• The term ‘Manterrupting’ and the feminist debate

    They call us the misandrists and the feminazis. But hey, women who are calling out male dominance deserve slightly better, don’t you think? Especially when the objective is to further the equality of half the population that is still considered a weak minority. UN Women revealed in it’s recent publication that there are only 143 out of 195 nations that guarantee equality to women. This means that there are about 52 countries still don’t!

    In simple terms, the term ‘manterrupting’ is defined is the act of unnecessary interruption by a man when a woman is talking. For those who might argue against the idea of having such a term, I would urge them to read ‘language games’ by Jean- Francois Lyotard, where he talks about science, historical conflicts and culture, and how that is reflected through language. In simple terms, Jean meant that your ethics are limited to the point of what your language can provide. Change in thought is first reflected in change in language, then law, and many years down the line, our code of ethics.

    Jean Francois Lyotard, French Philosopher

    Jean Francois Lyotard, French Philosopher


    Personally, I have been facing the phenomena of manterruption long before the term was even coined by Time. People, especially men and elder women would shut me up even before I could make my argument, for they thought I didn’t know better. Vijayta Bisht, an advertising profesional based in Delhi, slightly disagrees to this. She believes if you’re pretty, it is the senior women more than the men who interrupt your ideas. Agreed, after all, women have grown up believing that as they grow older they have a slightly smaller slice in the power cake, perhaps due to the absence of that extra piece of flesh. Though she agrees that almost all her ideas are more heavily scrutinised than her male peers.

    It is patriarchy at the root of it all. Picture this. At a workplace, if a man talks about his family and kids, he is considered a responsible family man. But if a woman does the same thing, chances are that she might be viewed as distracted or in many cases, even incompetent. On one hand there is a great need to give women the confidence to speak up and voice opinions, and on the other it is equally important that we call out sexism of all kinds to facilitate that path. After all, we all agree that none of us would like to be interrupted when we speak, would we?