PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT #1559
UNDERSTANDING THE DEFINITION OF MANSPLAINING
All over the web, men jump into conversations women are having and attempt to take them over by “clarifying” for the females what something means. Or they commence to correcting women on what they say they have experienced or feel about how men treat them.
Many times the Mansplaining involves a complete discounting and denial of female experiences with the male gender, as the Mansplainers “logically” explain how women’s interpretations of events and experiences is wrong.
In his mind, since it didn’t happen to him, he’s never seen it, no one HE knows is like that, no woman has ever told HIM that, no women in HIS family ever talked about it, he never felt that way, and he doesn’t think it possible, then it subsequently never happened or ever happens, and women are all wrong to say it did.
So ladies, it is mandatory that you understand what is going on when you see this type of behavior. You need to understand what Mansplaining is and how it works.
(1) to delight in condescending, inaccurate explanations delivered with rock solid confidence of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation. These statements are usually prefaced with “as a man…” or “I’m trying to give you THE MALE point of view (as if he has been elected to speak for all the males in the entire Universe).
(2) To explain in a patronizing manner, assuming total ignorance on the part of those listening. The Mansplainer is often shocked and hurt when their Mansplanation is not taken as absolute fact, criticized, rejected altogether or heartily laughed at by confident, intelligent women. This is usually followed with childish barbs such as “that’s why you’re single!” or “you are going to die old and alone with 40 cats!”
(3) To explain something in an unnecessarily long winded way, so as to dominate the conversation, and to make statements that are not based on facts, assuming that people will believe and agree with him because he is male. This is usually prefaced with a question that has nothing to do with the woman’s statement, as he attempts to detract the conversation women are having about themselves and their issues to be about him or men and their issues.
(4) Despite claims of superior strength in avoiding over-emotional reactions, when a man encounters even one iota of criticism of men on the internet, he must then Mansplain why women suck by comparison or must be radical feminists. He demonstrates a severe case of He-bitchness and Bitchassedness as he goes whining and complaining on a tangent about how feminism has destroyed relationships and communities and women don’t “know their roles” anymore. Ninety percent of the time the ones you’ll see and hear using this type of Mansplaining phraseology are African American males.
(5) A word typically used to imply that the previous speaker is overly condescending and/or has a different way of explaining because he happens to be a man and the other party a woman. Usually, this is based in an over- or misinterpretation based on prejudice about the alleged Mansplainer’s intentions or on an inability to take constructive feedback. Sometimes it is used as an ad hominem attack, an attempt to unfairly discredit the speaker or her arguments without having to provide informed counter-arguments. Typically, the Mansplainer is simultaneously implied to be sexist and/or misogynistic. Instead of countering with an intelligent thoughtful comment, he attacks the poster’s age, weight, looks, intellect, marital status, or family, though he does not know this woman personally.
(6) When males explain (something) condescendingly (to a female listener), especially to explain something the listener already knows, presuming that she has an inferior understanding of it simply because she is a woman. The manner in which statements are made to women are paternal and elementary, as if the woman has the wit of a four year old.
This is MANSPLAINING in a nutshell.
(originally published 1/27/2014)
Category: Society and Culture