Women on Twitter Are Sharing Their Worst Experiences With Mansplaining

Laughing through the rage.

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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.

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.

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.

Mansplainers also love to explain women’s own life experiences/innate abilities/essence of self back to them.

 

And then there are the men explaining your very field of expertise. Those are fun.

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.

 

(H/T Teen Vogue, image: Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.