Thus Spake Zuska

You May Be A Mansplainer If…

Mansplaining. We’ve all had to endure it, on the internets or IRL, so frequently we are often overwhelmed with the desire to hork up serious chunks on the mansplainer’s shoes. And yet, you can’t always do that. Maybe the mansplainer is your boss. Maybe he’s mansplaining on your blog or your Facebook page, and you just can’t get at his shoes. What to do?

First, some clarification. Just what is mansplaining? I like this definition.

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.

So, herewith, I open the official TSZ “You May Be A Mansplainer If…” thread. Feel free to post your favorite examples, though I expect there may be a certain loopy repetition after awhile…

Keep in mind that if you post a comment with more than one link in it, it may get caught in the spam filter. If you feel you are not making your way out of spam as fast as you’d like, shoot me an email. I try to check as frequently as I can but sometimes life gets in the way.

I will start us off with a few recent examples. Many, many thanks to commenter Michael Hawkins for these delightful examples of You May Be A Mansplainer If…

1. You MUST explain why everything I said is beside the point, and wrong, and silly.

2. You MUST explain why you are not a mansplainer, then re-explain things to the wimminz. Also, call them sexist.

3. You MUST explain that you mansplain because you assume that blogs are written by men, then re-explain things to the wimminz AGAIN.

4. Ignore everything everyone says, then accuse everyone else of being sexist to you. Follow this with some SERIOUS explaining! Teh wimminz are slow, but they will surely understand someday! Because you are a MAN! And you are SPLAININ’!

Comments

  1. #1 Moopheus
    January 25, 2010

    Does it count if they do this to other men? Because it certainly seems that there are those who fit this description who have no gender bias–they are obnoxiously ‘splaining to everyone in the range of their voice. Like your friend who works in IT and has a couple of MS certs so he thinks he knows EVERYTHING about computers. It might come across as sexist–I’m sure there are instances where they are–but the condescension is not limited by that.

  2. #2 Rev Matt
    January 25, 2010

    As a man, I’m often in quandary as to how to think about these kinds of men. Should I be amused, or ashamed? I tend towards the former, because I’m reasonably sure I don’t behave as they do. I might be wrong, though.

  3. #3 Scicurious
    January 25, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you have ever accused a woman in an argument of being “irrational” or “emotional”, when you are arguing about something which has no emotional basis, or when you simply disagree with them.

  4. #4 Richard Eis
    January 25, 2010

    You May Be A Mansplainer If…

    You are impelled to explain why you are not a mansplainer to her breasts. Neither of whom “get you”.

  5. #5 Moose
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you have ever used evolutionary theory to justify the objection of women… ‘But we have to look at teh boobiez! We EVOLVED to look at teh boobiez to find a mate!’.

  6. #6 embertine
    January 25, 2010

    May I send this definition to my colleague Roger, who stood over me while I changed my tire, telling me exactly how I was doing it wrong even though I did it perfectly in less than five minutes?

    It is already a bit of a sore point with him, particularly when I pointed out that, not only did I do it faster and more accurately than he would have done, but I also did it in four-inch heels.

  7. #7 Paulino
    January 25, 2010

    Mansplaning is not necessarily sexist, there’s lot competition amongst males as well, but it is certainly related to sex and dominance.

    “condescending, inaccurate explanations, delivered with the rock-solid conviction of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right”

    In Brazil we have a term for this that translates to “rule-crapping”, a person who does it is a rule-crapper, you can use it in a phrase “There, he did it again, he just crapped a rule.”, but it’s unspecific as it doesn’t identify it as common manly activity.

  8. #8 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    though I expect there may be a certain loopy repetition after awhile…

    That’s key. Mansplainers are like trolls (they may be a subspecies, even) in that they have a very limited repertoire. That makes them extra-tiresome and painfully boring, but it also makes it easy to develop a set of ready responses.

    When blog moderating, I often just delete those comments, unless I think it will be helpful for those reading along at home to see how one can respond to them. Or if I think they’ll give us a good laugh.

  9. #9 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    “Rule-crapping” just became a permanent part of my vocabulary. Thanks, Paulino!

    Mansplaning is not necessarily sexist, there’s lot competition amongst males as well

    We already knew that. Unless you have been a woman on the wrong side of a Mansplainer, though, you can’t know how differently they treat women.

    Believe it or not, we really can recognize sexism!

  10. #10 Interrobang
    January 25, 2010

    I dumped a guy because at some point in our relationship he decided that mansplaining was easier than either listening to me or trusting me, and I got tired of the endless cycle of

    1. Interrobang does something.
    2. Nasty Ex butts in and mansplains why Interrobang is screwing up.
    3. Nasty Ex’s procedure fails.
    4. Interrobang does what she had originally intended to do, which works.
    5. Nasty Ex spends the next five minutes saying, “You were right, you were right,” as if this somehow absolves hom of the behaviour…and then turns around and does it again.

    So. You may be a mansplainer if you wind up habitually admitting to a woman that she was right all along, and you never learn that maybe that means you should stop trying to correct her all the time.

  11. #11 pheslaki
    January 25, 2010

    I hardly think this is a behavior confined to a single gender. More like human behavior.

    Also, what do you call a woman who insists you’re being a “mansplainer” but is actually wrong herself?

  12. #12 Moose
    January 25, 2010

    ‘Mansplaning is not necessarily sexist, there’s lot competition amongst males as well, but it is certainly related to sex and dominance.’

    OMG did someone just try to mansplain mansplainin’? Oh the irony!

  13. #13 Lab Rat
    January 25, 2010

    Can women Mansplain?

  14. #14 Moose
    January 25, 2010

    ‘Also, what do you call a woman who insists you’re being a “mansplainer” but is actually wrong herself?’

    It doesn’t matter whether the woman is actually right or wrong, the act of mansplainin’ is all about the assumptions the mansplainer makes – they assume that the woman must be wrong because she is a woman, not because of anything like, you know, actual evidence. The fact that she is wrong may be entirely coincidental to the mansplainin’ happenings.

  15. #15 frog
    January 25, 2010

    I looked at comment 1 — and I don’t see a problem with the tone. I see a problem with the stupidity.

    I’m not a fan of the focus on the way people way things, rather than the substance; that’s just a personal style & cultural issue. So what if Mr. Hawkins is dickish? Isn’t the emptyiness of his comments really sufficient to dismiss him? Why be “polite” and explain it as “mansplaining”, rather than that he’s an idiot?

    Or, in reverse, would it really matter that he’s got a bad tone — if his comment had actually made any sense? The problem isn’t the “condescending” but the “innaccurate” — the annoyance with the sound of “conviction” isn’t the sound, but the incorrectness of the conviction.

    If someone is sure they’re right — and you’re sure they’re wrong — there’s no discussion to be had. Either one or both are idiots, right? I guess there’s more male idiots who don’t know it, but I’m not sure if that’s a special problem — I don’t know whether a wishy-washy idiot is any better than a hard-ass idiot. At least the latter let’s you know before you waste too much time…

  16. #16 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    I hardly think this is a behavior confined to a single gender. More like human behavior.

    Wow–thanks for clearing that up. I’m learning so much!

  17. #17 sara
    January 25, 2010

    There are a few things in which I knew enough to really dangerous.
    With an ex the one that stands out was Warcraft. It stands out because we’d argue about something and I’d explain the mechanics and reasoning and counters to it and all of that. And he’d just tell me I was wrong and here’s why and he’d go on and on. Then I’d tell him to look it up. He would. I’d have been right down to the math and he’d come back with either “Well that’s what I really meant and you just don’t understand me because you can’t understand the complex male brain.” or my favorite “No it’s wrong and here’s a conspiracy about why the stupid internet people were all agreeing with a girl.”

    I’ve been very lucky that my area of expertise is so very different from the people I work with that when I disagree they at least listen to me for that time. (Although they often don’t hear because they continue to say the same inaccurate things every time and with great details.) The worst is “Webinars”. Which they will talk to me for hours about how we need to do when they don’t even know what they are.

  18. #18 frog
    January 25, 2010

    “they assume that the woman must be wrong because she is a woman”.

    So they gotta know you’re gender first, right? It’s gotta be a male talking to a female, right? And you should have some external evidence, outside of the conversation, that this is a pattern of behavior, right?

    Then it wouldn’t seem much sense to say that someone on the tubez is mansplaining would it? Mansplaining would be a personal interaction — “don’t worry your silly little head”.

    Well, I guess a real idiot could mansplain on the web — but it would take a serious idiot who thought he could figure out someone’s gender by their writing style, or believe their personal claims, I’d figure, without external confirmation.

  19. #19 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    OK, I am sensing a reluctance among some to acknowledge that there could be a real gendered difference in behavior here.

    Here’s the thing: women can be know-it-alls. Women can certainly chew your ear off explaining things you already know. Many women even rationalize sexism by imagining that they have special, “honorary man” status, and so “get away” with being “more like men” and “having more in common with men than women” (give yourself 5 points for every time you’ve heard one of those!). However, society backs men up in their assumed superiority; that’s what makes the difference.

    Once again, with feeling: there is a real social status difference between men and women in most societies. That’s something which many people simply refuse to recognize. Claims that sexist behavior cuts both ways, etc. would only make sense on a level playing field. We don’t yet have a level playing field.

  20. #20 Beth B.
    January 25, 2010

    It particularly annoys me when a particular guy mansplains only to one or a few women — the ones he’s learned from experience are too nice to bite his head off most of the time. Sometimes you just need a hidden camera?

  21. #21 Owen
    January 25, 2010

    Oh, fascinating. But can I just explain why you’re – nah, just kidding. Speaking as one of those privileged white chaps, good call. I’ll be watching out for that and cringing/pointing and laughing as appropriate.

  22. #22 Zuska
    January 25, 2010

    Please, people – and you know who you are – this is not a thread for asking whether mansplainin’ really exists and demanding proofs and tutorials. This is a thread for those who have been injured by mansplainin’ to mock the mansplainers. We can have Feminism 101 on another thread, k?

  23. #23 D. C. Sessions
    January 25, 2010

    Also, what do you call a woman who insists you’re being a “mansplainer” but is actually wrong herself?

    Right.

  24. #24 --E
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if women have a tendency to nod and agree with you, but then completely ignore your brilliant advice; despite their ignorance, they still somehow get “lucky” and their problem is magically fixed anyway. But it would have been fixed 1.3 seconds faster if they had just listened to you!

  25. #25 Jennifer Ouellette
    January 25, 2010

    Rebecca Solnit calls this phenomenon “Men Who Explain Things.” I kinda like the Manplainin’ moniker better. :) See my post from 2008 on this amazing phenomenon, which addresses a few of the issues raised by commenters…
    http://twistedphysics.typepad.com/cocktail_party_physics/2008/04/let-me-explain.html

  26. #26 2Xchromosomes
    January 25, 2010

    Okay, I’m ready for Feminism 101, because I don’t really get the hostility toward Michael H. I thought he raised his points respectfully and got a lot of shit thrown in his face without his points ever being thoroughly addressed. I read this situation as: he disagrees with you, and explains why; everyone jumps on him and calls him condescending for not understanding the problem in the first place.

