In 2020 there were bushfires across Australia.

An Australian MP, Craig Kelly, was interviewed about it on Good Morning Britain.

He stated that the bushfires were nothing at all to do with global warming.

Laura Tobin, who presents the on-air weather for GMB, disagreed.

She said “This was Australia’s hottest and driest year on records going back 100 years, and you have the second highest carbon emission on earth.”

Craig Kelly said she was wrong and went on Twitter to say she was just “An ignorant pommie weather girl, she has no idea what she’s talking about.”

So, he’s saying because she’s female everyone can ignore her and anything she says.

Except Laura Tobin then went on Twitter to reply:

“Ignorant Pommie weather girl?

I have a degree in Physics and Meteorology.

I worked for the RAF briefing flight crews on meteorological forecasts.

I completed a World Meteorological Course on climatology.

I know what I’m talking about, Mr Kelly, do you?”

Which pretty much shut him up.

But his is an example of the sort of attitude that leads to ‘mansplaining’.

Mansplaining is an expression summarising the patronising attitude some men have towards women.

When they feel their knowledge is automatically superior and they need to explain something in simple terms.

Rebecca Solnit gives an example of this from a dinner party she was invited to.

The host asked her what she did, she said she was a writer.

He asked her if she’d written anything recently, she said her latest book was: ‘Edweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West’.

The host ignored her answer and proceeded to explain what she needed to know about Edweard Muybridge, he knew because he’d just read a review of an important book.

She tried 3 times to tell him that the book he was explaining to her was the book she’d just written, it took a while before he got the message.

But she says mansplaining doesn’t only happen to women.

It happens every time someone patronises someone belonging to a group they feel superior to.

It might be race, or class, or age, or education, or nationality, or wealth.

In advertising this is usually the people who write the brief.

They feel they are the only ones intelligent enough to understand the problem, to formulate a solution, then explain it in simple terms so creatives can understand.

But it also happens with awards entries.

It’s no longer enough to let the advertising speak for itself, now it must be accompanied by a video presentation explaining every aspect of the thinking that went into making the commercial.

This is tantamount to admitting the advertising isn’t good enough to explain itself.

That, or it’s being entered into a competition judged by a panel who couldn’t possibly understand the advertising otherwise.

Either way, what’s being judged is the video presentation, not the advertising itself.

In fact, you can even hire specialists who will put together these video presentations for you.

They boast about how many awards they’ve won for their clients.

Not the advertising itself you understand, they say it was the video presentation that won.

This is the problem with mansplaining advertising.

It’s what happens when the point isn’t to make good ads, but to win awards.

Which is exactly Goodhart’s law: “When a measurement becomes a target, it ceases to have any value as a measurement”.