Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The following article by Karen Healey explores a topic that is rampant in reality and in blogs but something many women try to ignore.

I would add to it only an example, which might be called, Mansplaining by Patronizing and Condescending. This occurs many times on blogs that are owned by males who profess to be feminists. Their prime motive is to control women and censor whatever she writes.

Under the gise of "just helping out these mental pigmies ie women", they will change or add to a woman's post and then post this comment: "I fixed it for you!"

Such a great word. I expect most of you are already familiar with the term, but because every time I think that someone proves me wrong, and because I think it's fantastic, I elaborate.

Mansplaining isn't just the act of explaining while male, of course; many men manage to explain things every day without in the least insulting their listeners.

Mansplaining is when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate "facts" about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.

Bonus points if he is explaining how you are wrong about something being sexist!

Think about the men you know. Do any of them display that delightful mixture of privilege and ignorance that leads to condescending, inaccurate explanations, delivered with the rock-solid conviction of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation?

That dude is a mansplainer.

Sadly, many of these dudes are our bosses or supervisors or other authority figures to whom we cannot give much crap. But if it's someone you know in a social setting, etiquette experts agree that the appropriate thing to do is to roll your eyes and say, "Oh, please, mansplain to me some more."

You are doing him a favour. Friends don't let friends foster mansplaining.

Whatever the form Mansplaining comes in there will usually be women who enable Mansplainers, one or more women protectors of the Mansplainer who will protect, defend and 'splain why he is basically an OK dude.

These enablers will rush in to translate ie tell you what he really means or to protect him on the basis of how most of the time he helps and is good to women.

Blog comments by many men report that they are hurt for being singled out like this -that women do it too and the term should be gender neutral - like douche bag. Yes, some women do but not from the position of privilege and superiority accorded to men in our society.

Long before the terms came into being [Google goes back no further than the '80's] - Mansplainin was going on. For a brief definition and recent history -

Here is an early example of near universal Mansplaining:-

Women who are obviously battered and broken asking help from God's representative on Earth as they ask the male preacher, confessor, minister to make her husband stop the constant beatings resulting in broken jaw, concussion and abdominal and breast injuries - In addition they may tell of other injuries from the near constant rape by him or by his buddies.

Mansplaining: "It is your duty to do as your husband demands. If he is hurting you then it must be that you are shirking your duties. You must submit to your husband in all things - it is God's will."

Every woman has other examples. The past is the present and appears to also be the future where Mansplainin is concerned.

It is interesting to read the comments on blogs from some males as they Mansplain why the term is incorrect - actually it is hilarious.

The term, Mansplain, is correct and should stand. Alternative suggestions are specious or sexists, such as douche bag, which has become a pejorative against both genders but mostly denigrates women.

Men should "Man up!" or shut up with the Mansplaining - their enablers should shut up and let them suffer the consequences of their own actions.