  27. #27 Moose
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    …you like to explain the answers to a problem set to a fellow grad student when you are tutoring undergrads even though she has had access to the solutions in advance, because she can’t possibly have managed to get all them complimicated solutions in her head before trying to teach, even though she holds a better class of degree than you. We all know she got that by battering her eyelids at the right Professor, after all.

  28. #28 PalMD
    January 25, 2010

    You may be…

    If you don’t stop to consider your words and how they may be heard by the intended listener. If, when it is pointed out to you that the words you use may mean something in particular to the listener, you insist they are wrong because you “meant” something else.

    If a listener tells you how they feel about your behavior and you tell them they must have misunderstood.

  29. #29 ecogeofemme
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you talk confidently to a woman about a topic that you know is her research subject, and then change the subject when she tells you how you’ve misunderstood the basic tenets of the field.

  30. #30 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    Okay, I’m ready for Feminism 101, because I don’t really get the hostility toward Michael H

    OK. Zuska just said this isn’t the thread for 101, though. If you are really interested, you can start with the 101 pages over at our place. DOn;t forget to scroll down–some of the best stuff is down the page. Somehow, I don’t think that’s really what you meant, but what the heck?

  31. #31 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you begin a sentence addressed to a woman whom you know holds a degree in neuroscience with “there are molecules in the brain called neurotransmitters”.

    This was my cue to put on my best Marilyn Monroe voice: “Molecule?…Is that a kind of diamond?” Sorry everyone present laughed so hard, dude, but you should have seen that coming!

  32. #32 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    Sorry, grammar fail: “a woman who you know holds…”

  33. #33 ildi
    January 25, 2010

    You’re a mansplainer if you argue that calling a woman a bitch not sexist because you only meant that particular woman has those negative qualities and anyways, you can call a man a bitch if you wanted to, so it’s not really a sexist term; it’s the same as calling a man a dick…

  34. #34 ENT-TT
    January 25, 2010

    Hmm. I’m probably a mansplainer. Allow me to mansplain: In my own mind, I don’t feel like I hold a gender bias. I would guess that most women in my circle are probably smarter than I am, but now that I think about it I’m actually encouraged by this. When I go off on tangents, there’s no assumption that my audience is either ignorant or interested. I simply collect information, then form many intentional and unintentional biases, and when asked about something, I vomit “information”. Some of it is accurate, some probably isn’t, but the fact that I don’t usually consider whether my victim feels like I thought about their reasons for asking means that they might prefer me to shut up. I suppose there’s a gap where my imagination meets my verbal filter, so quite often I’m too obtuse to realize that a question was rhetorical, or that my mansplanation is off-target or unwelcome. I’ll guess that, since I haven’t looked at myself that way, I am probably guilty of this offense. My previous extensions of perspective usually happened after learning a lesson, which didn’t apply before I learned it, so it makes sense that I’m a repeat offender. After reading this post, I would argue that it doesn’t matter if someone believes they know better, or is even aware of their own ignorance. If it comes across as a mansplanation, it is one. I hereby apologize to everyone I’ve ever possibly lectured (including those reading this comment). I am now making a resolution to try the following:
    1) When asked a question, ask myself “is this rhetorical?”, then ask myself, “are they being sarcastic?”.
    2) If my best guess to #1 is “no”, think of what I would normally say. If “yes”, skip to #6.
    3) Now think about that response if it were about something I already knew, as well as something I didn’t know
    4) Does my response sound condescending? If no, reply as concisely as possible. If yes, reply “that’s a good question. I don’t know the answer. Would you like my opinion?”.
    5) If they answer yes, give my true opinion in a way that wouldn’t piss me off. Watch for clues. Learn from mistakes. If they answered “no”, then shut the hell up.
    6) If in doubt, shut the hell up.
    7) Remember #6.
    8) Stop mansplaining how mansplanations work, or how the mechanism for mansplaining things begets a mansplanation, or why mansplanations about mansplaining are still mansplanations, or offering mansplanations about how I am a mansplai…. Aw, crap.
    Well, I’ll try again next time ;-)

  35. #35 TTabetic
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you spend time mansplainin’ why you aren’t a mansplainer.

  36. #36 Vicki
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if:

    You insist on trying to “teach” someone a game that she’s told you she knows how to play, and mentions that she’s been playing for years.

    You are almost certainly a mansplainer if you do this by telling the woman what a good play would be while she is well ahead of you in the game in question.

    I play a lot of Scrabble. This is the only game I can remember where I really, really cared that I won. Which I did. There is always some luck in Scrabble, but I had it, and I think I was a better player than he was. I did not give him a second chance at Scrabble, though he was my best friend’s partner for several years.

  37. #37 ENT-TT
    January 25, 2010

    Doubly so if you spend time mansplainin’ the mansplainer’s manifesto. Even more so if your goofy confession is so long that no one bothers to read it ;-)

  38. #38 TTabetic
    January 25, 2010

    Sorry, ENT, too many words.

  39. #39 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    Folks who find themselves on the wrong end of a Mansplanation may also experience a related phenomenon, The Inability to Hear Something Until A Man Says It (this plays a big role in Rebecca Solnit’s original Men Who Explain Things Essay). So, when you try to tell your interlocutor that yes, you know how to play the game; or that actually, you wrote that book, he can’t hear you!

    Before I get the helpful explanations that science has proven that men’s brains really can’t hear women’s high, squeaky voices, it’s not sexism, it’s TROOTH! I’ll add that women do this too (hearing better when men speak), and that people of all genders do it in writing, no voices involved.

    As a blog moderator, I sometimes get completely ignored by commenters (even women, even feminists and allies) when issuing a direct request. When a male moderator comes in and reiterates, suddenly the request is heard!

    Which brings me to this: gentlemen are sometimes reluctant to back a woman up when they see she is being ignored or mansplained at. Please do back us up; it’s a show of solidarity, and chances are we’ll take it as such, rather than as a patronizing attempt at being a knight in shining armor. I suspect that men who tell me they are afraid of looking like a patronizing rescuer are really just afraid of being unpopular, but whatever. Cringing is not enough–step up and speak out!

  40. #40 Erica
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    When you make an assertion that you are not sure is true, but say it in a way that makes you sound certain.

    When a woman says she’s pretty sure you’re wrong, that seems to only increase your conviction that you are right.

    When you have figured something out yourself, and a woman is trying to figure the same thing out herself, you assume that she can’t and/or doesn’t want to figure it out herself, and needs you hovering over her shoulder to tell exactly what to do and how to do it. You yell at her if she messes up, especially if she does so not taking your advice.

    (The first two are my experience with several men, but especially one of my ex-boyfriends. The second is my experience with my brother and I playing video games. There have been times when he ripped the controller out of my hands and did it for me. He could really suck the fun out of them because I was so worried about proving I wasn’t worse than him)

  41. #41 Erica
    January 25, 2010

    P.S. SKM I am so glad you hang around the scienceblogs. :)

  42. #42 TTabetic
    January 25, 2010

    @SKM, I’ve totally been guilty of the “Oh, you already told me about that? Wow, I didn’t realize it was true!”

  43. #43 snurp
    January 25, 2010

    @interrobang
    At least he acknowledged you were right? Though honestly, I can see how the acknowledgement followed by forgetfulness could be particularly annoying. Pretending the whole conversation never happened is also really, really obnoxious. I had one male friend who used to often argue with me about our shared second major (chemistry). We’d go back and forth for a while over the problem set/review, and eventually seek outside help. Since said friend was abysmal at chemistry and had a bad habit of talking out of his ass, outside information usually confirmed my side of the argument. And then suddenly the argument never even happened. It’s like the entire discussion vanished into a wormhole. I was starting to suspect I should send him to one of those UFO recovery groups since he was losing so much time.

    I do have an occasional mansplaining issue with one of my fellow grad students, but these days I find I run into it mainly during my recreational activities. Apparently male D&D players have trouble believing that I’m actually conversant with the rules. This one jackass refused to believe me on a point re: negative energy, sneak attacks and weapon like spells even after I showed him the most recent text in black and white (and this was a fellow player who stopped the game to claim I’d done something illegal, to up the obnoxious factor. The rest of the group failed to comment). %*&*(^ male dominated hobbies.

    Of course, neither of those examples is anywhere near as obnoxious as when someone comes up behind you to critique some simple procedure you’re performing – when a) you’re right and b) you taught them the technique. >C
    /rant

  44. #44 Simba
    January 25, 2010

    Snurp: ugh, I hate people who suffer repeated amnesia about arguments they lost to you. And of course if they win this will be mentioned over and over and over again. Some of them even deny it when you confront them directly on it!

    I don’t know, I still prefer the phrase ‘teaching your granny to suck eggs’ (fuelled by sexism in this case) to mansplainin’. Something about the visual. ;)

  45. #45 Lindsay
    January 25, 2010

    My personal mansplainin’ hell: being in the presence of more than one mansplainer. Man A mansplains something to the general group; Man B mansplains something back to everyone. It gets worse when there are more than two. The whole conversation is nothing but a bunch of mansplainin’. Afterwards one is asked, “Why don’t you take part in discussions?” AAAAAAAAAaaaRGHHHH!

  46. #46 DesertHedgehog
    January 25, 2010

    The key thing I’ve learned here today:

    From now on, I will begin each and every explanation I ever offer anyone with, “There are chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters…”

    (Delivered utterly deadpan, of course.)

  47. #47 anon
    January 25, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you tell a woman that she’s a bad feminist if she doesn’t want to have sex with you.

  48. #48 Zuska
    January 25, 2010

    You May Be A Mansplainer If…

    your comment on my blog starts with “I’m not sure what exactly this discussion is about…Please allow me to make a few points.”

    Bonus mansplainin’ points for mansplainin’ to me how the photo I took of my soup was ruined by the use of a flash. Next time I used my iPhone to take a picture, I will be sure to turn off the flash. Thanks, champion mansplainer john brookes!!! I eagerly await your photos from the “inner world of soup”.

  49. #49 Jon
    January 25, 2010

    You’ve sort of created a perfect system, in that it seems to be immune to criticism, but of course you already knew that. :)

  50. #50 FrauTech
    January 25, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…
    -Regardless of whether it’s even been suggested, assure women their unequal treatment or injustices have nothing to do with their gender.
    -Assure them that [douchebag you've never even met] could not POSSIBLY be sexist, you’re just overreacting.
    -Tell them any injust treatment is not based on sexism, just that they need to speak up more. Because you know, women don’t speak up enough.

    Or the mansplainer’s natural mate, the FemaleMansplainer:
    -I’ve never experienced that kind of sexism, therefore it doesn’t exist.
    -There’s no sexism left in this world. Oh and I ALWAYS prefer working with men to working with women.
    -Once I had a boss who was a woman and we didn’t get along. So obviously sexist man bosses aren’t as bad and maybe what they say about women as bosses is true based on this one singular advantage of employment I had.

