‘Mansplaining’ and these subtle insults thrown to women every day, women would stand up against this behaviour and men would make a conscious effort to watch what they are saying or doing. Many girls pointed out that the right kind of nurturing and conditioning of children from an early age would help with maintaining the ‘power balance’ between the genders and would help make women more confident about voicing their opinions. Another example put forth was that of a girl, whose male friend would make decisions for her when they would go out somewhere. She said that she usually takes some time to come to a decision and does not appreciate it when her friend assumes that just because she is taking longer to come to a decision, she in incapable of making one. In these instances, the girl can only stand up to the guy and point out that he needs to be a little patient while she very capably comes to a decision. Group discussions like these are an effective method of spreading awareness about a topic, as they trigger the minds of the people involved, often leading them to discuss the issue in other groups, and therefore creating a domino effect.

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