17 September 2015
by Allison Worrall
PM accused of 'mansplaining' ... but what does it mean?
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accused of "mansplaining" in Question Time on Wednesday - which clearly baffled a number of government ministers.
Press gallery reporters noted a few raised eyebrows and confused looks after Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek told the parliament Mr Turnbull was not answering her question, but was instead "mansplaining".
One journalist reported hearing baffled frontbenchers ask if Ms Plibersek had said "manscaping" and what on earth was her point?
According to the Macquarie dictionary, to "mansplain" is to "explain (something) to a woman, in a way that is patronising because it assumes that a woman will be ignorant of the subject matter".
A marriage of the words "man" and "explain", mansplaining can also be described as explaining something in a condescending, overconfident or oversimplified way.
It beat "selfie stick" to be the Macquarie's word of the year in 2014, but can be traced back to an essay by American writer Rebecca Solnit in 2008.
Tanya Plibersek during question time on Wednesday.
So what exactly was said that led Ms Plibersek to criticise the prime minister for his allegedly mansplaining ways?
During question time on Wednesday, Ms Plibersek asked: "can the Prime Minister confirm how much he will restore to the foreign aid program after the cabinet he was part of cut the budget by $11.3 billion?"
Mr Turnbull replied: "If the honourable member wanted to get a serious answer she should ask a serious question. If all she's interested in is making an allegation, making a political argument across the dispatch box, that is fine. But it's a complete waste of question time."
To which Ms Plibersek said:
"Mr Speaker, I'd rather have an answer than the mansplaining by the Prime Minister."
The term has made headlines elsewhere in the world in recent times.
Just days ago, famous US actor Matt Damon was accused of "mansplaining" when he interrupted African-American filmmaker Effie Brown to talk about diversity in films.