  51. #51 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    You’ve sort of created a perfect system, in that it seems to be immune to criticism, but of course you already knew that. :)

    Hey, passive-aggressive smiley Jon, maybe you need to focus less on criticism for its own sake and just listen for a while.

  52. #52 Vicki
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if:

    *You have a theory that purports to explain why someone’s experiences and data didn’t happen.

    *You claim it’s unreasonable that women discard your pet theory because it conflicts with their observations. Because it’s unfair that you can’t challenge their theory and observations just by raising your voice and pointing out that their theory and observations make sense together.

  53. #53 Jon
    January 25, 2010

    SKM, that’s a fantastic response!

    1. Assume that if someone responds with a criticism (indirectly or directly), they must be doing so for the sake of criticism itself.

    2. Assume that if someone disagrees with what’s been said, they’re not listening. They need a lesson.

    You’ve also seen past my passive-aggressiveness. Very clever! And here I thought I was being subtle!

    Suggestions for further interactions:

    (1) If interlocutor is female, accuse her of being a FemaleMansplainer.
    (2) Accuse interlocutor of not “getting it” or misunderstanding the point of the discussion.
    (3) If interlocutor poses a question you don’t want to answer, tell them that this isn’t the appropriate place for such a discussion.
    (4) If interlocutor is male and appropriately humble, kindly explain to him that this discussion isn’t for “them” or about “them,” returning to (3).
    (5) Ask why men always have to intrude on discussions that don’t have anything to do with them.
    (6) Make sure your concepts are as vague as possible so there’s always a moving target.

  54. #54 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    You’ve sort of created a perfect system

    I’ll add that Jon seems to think we’ve just made this all up. Dear Jon: we’d much rather be getting shit done, being taken seriously and all, than inventing stuff to get mad about.

    You could criticize the point, if you knew anything about it. So, start listening. You might accidentally learn something, and who knows, there might be something in it for you!

  55. #55 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    1. Assume that if someone responds with a criticism (indirectly or directly), they must be doing so for the sake of criticism itself.

    But, Jon, you had no substantive response. What were we supposed to think.

    P.S. I think your irony meter is broken.

  56. #56 Zuska
    January 25, 2010

    Jon, I’m only warning you once. This thread is for mocking mansplainers. You can go anywhere else on my blog and whine about how I am not willing to listen to criticism, but NOT ON THIS THREAD. Here, you may only participate if you are willing to mock mansplainers. Subsequent off topic comments will be deleted and re-posted in a new thread entitled “men who cannot follow clear directions from women”.

  57. #57 anonymous
    January 25, 2010

    You’ve sort of created a perfect system, in that it seems to be immune to criticism, but of course you already knew that. :)

    Shades of Freudian analysis.

    If you deny the allegation, that’s just more evidence that you’re guilty, and you haven’t stopped beating your wife.

    I can’t wait for the thread for venting about being victims of such womanalysis.

  58. #58 jc
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if:

    -your statement to a woman begins with “Lemme tell you something…” and can be followed with a happy little pat on her head as you mosey her out the door.

    -you are a (self-proclaimed) SensitiveGuy, so you KNOW “sensitivity” like the back of your hand, and you mansplain that she’s being too sensitive.

    -your statement to a woman begins with “Woman,…”. Bonus if you tell her to “Man up.”

    -your comment goes alot like this: “If I may say so, I am a [insert husband, brother, father] of a woman with [insert ThingsDudesDoNotGet ranging from menstrual cramps, a mammogram appointment, pregnancy]” and you mansplain what she needs to do, like take a Tylenol.

    -you start with “My name is Im A. Dude, D.Bag. and my buddies [insert names of club members such as Jeezus, Joe the Plumber, George Bush]… blah blah blah” because you mansplain that the club in agreement lends credibility to your statement. It doesn’t. It adds dudes.

  59. #59 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    …when you are losing ground in a discussion, you divert the topic to your interlocutor’s appearance. Tell her she’s “not pretty when she frowns like that” or that she “looks like a dancer” or that you “know a real man-eater when you see one”. Because you assume that for women, appearance (and your opinion of their appearance) trumps logic every time.

    Double mansplainer points of you dismiss every point she makes as being illogical and then “thank” her for “challenging” you.

    Triple points if you then go through a friend to ask for her phone number!

  60. #60 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    I can’t wait for the thread for venting about being victims of such womanalysis.

    Well, anonymous, if that is your real name, what are you waiting for? It’s free!

  61. #61 Rev Matt
    January 25, 2010

    Is it wrong that I read the whole comment thread just to be entertained by the Doods?

    I work with some guys who are mansplainers. And sure, some of them also mansplain to other guys, but the reason they mansplain to women is *because they are women* and the reason the mansplain to men is to assert their dominance and *impress the women*. Because they think that sort of behavior will impress the helpless dumb women, I guess. So it’s actually sexist regardless of who they’re mansplaining to.

  62. #62 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    @anonymous, I think my tone came across wrong, btw. Sorry! It was more conspiratorial fun than snark. ‘Cause you know, what we really need is another blog dedicated to What’s Wrong With Women!

  63. #63 D. C. Sessions
    January 25, 2010

    PPTD (Please pardon the diversion) but has anyone defined “manalysis” as the script for a mansplainer?

  64. #64 Isis the Scientist
    January 25, 2010

    Zuska, you crack my shit up.

  65. #65 Queef
    January 25, 2010

    Members of every gender, race, height, sexual orientation, and religion on this planet probably “explain” things in a way that is condescending. What’s condescending is trying to make it momentarily exclusive to men just because you’re a woman.

  66. #66 anonymous
    January 25, 2010

    SKM,

    No offense taken. My irony meter is not entirely broken.

    (On the other hand, my “irony” meter isn’t entirely broken, either. Or was that “broken”?)

  67. #67 CS Shelton
    January 25, 2010

    Maybe this thread would have involved less argument if you had a “WOMEN ONLY” label on it. There’s a lot of men on SciBlogs who can’t help but feel perturbed for being singled out, and can’t help but commenting when we are perturbed (because we haven’t been socialized to always stuff our feelings like girls are). I’m probably a world class mansplainer and I’d be amused by the concept under different circumstances. This thread is for the ladies but I accidentally stumbled into it and now I feel more annoyed than I -as a feminist dude- would like to be. But then maybe I should take as read that everything on Zuska’s blog is “Ladies Only,” because this is the second time I’ve found myself in that situation here.
    -

  68. #68 El Picador
    January 25, 2010

    Of course I didn’t bother to read the comments (why would I? I’m ‘splainin!) but SKM@#60, let me mansplain to you how to properly deal with people such as anonymous.

  69. #69 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    El picador, I only use that link when I’m on my own blog–a half-hearted attempt at good manners, I guess.

    @ D.C.: has anyone defined “manalysis” as the script for a mansplainer?

    No–looks like you’re the first! And you can be the #1 Expert in The Field! Which is as it should be! Because you’re a Man!

    Could I use any more exclamation points?!!!! How about now!!!!!!!!!!?

  70. #70 snurp
    January 25, 2010

    @CS Shelton

    My impression was not the thread was not “women only” but rather that it was not meant to be a place to discuss the existence/non-existence of mansplanation (perhaps I misread). What about it makes you feel uncomfortable? The knowledge that you may often be immensely insulting toward about half the people you meet, or the presentation of the thread? Because if it’s the former, I was always under the impression that awkward feelings about our negative behaviors were positive things, since they generally induce us to change them. And I’m not sure why it would be the latter if the former isn’t a problem.

  71. #71 snurp
    January 25, 2010

    @70
    My first sentence there is a hash. Apologies.

  72. #72 TTabetic
    January 25, 2010

    Members of every gender, race, height, sexual orientation, and religion on this planet probably “explain” things in a way that is condescending. What’s condescending is trying to make it momentarily exclusive to men just because you’re a woman.

    Posted by: Queef

    That is mansplaining. And the handle?

  73. #73 Katherine
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    After upsetting me with your sexism you mansplain that it isn’t sexism when you do it because you treat men the same, and anyway I’ve said the same thing about men before.

    Thanks to those who explained to the mansplainers up thread, I wanted a smidge of clarification on mainsplaining myself; I get it now :)

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    Everything you say you say as if you are 100% sure like you read it in Science or Nature less than an hour ago, and when challenged the first time you are as sure as if you read it about an hour ago, the second time as if you read it a couple of hours ago. Every time a man makes a claim I’m just going to ask them to prove it, rather than challenging them with my own views.

  74. #74 jc
    January 25, 2010

    @CS Shelton
    “There’s a lot of men on SciBlogs” How could we forget the WHAT ABOUT THE MENZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ??????????? chorus! There are alot of men, everyfuckingwhere. Good thing to know (ladybrane note: men are on SciBlogs).

    “Maybe this thread would have involved less argument” if mansplainers would quit mansplaining! and trying to WIN WIN FUCKING WIN WIN EVERY FUCKING CONVERSATION!!11!1!1!1

    “This thread is for the ladies”, no it’s not. It’s for mansplaining, but go ahead and mansplain what the purpose of the thread is so it fits the reason you stumbled here to mansplain.

  75. #75 Siamang
    January 25, 2010

    This blog’s so sexist.

    As a Feminist XY, I feel like you’re shitting on us for being XY, and not sufficiently Feminist because I feel hurt at being shat on.

    As far as somehow feeling the pain that XX’s feel when being belittled, condescended to, etc, well, no shit. That’s why I’m a Feminist in the first place.

    Sexist XY’s don’t give a crap, BTW. The only people upset by this thread will be people who care.

    Go ahead and condescend and trivialize and rationalize my emotional responses away now.

    Oh right, I’m XY. I’m not allowed to have my emotions validated. I forgot.

  76. #76 FrauTech
    January 25, 2010

    Maybe this thread would have involved less argument if you had a “WOMEN ONLY” label on it. There’s a lot of men on SciBlogs who can’t help but feel perturbed for being singled out, and can’t help but commenting when we are perturbed (because we haven’t been socialized to always stuff our feelings like girls are). I’m probably a world class mansplainer and I’d be amused by the concept under different circumstances. This thread is for the ladies but I accidentally stumbled into it and now I feel more annoyed than I -as a feminist dude- would like to be. But then maybe I should take as read that everything on Zuska’s blog is “Ladies Only,” because this is the second time I’ve found myself in that situation here.

    -Mansplaining; when you complain about being left out of a “ladies only” or “women’s only” discussion. BULLETIN: There is no such thing as a women’s only discussion. As seen by the fact that even though you did not follow the rules FOR THIS PARTICULAR POST you were still addressed by fellow commentors, and in fact you and your opinion were included in the discussion. Given how many doors are closed to women and minorities this one absolutely floors me. [Side anecdote, feel free to delete this if you want Zuska: my workplace does not get MLKj as a holiday, but EVERY YEAR my white male colleauges like to complain about 'all these new holidays' and where is the day THEY get to take off (uhh, all the other holidays you f@#$tard?)] Anyways that’s how I feel every time some d00d complains about being “left out”. He’s rarely being excluded, but I guess not getting to frame the situation in terms of his white male manliness offends him.

