Steel Yourself Up For Some Mansplaining

, , , , , | Working | September 2, 2019

(I’ve never knowingly encountered mansplaining before and discovered today that maybe I’ve just been oblivious. My associates, classmates, and I are attending a mandatory training in order to use the vicinity around the trolleys to install some temporary sculptures for the upcoming International Sculpture Day. I’m in my final year of college and have used a variety of tools such as chop saws, table saws, jigsaws, welders, angle grinders, etc. I see the wheels and engine housing used on the trolleys in the work bay and my first instinct is to build a sculpture on it. This leads me to asking the employees teaching the class how much it would cost if I ever try for a grant proposal. It also leads to a different company employee also attending the training to reveal his ineptitude as he “mansplains” to me from across the room. I’d like to point out that my T-shirt has “[College Initials] Sculpture” on it. If it wasn’t obvious, I’m female and the other attendee in the story is male.)

Me: *finishes sketching over the trolley on the handout* “How much would it be for the wheel base and all the components of the trolley, but without the A/C, Wi-Fi, and outer shell?”

Employee: “Altogether it cost $3.9 million for the restoration.”

Me: “No, no. I just want the estimated cost of everything without the actual trolley housing and upgrades since I’d want to put a sculpture on it.”

Employee: “Well, it won’t work without the trolley structure.”

Me: “I wouldn’t need it, though. See?” *shows my sketch to employee*

Attendee: “It won’t work unless you have the steel housing.”

Employee: “Oh, that would be really cool. The wings could go up and down with the arm and it’d be really cool. Probably about $2.5 million, then.”

Me: “Okay. Cool. Thank you.”

(I doubt any city would grant me that much for my sculpture idea. I figure that is the end of it.)

Attendee: “It still won’t work without a steel body, though.”

Me: “That’s fine. I like welding.”

Attendee: “It has to be steel, though.”

(I assume at this point he either didn’t hear me or has no idea what welding is… more so the latter, though.)

Me: “Which is why I’d be welding?”

Attendee: “It has to be all steel like the frame and everything so it can insulate it.”

Me: “Riiiight.”

(At this point, I’m assuming he’s dumb as a box of rocks, because if I had a live power feed from the overhead cable, through the arm, onto the steel, and straight to the motor, I’d have a dead body for whoever touched it much less operated the driving controls.)

Male Associate: “It would be steel because she’s a sculptor.” *walks away*

(After that, the other attendee shut up. It wasn’t until after the class that two of my associates told me the guy had been mansplaining. When I went to class later to work on a project, another classmate who attended the training was checking to confirm if he really had been mansplaining or if her feminism alarm was being overly sensitive. The entire time I’d just thought he was dumb.)

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