Women on Twitter Are Sharing Their Worst Experiences With Mansplaining
Laughing through the rage.
If you use the term “mansplaining,” especially on the internet, chances are you’ve been met with a knee-jerk reaction from angry men wanting you to know how sexist that word is. (See, probably, comments section below.) Those people, generally, have a false definition lodged in their minds that mansplaining = when a man explains something. And that misses the actual meaning, which is based in a fundamental, often unconscious but extremely pervasive devaluing of women’s knowledge and opinions. There’s a world of difference between explaining
There’s a world of difference between explaining something, and explaining something to someone with a higher level of expertise of the subject, without asking if your opinion is welcome, and without asking what the person you’re speaking to already knows.
Now sure, women can be guilty of mansplaining, and men can be on the receiving end of it, but by and large, this is a phenomenon that women experience all the time. For many of us, it’s an ingrained part of our daily existence. The men who try to say this is isn’t a gendered experience because you know, it happened to them too once, are missing just what a big part of everyday life this can be for women.
How extensive is the presence of mansplaining in women’s lives? A Twitter user named Nicole Froio put a call out for women’s experiences, and was immediately flooded with examples.
Quote this tweet with the most obvious thing a man has ever mansplained to you.
— nicole froio (@NicoleFroio) May 16, 2017
Mansplaining, again, is often based on explaining something the woman does not need explained, often by someone with no actual expertise in the subject, without being asked to do so.
This one time the landlord spent FIVE MINUTES explaining to us 3 lady tennants how the plain, pull open curtains worked. https://t.co/d5uCNy9LxG
— Adel Smee (@adelsmee) May 17, 2017
Oftentimes, the woman being mansplained to knows WAY more about the subject than the man doing the talking. Like, for example, explaining how women’s bodies work.
@NicoleFroio What menopause is like during my third year of menopause.
— Ana Elizabeth (@IyadaStorm) May 18, 2017
@NicoleFroio I had 2 boys try to explain to me that I definitely came (I didn’t) the first time I had sex but didn’t realize it bc I was in too much pain
— d. liddle (@desliddle) May 17, 2017
Breastfeeding. I was feeding my baby at the time. https://t.co/hM1hgqAz2f
— Gina Rangi (@mokai77) May 17, 2017
The effects of pregnancy on my body https://t.co/rjwvXn429N
— belly von strudel (@blindar_) May 17, 2017
Mansplainers also love to explain women’s own life experiences/innate abilities/essence of self back to them.
@NicoleFroio I had someone try to explain the political history of my home country to me. He’d read an article in a magazine
— Sam S (@EmCatMom) May 17, 2017
A live-in boyfriend who never cooked trying to tell me I chopped garlic wrong. Bitch, I’m Sicilian. Sit down https://t.co/v97U9X4cLi
— CRREdwards 💬 (@CRREdwards) May 17, 2017
@NicoleFroio When my husband was explaining how to properly pronounce Greek. Greek is my native language, he grew up in Georgia in a Jewish household.
— Anastasia (@ClimberStasia) May 18, 2017
@NicoleFroio How to travel in Italy and what the weather is like in summer. Sono Italiano, io parlo Italiano, anche mia famiglia abita in Italia.
— Ariana Sigel (@arianasigel) May 17, 2017
@NicoleFroio How to pronounce my name. :/
— Anindita Debnath (@PartTimeCook) May 17, 2017
@NicoleFroio My name. A colleague literally told me I had spelt my own name wrong.
— Phillippa Gee-Haitch (@PhillippaHibbs) May 18, 2017
And then there are the men explaining your very field of expertise. Those are fun.
@NicoleFroio Writing on evolution & gender for my masters in bioanthro at Cambridge; a man incorrectly explained natural selection to me, cited wikipedia
— Emily Atkinson (@TheBrightgeist) May 17, 2017
How to search our library catalog using author and title.
I am a degreed librarian. https://t.co/mbIRYwaryd
— Hebah (@just_hebah) May 17, 2017
tax deductions. i’m a cpa. https://t.co/jj8VEKZ6wE
— amanda 🐶 (@feraldanvers_) May 17, 2017
@NicoleFroio Guy explained part of my PhD topic to me after he attended my talk on exact aspect of said topic, asked if I’d ever considered it. Uh, yes.
— Jackie (@jackie_ess_el) May 18, 2017
As you’d expect, the thread is also full of men telling these women that mansplaining isn’t real. Because the determination to ignore and devalue women’s experiences knows no bounds.
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