  77. #77 D. C. Sessions
    January 25, 2010

    Could I use any more exclamation points?!!!! How about now!!!!!!!!!!?

    Of course you can if you like. Is RSI a problem?

  78. #78 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    Dear insulted feminist men:

    If the show doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. If you don’t mansplain, or you try to be aware when someone points out that you have, this post is not about you.

    Nobody here said that all men “mansplain”.That’s far from true and it’s not what’s being claimed here. Seriously–read again.

    And here’s one for the advanced feminists among you: sexism (and indeed any *ism) equals prejudice plus institutional power. So, women can hold gender bias against men (note that that is not what is happening here, but it is possible), but that is NOT the same thing as sexism, since women do not hold institutionalized power over men as a class. Sorry if that blows your lobe.

    And no, this is not the thread to debate whether women can be sexist against men, or just biased. I’m merely laying the sociology on y’all since it came up. Feel free to write about the topic on your own blogs.

  79. #79 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    Hmm. That’s shoe. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

  80. #80 Chris Whitman
    January 25, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you respond to any comment about the unfortunate behavior of certain men with the knee-jerk mansplanation that all men do not behave this way, as if the original commenter had ever claimed that was the case.

  81. #81 Comrade PhysioProf
    January 25, 2010

    You are definitely a mansplainer if you find yourself mansplaining that what some woman is saying or doing is a “disservice to feminism”.

    http://scienceblogs.com/thusspakezuska/2010/01/cnn_reports_overweight_decapit.php#comment-2226730

  82. #82 D. C. Sessions
    January 25, 2010

    That’s shoe. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

    The first version was good, too.

  83. #83 deang
    January 25, 2010

    I fear I may have indulged in some mansplaining recently. A female friend sent me a music clip of one of the 80s revival bands that are kinda popular now. In response, I sent her an immense email breaking down the characteristics of late 70s/early 80s electropop, as though it was something of earth-shattering importance. Did it in kind of an overbearing way. She has responded by sending me multiple emails saying, “Pleeeeease listen to this song, too! I really like it so much! Pleeeeeease tell me all about it!” I am terribly embarrassed.

  84. #84 Zuska
    January 25, 2010

    This is so very odd. This is my blog – sort of like, you know my house. This post thread is like, hey, you know, one of my carpets. I stated some very clear rules for this thread – mock mansplainers only, no mansplaininng, no demanding proof that mansplaining actually exists – you know, sort of like saying “don’t piss on my carpet”. No, wait, what I said was “you can piss on any other carpet anywhere in my whole entire house. Just not this one.” And yet all these mansplainers insist on pissing on this carpet.

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, mansplainers, GO POST YOUR WHINY ASS COMMENTS IN THE THREAD ON MEN WHO CANNOT FOLLOW CLEAR DIRECTIONS FROM WOMEN! Or ANY OTHER POST. Anywhere. Anywhere else on this blog. Anywhere. Just not this post. This one is for mocking mansplaining.

    Besides, I am pretty sure this comment thread is full.

  85. #85 Comrade PhysioProf
    January 25, 2010

    If you dumbass feminists had half a fucking brain, you’d know that blogs aren’t supposed to have carpets!

  86. #86 LostMarbles
    January 25, 2010

    So, I take it Michael Hawkins hasn’t changed since the last time I saw him when he stopped by my blog to mansplain how I was totes overreacting and imagining sexism (http://recoverlostmarbles.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-wasnt-planning-on-writing-about.html). Colour me unsurprised that manplainers never seem to learn.

  87. #87 SKM
    January 25, 2010

    If you dumbass feminists had half a fucking brain, you’d know that blogs aren’t supposed to have carpets!

    Not to mention addressing the really important question: does the carpet match the drapes? Amirite?

  88. #88 Pascale
    January 25, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you cannot pay attention to the directive for the comments and continue to post inappropriste crap.

  89. #89 Isis the Scientist
    January 25, 2010

    I would like to present multi-party mansplaining for consideration. This occurs in a group where a woman presents an idea and then one of the d00ds re-presents the idea, with excruciating levels of additional information, for said woman.

    That shit infuriates me.

  90. #90 Peggy
    January 26, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    you feel you need to not only explain a topic, but as a bonus add an anecdote about how ignorant your mom, girlfriend, or sister is of said topic.

  91. #91 anonymous sensitive guy
    January 26, 2010

    then one of the d00ds re-presents the idea, with excruciating levels of additional information, for said woman.

    That’s called getting gangsplained. As of now.

  92. #92 ambivalent academic
    January 26, 2010

    You might be a manspaliner if…

    When having a conversation in which two or more people are presenting different but not mutually exclusive perspectives, you find yourself insisting that *your* unique point of view is the singular correct point of view, and then expound upon how each of the other perspectives cannot possibly be true or valid or correct because you hold irrefutable authority on the matter because of your singular personal experience.

  93. #93 RichB
    January 26, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…

    You argue (at length) with your wife about the pronunciation of a word, instead of just looking it up (to find you were wrong).

    Bonus Points if she’s an English major

    Double Bonus Points if you bring up the last pronunciation argument you had with a different person, but you were right then.

    Triple Bonus Points if the last time you had a pronunciation argument, it was with a d00d.

  94. #94 Luna_the_cat
    January 26, 2010

    Took me a little while to find this again, but:

      He Tells Her

    He tells her that the Earth is flat–
    He knows the facts, and that is that.
    In altercations fierce and long
    She tries her best to prove him wrong.
    But he has learned to argue well.
    He calls her arguments unsound
    And often asks her not to yell.
    She cannot win. He stands his ground.

    The planet goes on being round.

        –Wendy Cope

  95. #95 Eriastrum
    January 26, 2010

    Here’s an example:

    My boyfriend does something that causes me great anguish, anger, claustrophobia, whatever.

    I explain to him repeatedly in a clear and logical way that I am feeling strong negative emotions because of his actions, words, attitude, whatever.

    So does he address my emotions and perhaps consider modifying his actions that cause me so much anguish?

    No, of course not. He informs me that my emotions are completely unjustified by his actions. My emotions are wrong and consequently have no validity and I need to control them.

    Aarrrgh!

  96. #96 DexX
    January 26, 2010

    You begin with the phrase, “I understand where you’re coming from, BUT…”

  97. #97 gnuma
    January 26, 2010

    Love it, simply love it.

  98. #98 Katherine
    January 26, 2010

    Eriastrum, I hope you’re talking about an ex.

    You might be a mansplainer if you mansplain in a thread that is for making fun of mansplaining, then mansplain that you don’t understand why you are being called a mansplainer, then continue to mansplain in the new thread for mansplaining.

    I keep typing “Mainsplan”… I dunno how the i moved so far (please do not mansplain this to me either).

  99. #99 Katherine
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…
    When I ask you how to do something you mansplain how of course I don’t know how to do it, because I’m a woman, and then don’t even tell me how to do it in the first place.

    He couldn’t even fix a computer that all was wrong with it was the bios needed to be given the time and date (and I could), but apparently I don’t know technology.

  100. #100 Queef
    January 27, 2010

    You’re mansplaining when you mansplain that this thread is for mansplain-hating only, Zuska.

  101. #101 Hel
    January 27, 2010

    You are mansplaining when you ask me where I want to go, and then you explain to me that I really don’t go to this place, and we go to the place you want to go. And after you say to me “I am always making decisions, why you never say what you want”.

  102. #102 Luna_the_cat
    January 27, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…
    1. You ask me what I’m getting and what I’ll be using it for,
    2. then proceed to tell me exactly how I could do it better if I do it *your* way and follow your advice on what to buy,
    3. then when I explain that I considered what you’re suggesting and rejected it for the following reasons…
    4. storm off in a huff without letting me finish, saying “well, you shouldn’t have asked my advice in the first place!” — and ignoring totally the fact that I didn’t.

  103. #103 Rev Matt
    January 27, 2010

    @Katherine, I keep doing the same thing. At least I’m in good company.

  104. #104 When a woman mansplains
    January 27, 2010

    Recently, I started emailing back and forth with this guy I met online. It turns out his thesis is based largely on work that came out of the lab in which I am doing my PhD.

    He said something vaguely mansplainy — I mentioned the current postdoc in my lab was moving on to a new position, and he kindly explained to me that this was very common, and people often did more than one postdoc. (…duh?)

    So he started telling me about his work, which contradicts some findings from my lab. I started writing a long email with some questions that could be construed as criticism, and realized that I felt very rude doing so. But having just read this post, and having been mansplained once by this very dude, I sent him my thoughts.

    AND HE NEVER TALKED TO ME AGAIN.

  105. #105 SKM
    January 27, 2010

    I sent him my thoughts.

    AND HE NEVER TALKED TO ME AGAIN.

    Well duh! Next time, tell him how smart he is when he says some obvious shit you already know! After all, isn’t it more important that he like you than that the correct science gets done?

    lolsob!

  106. #106 Endor
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if:

    you get snippy, defensive and angry because your obviously correct opinions about everything regardless of your level of actual knowledge on the topic aren’t immediately accepted as The Ultimate Truth(tm) by the silly wimmins you’re talking to.

    You might be a mansplainer if:

    You just don’t understand why people respond with mocking whenever you speak. You’re obviously so correct about everything! Why are they laughing at you.

    Double mansplainer points if you think they aren’t engaging you because you’re just so totally brill that they can’t. You know, instead of what’s really happening – you’re too clueless to know how cluessless you are.

  107. #107 roro
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a Mansplainer if:
    -when a woman presents an idea, you argue vociferously against it until another man tells you that the woman was correct.
    -you then proceed to discuss and ask questions about the intricacies of this woman-presented idea to the other dood

  108. #108 slythwolf
    January 27, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you try to claim you are not speaking from a “male point of view”, because you think it’s totally possible for dudes to look at the world from the point of view of not being a dude.

  109. #109 shinobi
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you justify taking over control of a marketing department from a woman with a degree in Marketing who has been running that department successfully for several years with the fact that you “have a friend in the direct marketing business.” (and of course go on at great length)

    Fortunately I don’t work there anymore, since my boyfriend is a Chef, I’m gonna be on the Food Network!

  110. #110 JMS
    January 27, 2010

    You’re mansplaining when you mansplain that this thread is for mansplain-hating only, Zuska.

