Mansplaining in Mexico: What women thought of an all-male panel on feminism

Many people in Mexico expressed outrage on social media after a flyer advertising an upcoming discussion on feminism showed a panel made up entirely of men.

The debate, due to be held on Oct. 11 in Mexico City, was organized by the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s humanities faculty.         

Titled "Marta Lamas in dialogue with XY," referring to the male chromosomes, it will be hosted by prominent feminist Marta Lamas, who will debate the 11 men on her 70th birthday.         

"I have spent 48 years discussing feminism on panels only with women," she told the BBC. "And this time I thought, 'OK, let's see what men have to say'. I am trying to change the world for men too."         

However, many Mexicans reacted with fury on social media.

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One woman, using the Twitter handle Larisa Lo, described the scenario as “#Mansplaining descripción gráfica,” or the “graphic description of mansplaining.” 

Ana González a feminist blogger, tweeted: “Feminism for dummies: we don’t have a single representative, there are many of us and we’re very diverse. Invite many women to your debates.”         

González told Vice: "I think that if this was a joke it is a very unfortunate one. In Mexico we still have all-male panels in every discipline out there."         

Con Nosotras, which encourages male speakers to boycott panels with few women, was founded to address a dearth of women in public life in Mexico.         

“It’s good that this has created debate about the issue,” said the group’s co-founder, Susana Ochoa, according to             the Guardian.         

“I think their intention was good but it wasn’t communicated appropriately.  Women have not been represented in this country for a long time.”         

Regina Tamés, the director of woman’s reproductive rights organization GIRE, defended the event.

“It’s an event which male allies and friends are going to honor Marta,” she tweeted. “She has spent 45 years speaking with women.”         

Male journalist Jenaro Villamil said he pulled out of the event. He tweeted: "I didn't organize it and it doesn't interest me to take part in this game of hate."


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