    Queef, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. /Fezzig

  111. #111 mouthyb
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you but into a conversation to do the following:

    –explain to a woman with a PhD in plasma physics (my roommate) why women owe the universe to make up for the fact that they weren’t born white men (my father, MS EE and MBA) by working harder to overcome that handicap

    –right after explaining to that woman with a PhD in plasma physics that she couldn’t possibly understand how complicated your job is (because no one with a PhD in plasma physics who specialized in diagnostics could possibly understand the design of airplanes and circuit boards)

    –shortly before explaining to that woman that your daughter, because she is finishing an MFA and applying for a PhD in sociology to study (useless) things like the effect of class socialization on collegiate pedagogy, has never really been quite bright and the woman with a PhD in plasma physics shouldn’t expect to have a conversation with your daughter that amounts to much

    –all just before explaining that discrimination doesn’t exist, but you don’t hire brown people because they’re lazy and always inventing discrimination because they don’t have to work

    –and then capping off the conversation with how some of the guys you work with won’t stop hitting on a secretary, and how you thought it was gross and told them to be more discrete, which totally makes you the champion of women everywhere, which means you aren’t sexist. And besides, you sometimes hire Asians, which means you totally aren’t racist.

    Bonus points if you are sitting in a hospital waiting room with said daughter while her daughter is having brain surgery, and then literally place yourself between daughter and friend with PhD, so that she has to talk through your back.

    And then tell her the reason she’s so stupid is because she gets so emotional.

    C’est fini.

  112. #112 Granny T
    January 27, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer, if after explaining to a woman why she was wrong about something, she says, “I was joking”, and you respond with “Yes, but do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?”

  113. #113 Carlie
    January 27, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you “correct” a woman about the goings-on in her own actual body. “My stomach kind of hurts from what I ate at lunch”. “No it doesn’t – you didn’t eat anything strange.”

  114. #114 olivia0330
    January 27, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you ask me a million Feminism 101-type questions, just for the opportunity to mansplain to my why I’m wrong/silly/reactionary/emotional/a bad feminist. When I stop taking the bait, and start sending links to Feminism 101-type info in response to your asinine questions you’ve already asked me a million times, you get all head-esplody with rage, and tell me, “No, I’m interested in YOUR opinion, not some asshole blogger!” Uh, no dood, you’re not interested in my opinion. You’re interested in yours. Seriously, when I told dood, “Justice isn’t finite” in response to a typical but-you’re-wasting-your-time-focusing-on-the-LITTLE-STUFF!!! type argument, he actually argued with me that yes, yes indeed, justice IS finite. Idiot.

  115. #115 Bumbles
    January 27, 2010

    I love this! I wandered over from Shapely Prose (regular lurker both there and at Shakesville) and I never really had the word to describe it, but yes! That thing that is so frustrating about some of the men I regularly talk to is mansplaining!

    So, my contribution:
    You might be a mansplainer if…
    …you tell a woman (the only woman in a room full of men in a male-dominated academic department, which department you have never even traipsed into, let alone studied in) that the sexist, silencing thing her instructor said to her (telling her to “Take a deep breath” when she reasonably expressed concern about a new certificate requirement involving taking a senior-level course in another college, in an entirely unrelated discipline) was not, in fact, sexist. Because you were there. And also had taken that seminar the whole time, and knew how that instructor spoke to the men (read: every other person in that room) and how he treated the one woman.
    …you outright mock the very accurate use of the word patriarchy, and claim that we live in a post-racial and post-sexist world because we elected a black president. (Clearly, I need a little more mansplainin’ here, because I don’t get it)
    …in response to your claims that cultural sexism just does not exist (and that sexist attacks against Hillary’s campaign were not in the mainstream (!)) the woman to whom you are splainin’ decides the conversation is no longer worth the frustration, and signs off, you then leave a rambly message on her phone full of non-apologies (“I’m sorry you found what I said offensive” — ’cause, you know, it totes wasn’t!) and insistence that she, and you, would totally overcome whatever obstacles, because sexism is a thing to get past and then it never, ever happens again.

    This was cathartic — thanks so much for the space!

  116. #116 olivia0330
    January 27, 2010

    Sorry I used the word “idiot”. Considering its etymology, that was failful of me.

  117. #117 ambivalent academic
    January 27, 2010

    Once, while playing pool in a bar with some folks, I found myself in an interesting and fulfilling discussion with a guy about books and authors. We were exchanging opinions and recommendations in a totally amicable way for several minutes before he started acting all weird about some of the authors I was suggesting that he might enjoy based on what he’s already read. Then he told me his favorite author, and I related that I’d been kind of put off by some of the author’s short stories but had not read the author’s more famous works. I wasn’t shitting on his preferences. I just said, “oh, really? You know, I read some short stories by [his fav author] and I didn’t really care for them. I haven’t read the more famous works though. What did you like about them?”

    D00d then proceeded to mansplain to me how my distaste for his favorite author was WRONG, how I could not possibly have read those stories CORRECTLY, that I must not have a foundation in classical literature (despite the fact that he knew my Bachelor’s degree was in Philosophy), that I COULD NOT POSSIBLY HOLD THE OPINION that this author’s short stories just didn’t do it for me.

    I was baffled. I mean, it’s a fucking opinion. I don’t have to like all authors any more than I have to like all painters.

    Much blustering ensued, and I was informed that I was ignorant. It was very weird, especially since I had *asked* for *his* opinion, and we’d been exchanging opinions all evening without any trouble. But then it became clear to me that the d00d was starting to feel like our *exchange* of information was making him look less well-read than a woman.

    The horrors! Quick, mansplain to the little lady why her subjective opinion is wrong so you can re-establish your superior intellect! Phew!

  118. #118 squeyres
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if, when a woman foolishly asks for advice or an explanation from you, you spend copious amounts of time explaining to her why you couldn’t possibly explain, because she’d never understand, instead of just answering her.
    Or you spend copious amounts of time explaining to her why what she wants advice about is stupid to begin with.

    Also, you might be a mansplainer if you go on and on and on about how much women talk. Or if when a woman shows any emotional reaction to anything at all you become ENRAGED and SCREAM about how emotional women are.

    If you have ever told a random woman or girl to smile, you are definitely a mansplainer. Or just a douche. Whatever.

  119. #119 Geekgirlsrule
    January 27, 2010

    My “favorite” mansplainer happens to be my boss. I particularly enjoy it when he does it while I’m attempting to explain things like Travel Reimbursements to our students, and he cuts me off to tell them that it’s no big deal if they don’t X.

    Guess who gets to redo all the reimbursements now. Granted, he did have the good grace to look abashed when I re-explained how things work, and didn’t try to interrupt me once this time.

    My other favorite Mansplainer tactic is refuting several citations from government agencies and other reputable research sources with your “anecdata,” and when I explain that research contradicts what you just said, tell me I’m hysterical and over-emotional. I love that.

  120. #120 mightydoll
    January 27, 2010

    my ex used to do this:

    ex: something’s wrong with my computer.

    me: Oh, looks like there’s a phrenicle in the stubert zone

    ex: something’s wrong with my computer

    me: Why not check the stubert zone for phrenicles?

    ex: something’s wrong with my computer – - I’ll ask Dick at work about it.

    A WEEK PASSES IN WHICH I MENTION THE STUBERT PHRENICLES A FEW MORE TIMES

    ex: Hey, I spoke to Dick at work about my computer. Turns out, (begins speaking really slowly) there are these things called phrenicles which SPEAK … TO… the molydimes. The molydimes can reside in the jiminy zone, or they can reside in the stubert zone, but WHEN they reside in the stubert zone, sometimes there’s a problem with them communicating with the loovarths, so it’s best to keep phrenicles out of the stubert zone. All I have to do is move these phrenicles back to the jiminy zone and it’s solved. Isn’t Dick at work a computer god?

    me: …

  121. #121 JamieMc
    January 27, 2010

    I do think it’s important to try to distinguish between real, dickish mansplannin’ behavior and personal style. To be sure, a polite communicator has a responsibility to try to craft his/her personal style so as to be considerate and to invite respectful conversation (“but this is just the way I am!!!” . . . “okay then, you’re a dick”), so my point isn’t a particularly strong one.

    But as someone who might occasionally exhibit mild mansplanninish-looking behavior (I can certainly be condescending), it must be pointed out that sometimes guys being argumentative doesn’t mean we have any assumption about your opinion being less intelligent/valid because you are a woman. It just means we are a little too married to our opinions, and that we are jerks sometimes. I’m comfortable being called an asshole. Not so much with being called a chauvinist.

    That’s not to say that real live mansplannin’ doesn’t exist. As someone who prowls around online arguing for the feminist position, I’ve been mansplanned to enough times to understand what you’re talking about.

    I think having the word out there might help me to be sure I don’t cross over into the dreaded douchebag zone of mansplantatia.

  122. #122 SKM
    January 27, 2010

    mightydoll, I love you and I want to do your taxes.I may also quote you with attribution if that’s OK!

  123. #123 mightydoll
    January 27, 2010

    SKM – please feel free! If I put it in a public place, I consider it creative commons :)

  124. #124 skeptifem
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you think that your opinion is worth listening to no matter what, and accuse the rightly angered expert of being emotional or hysterical when she doesn’t want to suffer through your shit.

    Nothing is worse than people who want to tell you what is wrong with feminism without having looked into feminism at all outside of suffrage (see: most people).

  125. #125 JamieMc
    January 27, 2010

    The links here go to perfect examples of real live disrespectful behavior from real live clueless idiots who, instead of taking the other conversant seriously, dismiss and condescend their way to mansplannin’ glory. May I never walk in their path.

    I’m invested enough in this to leave comments because I recent got drawn into an overly long argument with mansplannin’ cretins on a message board. The discussion was about the recent “shiny bubbles” soap fiasco with the rapist soap bubbles, so I’m attuned to the issue of infuriating mansplanntation, but as a dude who can be a condescending asshole sometimes, I feel a bit defensive here. “Hey, I’m just passionate about my position!” I suppose being a big privileged white dude ALLOWS me the entitlement to be all smug about my opinions, but I’m not sure that I fit the mansplain profile. I’ll try to be more careful though. Don’t want to be this guy:

    http://scienceblogs.com/thusspakezuska/2010/01/cnn_reports_overweight_decapit.php#comment-2223556

  126. #126 ambivalent academic
    January 27, 2010

    it must be pointed out that sometimes guys being argumentative doesn’t mean we have any assumption about your opinion being less intelligent/valid because you are a woman.”

    Yes, we know. Sometimes you are just so married to your opinion that you feel compelled to crap all over other people’s positions. Because their opinions are less intelligent/valid than your own. Because *your* opinion is right. You know this because you are objective, and have arrived at this opinion by rational analysis. And no one else is capable of such rational analysis, at least not such that it might bring them to a different opinion.

    Thank you for pointing that out. We were not aware that this might be the case. Also, thank you for redefining “mansplaining” for everyone here. Also for distinguishing between “real live mansplainin’” and the made-up mainsplainin’ that we’ve been talking about. Because we clearly were not capable of coming up with a working definition on our ladybraned own – we would have no doubt missed this important point if you had not come here to…wait for it…MANSPLAIN it to us!!

    Phew!

  127. #127 GirlFriday
    January 27, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    You dismiss every woman who points out the misogyny that oozes from every pore in your body as “identity feminists,” while at the same time explaining to the world that YOU are an “equity feminist,” the champion of all equality. This situation, of course, makes you the biggest feminist in the whole freakin’ country, while it’s those pesky women who are the real sexists who oppress women.

    Exhibit A.

  128. #128 SKM
    January 27, 2010

    it must be pointed out that sometimes guys being argumentative doesn’t mean we have any assumption about your opinion being less intelligent/valid because you are a woman. It just means we are a little too married to our opinions, and that we are jerks sometimes. –JamieMc

    OK, but why are you so married to your opinions? And why should folks make excuses for being a jerk about it? (e.g.,” hey, that’s just how men are!”, which is basically what you said).

    I think it’s because male opinions are privileged over female ones, and that admitting you’re wring is a sign of weakness. Over a lifetime, men may (note I say may) grow to assume that their opinions are especially valid or unassailable, and that it’s OK to deny that anyone else may be right. There need not be any conscious feeling that women’s opinions are less valid, but in effect, that’s how it shakes out.

    Women, on the other hand, need to fight even for the right to have and express an opinion (see Jennifer Ouellette’s link above), so women are likely to approach a discussion differently, doubt themselves more, and thus be less liekly to “be jerks” about insisting they are right. On the other hand, some women may ferociously defend faulty logic, after a lifetime of being dismissed for Having an Opinion While Female. It happens, but the dynamic is different.

    My point is, one need not be a chauvinist to display behaviors that are shaped by institutionalized sexism.

  129. #129 Living the Questions
    January 27, 2010

    Oh! I didn’t have a word for this particular frustration: thanks! An older male colleague asked me in September about my vegetable garden. I told him about the late blight that got my tomatoes (and many, many tomatoes in my state–it was all over the news, as he knew well). He told me–not having seen my garden and not listening to my explanation of what the suffering plants looked like and how I came to the diagnosis I did–that no, it was not late blight. He told me what condition my plants actually had, according to him–a completely different condition–how I should proceed, and walked away when I tried to correct him. Arg!

  130. #130 Abel Pharmboy
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…

    You come into my lab to ask our upper-level female grad student about a protocol and she spends ten minutes patiently describing the ins and outs but you interrupt and challenge her on every choice of reagent, incubation conditions, etc., then I walk in and you ask me, “Well, how would you do it?”

  131. #131 slythwolf
    January 27, 2010

    JamieMc, it’s “mansplain”, with an “i”, not “mansplan”. It’s like “explain” with “man” for the first syllable. And “mansplanation”, not “mansplanntation”. You’re welcome.

    Meanwhile, it never gets old watching dudes come in and mansplain why they personally are not actually mansplainers even though sometimes it might seem like it. (By the way, I totally didn’t know Nice Guys get sad when you call them sexist! None of them have ever mansplained to me before how much that hurts their feelings!)

  132. #132 Carlie
    January 27, 2010

    I think I heard what would count as a meta-mansplanation today: my child came home from the first health class on reproduction (it’s middle school) and said that the (male) health teacher told the class that he finds that boys tend to know more about girls’ anatomy than girls do.

    He came to this amazing conclusion by polling classes in the past on various questions related to female reproductive issues, and more boys always raised their hands to answer than girls did.

  133. #133 ChristinaK
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if… you explain how much you hate Political Correctness, and how you did your thesis on it, and how lots of women want to have doors held for them, and how the US being politically correct is equivalent to Arabic countries with honor killings, only the other end of the scale, and when I try to tell you that as a woman, I’m okay with doors not being held for me, and for there to be PC’ness in most places, you tell me you have surveys (which you, an older white guy, wrote) which back you up.

    Yeah, not caring about your ‘science’, Mr. Mansplainer.

  134. #134 SKM
    January 27, 2010

    Ping.

  135. #135 viajera
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if:
    When a woman shares several examples of her personal experience with men while living in a certain region, you tell her that you’ve lived there too and you just know that men aren’t like that, and besides, she’s being sexist and racist because, hey, men are men and they’re like that and she’s totally wrong and biased, obviously.

    Interestingly, I recently had several men *and* a woman do this to me. She’s an incredibly privileged know-it-all who very recently joined this website (not her own) about a region she’s not yet been to, and has taken it upon herself to educate all of us (who live/have lived in this region and have been on this website for years) how things are. Sometimes I wonder if she is a man, as she is *such* the stereotypical mansplainer.

  136. #136 pxtot
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…

    you ask your musician girlfriend to explain to you how to read musical notation, and while she’s telling you, you repeatedly interrupt to complain how completely arbitrary, illogical, and ridiculous it is. Then you finish by saying that it’s not worth learning to read music if musicians can’t come up with a system that is more mathematical so that it’s comprehensible to scientifically-minded sorts like yourself.

  137. #137 slythwolf
    January 27, 2010

    @pxtot: More mathematical? Than the current way? Wow.

  138. #138 RunsScreaming
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…

    you start to pontificate on something you read in a popular magazine, and when your obvious misunderstanding of the science is gently corrected by someone *who holds an advanced degree in the field,* you say: “oh, you must have heard that from me.”

  139. #139 Zuska
    January 27, 2010

    Zuskateers, you make me weep from laughing. And also from sorrow at the massive burden of mansplaining beneath which you all daily labor. Mightydoll, I nearly fell off the chair laughing at your tale. That clueless mansplaining Dick, he is legion.

    SKM, that’s a great post. Zuskateers, do go take a look-see at what SKM has posted at Shakesville (see linky in comment 133 above) and add to the discussion there if you feel so moved.

  140. #140 A Nonny Moose
    January 27, 2010

    You’re a mansplainer if:

    - You say you TOTALLY love, understand and respect women, and you have a female acquaintence who has been a victim of X at one time, and it’s TOTALLY why my shitty blonde/rape/gay/ableist/dude joke/language can’t possibly be a shitty blonde/rape/gay/dude/ableist joke/language!

    - Ah and being accused of “reverse mansplaining” how I love thee.

  141. #141 Kristin
    January 27, 2010

    Oh! I have one!

    You might be a mansplainer if, upon receiving a service ticket from a business client of yours at your webhosting company, you call your client to say the problem must be on their end. Upon hearing the female voice of said client, you proceed to launch into a very elementary explanation about *how web servers and FTP work* despite the fact that said female voice is explaining to you in very technical terms what the problem is. You might continue to be a mansplainer if, when she calls you repeatedly to tell you the problem of her being unable to upload things to her business website is not fixed, and suggest you scrub the server, you mansplain in a VERY LOUD VOICE that you are CERTAIN THAT THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH THE WEBSERVERS and then again reduce the problems to elementary terminology so as not to confuse her precious ladybrain.

    ….And you might be a douchebag too if, in the end, it turns out all you needed to do to fix the problem was scrub the servers.

  142. #142 hannah
    January 27, 2010

    you might be a mansplainer if:

    ->you are a REAL feminist, concerned with Equality, not like those radical feminazis!

    ->you feel compelled to mansplain how mansplaining doesn’t really exist.

    ->you troll feminist blogs/journals/communities complaining about how everyone there is Doing It Wrong and is In Fact Sexist.

  143. #143 JMS
    January 27, 2010

    Thread needs more Kate Beaton.

    DON’T LAUGH BECAUSE WOMEN AREN’T FUNNY

  144. #144 Zuska
    January 27, 2010

    Oh my god that Kate Beaton comic is amazing.

  145. #145 Audrey
    January 27, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if:

    You argue that a woman is wrong about what she wants and what will make her happy, because all women want to marry and have kids and can’t be happy unless they do so.

    You explain to a woman why women are like this or do this despite being told that that this isn’t always true.

    You instruct a woman on how to do things only a woman would do (menstrual hygiene, etc)

    When a woman is correct on something, you praise her for knowing something women know nothing about and then proceed to explain it because she obviously only knows the one fact.

  146. #146 missmags
    January 27, 2010

    You just may be a mansplainer, you hip, rebellious (TM) and free young d00d, if you try to impress a woman by talking about your travel adventures and can only respond with complete consternation when it becomes clear that she has traveled more widely than you and hitchhiked, wandered and camped out for longer periods, in more regions and in more varied and dangerous circumstances.

    Oh, so sorry, young buck, I was under the impression you wanted to share stories about travel, near-misses and interesting situations. My mistake – my job was obviously supposed to involve coo-ing and ahhh-ing over your daring and carefree lifestyle as though I’d never even crossed a bleedin’ street.

  147. #147 viajera
    January 28, 2010

    Kristin @ 140 – Oh yeah, I’ve totally been there in my past life as a web designer. Every.Single.Time I’d update this ASP site with a rinky-dink hosting company, I’d have to spend 3-4 hours on the phone asking the techs to *please* just set read and write permissions to x, y, and z folder. Every.Single.Time some mansplainer would come on and make me jump through all their entry-level hoops of making sure pages were uploaded in the right spot, code was correct, yada yada. When I *knew* the problem was the permissions because a) I’d already tested everything on a local server, and b) I’d been through this the last 20 times I’d updated the site. Arrrghhh!!!

  148. #148 anna
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if… Your name is Henry Rollins.
    I sent him a note criticizing his 2007 rape-baiting piece on Ann Coulter, and mentioned that his holier than thou new motto of “knowledge without mileage is bullshit” motto is both ignorant and sexist:
    “Many people cannot travel, despite their desires to do so, because of health, family obligations, 9-5 jobs, fiscal inability, and being female. Let’s not fool ourselves that women can travel easily and openly alone in much of the world. We all have stories of some friend we know who did it, but that does not reflect the reality of 99% of women who might want to set out alone and pound the pavement. It’s just different. Plain and simple. Penis = Vastly Increased Freedom.”
    His response? “your travel/penis comment was the stupidest thing I’ve read all year. Congratulations.”

    Nice attempt at discussion, eh? Feel free to disseminate at will.

  149. #149 hikikomorihime
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if: you constantly belittle a woman’s explanation of her emotions/feelings, then explain TO HER what she’s “really” feeling/thinking.

  150. #150 puck
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you ask a women if she’s familiar with something, she responds to the positive, and you proceed to say, “Well, you HAVE TO UNDERSTAND…” and explain it anyway.

    Then you decide to do it 10-15 times within the first 4 hours of knowing her. Even when she gets sick of it, interrupts you to explain it herself, and then gets to sit through you explaining the same damn thing all over again.

    You only stop when some other GUY informs you that his daughter REALLY DOES KNOW. Oh, and YOU AGREE WITH HER. That’s the only way a guy can know for sure that a woman has been properly ‘splained to, of course.

  151. #151 Jocey
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you feel that, for the purposes of a serious literary discussion*, Your Superior Male Understanding + Having Read My Ántonia Once In High School But Not Remembering Willa Cather’s Actual First or Last Name > A Woman’s Being Conversant With Cather’s Entire Body Of Work As Well As Other Aspects of American Literature.

    * Where “discussion” = “repeatedly stating that Willa Cather is irrelevant and not worth reading.”

  152. #152 Bectal
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you dismiss the advice of a woman you normally work alone with and on whose good judgement you depend, because you are suddenly surrounded by a group of men(especially if they are strangers)who think she is: overly cautious/wrong/silly/a fly buzzing around their conversation.

    Double points if you later get pissed at the woman for the mess you have to clean up because you were too busy being “one of the guys” to listen to her.

    Bonus points to woman when she can shrug and say, “Hey, your problem jack”, and leave him to clean it up all by himself.

  153. #153 MissPrism
    January 28, 2010

    A chap once mansplained to me how to use a debit card to pay a restaurant bill (and I saw the same guy telling a 30-something Masters student how to use a felt tip pen).

    So I’d add: Would you yourself be insulted if a stranger assumed you didn’t know X? If so, and yet you are explaining X to a woman who has not explicitly asked you to do so, you are probably mansplaining.

  154. #154 KarenS
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you often hear people say things like, “Yes, that’s what I said five minutes ago,” or “Right, I told you about that this morning.”

    You may have a mansplainer in your life if you find yourself saying those things.

  155. #155 Name Withhled
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you interrupt the woman who is moderating a session at a conference to tell her what it might be a smart idea to do first to make the session work better that it presumably would without this advice.

  156. #156 Laura J
    January 28, 2010

    You might be are a mansplainer if you’re my ex-fiance. Now I understand better why I was always wrong about everything. I’m so glad I found this thread!

  157. #157 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if women frequently just nod, smile and then proceed to completely ignore your oh-so-helpful advice, but get the job done anyway, and you’re convinced it was just a fluke.

    You might be a mansplainer if you find yourself frequently saying things like “I was just trying to help” after someone points out they never asked for your help.

    You might be a mansplainer if you think that the reason they aren’t taking your oh-so-helpful advice out of spite.

  158. #158 Sloth
    January 28, 2010

    You might be deluded if…

    You feel the need to write a blog post about how sexist it is for anyone to question your analysis, even (especially?) when it’s obvious that they neither know nor care what your gender is.

  159. #159 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    “You feel the need to write a blog post about how sexist it is for anyone to question your analysis, even (especially?) when it’s obvious that they neither know nor care what your gender is.”

    Translation: MOMMY!!! SHE HURT MY FEELINGS! SHE SAID I DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING! SHE ISN’T LISTENING TO MY BRILLIANT MANSPLAINING OF HER MOTIVES. Okay, yes, I totally ignored everything every single person on the thread and don’t have any idea how clueless i am, BUT I’m RIGHT CUZ I WANNA BE AND SHE WON’T LISTEN TO ME!!

    (Sloth falls on the floor to throw an epic temper tantrum)

  160. #160 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    You’re definitely a mansplainer when you try to shame women, deny there’s a problem despite countless confirmational experiences of countless women, while hilariously misunderstanding and misstating the point of the post.

    Double douchey mansplainer points for the subtle “bitchez is crazy” implication embedded in your complete misunderstanding of the post.

  161. #161 SKM
    January 28, 2010

    Ah yes, the old “you’re deluded” bit.

    Mental illness is not your metaphor.

  162. #162 Rr
    January 28, 2010

    I’m lucky to not have experienced mansplaining much so far (though I have no doubt I will experience it entirely too much the next few decades, bah), however I’ve experienced its relative, Eldersplaining, entirely too often.

    “No it does not matter that this is a field you know entirely far more than me in, I’m your Elder and thus I am ALWAYS more right than you because you’re a young little youngling, kid! That math problem you helped your sister with after I failed? Your answer doesn’t matter! I don’t care that it was right, you’re a kid and there’s no way a kid could be right and I wrong! The answer in the back of the book confirming the result of your equations must clearly have been a misprint!”

    Stupid ageism. I hate it when people do it to older people too. Just because someone’s 80 doesn’t mean they have the mental capacity of a deaf wooden log.

  163. #163 catgirl
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if:

    Your entire knowledge of evolutionary theory is based on that one lecture in 10th grade that you’ve forgotten most of, and you insist on explaining on feminists blogs how your oversimplified view of evolution dictates that double standards for sexual activity are natural. And it’s your duty to inform these women of their wrongness because there’s no way commenters on a feminist blog might have actually studied evolution in college or anything.

  164. #164 Sloth
    January 28, 2010

    “No it does not matter that this is a field you know entirely far more than me in, I’m your Elder and thus I am ALWAYS more right than you because you’re a young little youngling, kid! That math problem you helped your sister with after I failed? Your answer doesn’t matter! I don’t care that it was right, you’re a kid and there’s no way a kid could be right and I wrong! The answer in the back of the book confirming the result of your equations must clearly have been a misprint!”

    Yeah, it’s a pretty universal human issue that people feel the need to correct other people and offer advice even when it’s clear that it’s not needed and/or wanted; and people commonly get offended when they’re being corrected and receiving advice, even when it’s clear that they need it.

    *shrug* What can you do?

  165. #165 Rutee
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you, after being whomped in a game by a woman, proceed to tell her she did everything wrong and only got lucky. Bonus points if they explain how. You can be a loser and comment analytically, but it takes a mansplainer to do so while claiming superior skill.

  166. #166 Rr
    January 28, 2010

    even when it’s clear that they need it.

    In the example I used, I was even ASKED by them to help my sister after they failed. Apparently they didn’t actually expect me to succeed (._.) I still don’t get the logic of people who don’t actually want help/opinions asking for it. Why waste your energy asking if you’re going to deny and bash it anyway?
    Seems that avoiding ‘Splainers in the situations where that is affordable is one of the few solutions :( I don’t know how to deal with it otherwise. Violence, however tempting, is clearly not the answer. Mockery, while a good way to vent, only goes so far.

  167. #167 JMS
    January 28, 2010

    Yeah, it’s a pretty universal human issue that people feel the need to correct other people and offer advice even when it’s clear that it’s not needed and/or wanted; and people commonly get offended when they’re being corrected and receiving advice, even when it’s clear that they need it.

    *shrug* What can you do?

    Oo! Oo! I know this one!

    Where “you” = “Sloth”, you can SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH YOUR MANSPLAINING.

  168. #168 DuckFeet
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if, upon hearing your female acquaintance got into MIT, you remark, “Oh, man. I totally should have applied.” Because, y’know, if a lady got in, it MUST BE EASY!

  169. #169 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    Oo! Oo! I know this one!

    Where “you” = “Sloth”, you can SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH YOUR MANSPLAINING.

    H’okay. [backing away slowly]

  170. #170 sarahbyrdd
    January 28, 2010

    You maybe a mansplainer if you (a recent addition to the area) attempt to educate a woman about a neighborhood where she grew up and still has family who she visits often.

  171. #171 Suz
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if, after a woman says she doesn’t want to give you her number, you’ll explain to her that she actually does, is completely wrong in her opinion, and actually doesn’t understand her own thoughts. Thankfully, you’re around to explain that her thoughts/opinions are wrong, wrong, wrong and she should do exactly what you tell her.

    (As an added bonus, after she’s told you in no uncertain terms to take a hike, you will then still try to sit next to her on the bus.)

  172. #172 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    “H’okay. [backing away slowly]”

    Oh man, the “bitchez is crazy” fallacy again?
    BOoooooorrriing! Get some new limp, stale fallacies, dude. You’re boring us.

  173. #173 SKM
    January 28, 2010

    Yeah, it’s a pretty universal human issue that people feel the need to correct other people and offer advice even when it’s clear that it’s not needed and/or wanted; and people commonly get offended when they’re being corrected and receiving advice, even when it’s clear that they need it.

    *shrug* What can you do?

    See what you did there?–erase the power differential of privilege and pretend that it’s just a human thing that everybody does, so hey, what can you do? No oppression here, folks, nothing to see here–move along!

    Shrug, eh? What can you do? How about, not wield your social privilege over others while denying it exists?

  174. #174 Socks
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if, upon seeing a journal post in which a young woman is describing how she finally stood up to her abusive asshole father, you proceed to make assumptions about how the abuse couldn’t be so bad if she has a roof over her head, and besides, men’s thought processes are different from the little wimminz, so the wimminz should back off and remember that the man really isn’t abusive. He’s just different.

  175. #175 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    BOoooooorrriing! Get some new limp, stale fallacies, dude. You’re boring us.

    vs

    You MUST explain that you mansplain because you assume that blog [posts] are written by men

  176. #176 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    See what you did there?–erase the power differential of privilege and pretend that it’s just a human thing that everybody does, so hey, what can you do? No oppression here, folks, nothing to see here–move along!

    I’m sorry, I did not assume a gender for Rr’s example of ageism, especially when she specifically stated that it was eldersplaining and *not* mansplaining. I will in the future assume that all condescension derives from a person of the male gender, even when told otherwise.

  177. #177 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    LOL @ 174. Ooh goodie, the “I’m TOTES a woman!” fallacy now too. Once again – get some new limp, stale fallacies, dude. You’re boring us.

  178. #178 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    “I’m sorry, I did not assume a gender for Rr’s example of ageism”

    The “I’m totally ABOVE sexism, bitchez!” fallacy. A new one, but still stale and boring.

    “I will in the future assume that all condescension derives from a person of the male gender, even when told otherwise. ”

    Wow. Yours is an impressive cluelessness, Sloth. I am in awe of the staggering lows in reading comprehension you display. Thanks for the giggles!

  179. #179 With Greatforce
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you’re the bloke I met on OkC a while ago, in which case you’re also familiar with mansplainin’s strange-accented cousin, OneDayYouTooCanBeAmerican.

    Conversation pasted directly from my creepily well-categorised archives of creepy internet conversations, slightly edited to remove personal details.

    bloke: So, you’re really from [crappy ex-Soviet country]?
    me: yes
    bloke: And you’re studying math?
    me: yes!
    bloke: Any good at it?
    me: yes.
    bloke: Did you apply to foreign scholarships?
    me: no?
    bloke: You ought to consider transferring to Denmark or Switzerland!
    me: heh, okay. why?
    bloke: Because they’re just so much more progressive than [crappy ex-Soviet country]. I’ve read your profile, your English is good enough!
    me: good *enough*?
    bloke: Trust me, you’d behappier somewhere more liberal.
    me: why?
    bloke: Because there’s less sexism. Life’s very difficult for a female mathematician.
    me: actually, 80% of my class is womenfolk, as are most of my professors.
    bloke: That’s because you’re in first year! There are going to be less women later on. In the end, if you’re very good at math, you’ll find yourself alone and surrounded by men.
    me: … speaking from experience?
    bloke: Yes! I have four sisters.
    me: Are any of them mathematicians?
    bloke: No, but I know what it’s like to be alone in a group of the opposite sex.

  180. #180 SKM
    January 28, 2010

    I’m sorry, I did not assume a gender for Rr’s example of ageism,

    Sloth, you are being disingenuous. You generalized, stating that the ageism was merely a reflection of normal “human” behavior, and removed all privilege (notice I said nothing about gender). As though everybody does this to everybody else with equal effect, regardless of social status differences. Here again are your words:

    Yeah, it’s a pretty universal human issue that people feel the need to correct other people and offer advice even when it’s clear that it’s not needed and/or wanted; and people commonly get offended when they’re being corrected and receiving advice, even when it’s clear that they need it.

    You want to pee on our legs and tell us it’s raining, that’s your call. Just don’t expect a respectful reception.

  181. #181 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    Sloth, you are being disingenuous. You generalized, stating that the ageism was merely a reflection of normal “human” behavior, and removed all privilege

    Yes, you are correct, I did generalize it. Because that is my perception.

    As in the original poster’s (to this subthread) example, almost any individual can create a perceived “special knowledge” or other justification for lecturing down to almost any other person, whether that be the elders lecturing down to the younger adult due to their greater span of animation, or the younger adults lecturing down to the seniors because of the perception that older people must be mentally deficient and/or just not up on modern technology/trends.

    You may, of course, disagree with that analysis. But it does a great disservice to dismiss it as sexist and/or to inject sexism where none is present or necessary.

  182. #182 SKM
    January 28, 2010

    But it does a great disservice to dismiss it as sexist and/or to inject sexism where none is present or necessary.

    You don’t seem to understand that there are other forms of privilege than gender-based privilege. The comment you responded to was about ageism, not sexism.

    Nobody injected anything anywhere.

  183. #183 Vicki
    January 28, 2010

    Sloth–

    You’re in the wrong thread. Discussions of whether mansplaining is a valid model in a particular case, or in general, belong one thread over, as Zuska explained back at comment 56.

  184. #184 Zuska
    January 28, 2010

    Sloth, you are a tiresome poopyhead. I am pretty sure it has been made excruciatingly clear up-thread that this thread is solely for mocking mansplainers. Now, if you cannot add a comment to this thread in which you are mocking a mansplainer, you need to stop commenting here, and hie yourself unto the thread “Men Who Cannot Take Directions From Women” where you may pontificate at excruciating length about the sad disservice to whateverthehell that is being foisted upon you here, along with the horrid injection of sexism blah blah blah blah blah. Don’t make me cut and paste your comments over there. Stop commenting here. Go comment over there.

  185. #185 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    You don’t seem to understand that there are other forms of privilege than gender-based privilege. The comment you responded to was about ageism, not sexism.

    Indeed. Even more specifically, it was about *bi-directional* ageism. And that’s the interesting thing I was pointing out about unsolicited advice and our collective need to give and chafe about it: No actual position of privilege need exist, everyone is capable of manufacturing such a position in their own mind to justify such behavior. The phenomenon is not observably dependent on any actual or institutional privilege. It occurs from old to young, young to old, old to old, young to young, male to female, female to male, male to male, and female to female.

  186. #186 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    You’re in the wrong thread. Discussions of whether mansplaining is a valid model in a particular case, or in general, belong one thread over, as Zuska explained back at comment 56.

    Oops. Thank you. I had not noticed that.

  187. #187 Matt
    January 28, 2010

    Sounds like a real phenomenon, but I think talking about this without talking about smothering women who arrogantly feel that they are correct because they are women seems a little odd and partisan. I generally feel that women have less “extreme self-esteem”, so are less likely to do this kind of thing, which I think it the real driver of such behaviour. Not sure men “arrogantly” explain things more often to women than other men though (and it isn’t just to impress women that they do so – seriously, get over yourselves, you’re really not that important).

    I think if this is the case maybe it is a bit because women are more reserved (I’m pretty reserved and have a lot of women I work with explaining stuff to me I already know on a daily basis [and at length and at a painfully slow pace!], even though it’s fairly obvious that I’m at least as smart as them) more than it is driven by assumptions about what women do and don’t know. I also think women might take it more personal because of their own perceptions and worries.

  188. #188 SKM
    January 28, 2010

    Matt, if you are into smothering women, this is definitely the wrong thread for you!

    Zuska: sorry I contributed to the derail. Apologies.

  189. #189 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    “You may, of course, disagree with that analysis. But it does a great disservice to dismiss it as sexist and/or to inject sexism where none is present or necessary.”

    You crazy bitchez have my permission to have an opinion. But, you’re opinion is wrong and your life experiences are irrelevant cuz they don’t match my preconceived notions and privileged clueless bubble-life. I know better than you do cuz I say so. No actual information, experience or reality is required.

    ++

    “Sounds like a real phenomenon, but I think talking about this without talking about smothering women who arrogantly feel that they are correct because they are women seems a little odd and partisan.”

    Let’s not talk about the topic, let’s talk about what *I* want to talk about! And that’s how wimminz are totes worse!!!!

    “Not sure men “arrogantly” explain things more often to women than other men though”

    Yes, i am ignoring everything every single woman has said on the thread. They don’t know their experiences better than I know their experiences!

    “(I’m pretty reserved and have a lot of women I work with explaining stuff to me I already know on a daily basis [and at length and at a painfully slow pace!],”

    Women do it too! Oh, you already said that. Well, now that a man said it, it’s TRUE!

    “I also think women might take it more personal because of their own perceptions and worries.”

    Silly emotional chicks!

    This has been a daily test of the Mansplainer Translator ™. Thank you!

  190. #190 jc
    January 28, 2010

    you may be a mansplainer if you comment like this on a feminist thread:

    “I generally feel that women” blah blah blah

    “because women are” blah blah blah

    “I also think women might” blah blah blah

    you may be a mansplainer if you don’t know what male privilege is.

  191. #191 Lou
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if:

    - After you’ve said something, and your girlfriend responds by saying “sorry, what?” and holding her hand to her ear to indicate that she cannot hear you, you launch into a full explanation from first principles rather than just repeating what you said the first time, without mumbling.

    - You insist that gender essentialism is trufax, because “there are loads of [unspecified] studies proving it”, but refuse to read Janet Hyde’s article on the subject because “scientists can make that kind of data say anything they want”. Because anyone who disagrees with your intuition (read: predjudice) on the subject is obviously academically dishonest.

  192. #192 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    You crazy bitchez have my permission to have an opinion. But, you’re opinion is wrong and your life experiences are irrelevant cuz they don’t match my preconceived notions and privileged clueless bubble-life. I know better than you do cuz I say so. No actual information, experience or reality is required.

    Thank you for that mansplaination.

  193. #193 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    “Thank you for that mansplaination.”

    You’re welcome, diddums.

  194. #194 Rev Matt
    January 28, 2010

    Endor, have you considered making that Translator into a web app? I would pay to translate most of the pundits on Fox News (or anywhere) through it.

  195. #195 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    “have you considered making that Translator into a web app? ”

    Only if I find a mansplainy man to help me. My teeny ladybrainz can’t do that! Can we make it pink and sparkly?

  196. #196 sloth
    January 28, 2010

    Endor, have you considered making that Translator into a web app? I would pay to translate most of the pundits on Fox News (or anywhere) through it.

    Heh. I always wondered if there was a special school for pundits where they learned to explain the most ridiculous things. “Today, Congress, which is a legislative assembly of elected federal officials…” Really? Isn’t there a better way to fill airtime?

  197. #197 DuckFeet
    January 28, 2010

    But Endor! Don’t you know that laideez don’t use the… uh… what is they called? iProds? Yea, those.

  198. #198 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you whine about how this whle conversation is just about silencing you because your male and accusing you of being wrong just cuz your male – while you tell women that they’re wrong, cuz they’re female, not male and therefore don’t know what it’s like!
    ++

    “Don’t you know that laideez don’t use the… uh… what is they called? iProds? Yea, those. ”

    Do you mean iPads? Cuz I use those in super absorbent!

  199. #199 ildi
    January 28, 2010

    Time-specific version of mansplaining: “Oh, that news is so 10 seconds ago!” but updates from him are timeless…

  200. #200 krw
    January 28, 2010

    Well sorry to have offended some little girls here. Perhaps if you weren’t wrong all the time men would not need to explain things in a seemingly condescending way.

  201. #201 krw
    January 28, 2010

    How is this drivel in a science blog? Is Zuska a secretary for some guys who do research?

  202. #202 krw
    January 28, 2010

    Wow that is a very sexist, subjective, emotional, and long winded response to guys who are actively trying to help you.

    Thanks for the vaginasplanation illustrating why all men are wrong!

  203. #203 Endor
    January 28, 2010

    Awwwww, did someone wake krw early from his nap, or is that a perfect poe?

  204. #204 leigh
    January 28, 2010

    years ago, ex-d00d refused to accept that his gf showed up late, massively hung over, and sans calculator to the [xyz] exams and blew his ass away. he had some mansplainin’ to do because clearly it was not possible for teh little lady to be [gasp] smarter!!!1!1

  205. #205 drg
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you preface your reaction to a female colleague’s statement with “What you just said may not be totally insane” and then go on to “validate” my statement by explaining it back to me…

    I’m American, he’s English. We work in England. Here, it gets passed off as “irony”.

    I have to admit, though, that I may indulge in retaliatory Yanksplaining.

  206. #206 Nia
    January 28, 2010

    A coworker mansplained to me that, because his wife and him had as many children as his wife wanted, women rule families. All women rule all their husbands, and the opposite are neligible exceptions.

  207. #207 Curvygirl
    January 28, 2010

    You might be mansplaining if:

    - You’re a doctor who is having a consultation with a woman who tells you she is having a miscarriage. And instead of asking her pertinent questions about her last period, the pain and how much she is bleeding, you lecture her on ‘how these things take time’ and ‘women’s bodies are designed to have babies, you know’ and ‘you and your husband should be enjoying each other’. Ack.

    - One of your team asks you a question about the department’s strategy, and you smile sweetly at her and say ‘You don’t need to worry about that, that’s my job’.

  208. #208 rec
    January 28, 2010

    You’re probably a mansplainer if you feel less awkward in social situations when you’re personally leading the local charge to make sense of the world out loud, and your response to challenges is out louder.

    Assuming the position, of authority, that is, is much more efficient than waiting around to hear, and to understand, and to think about how to respond to what’s going on.

    Seizing control of the situation allows you to to define the situation. Whatever the original question was, your initiative can transform the question into whether you get to keep control.

  209. #209 ahunt
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you preface your reaction to a female colleague’s statement with “What you just said may not be totally insane” and then go on to “validate” my statement by explaining it back to me…

    Oh yeah…but turn the tables:

    I must confess that I am hopelessly in love with a laconic mansplainer, and have been for 30+ years. He doesn’t say much, but when he thought I had invaded “domestic manturf” the condescension got thick.

    It could get ugly, in those early years, but for the last 15 or so…humor will out.

    One of the effective “go away” tactics I employed was admittedly childish…I simply continued about my business, leaving the BH to follow me around mansplaining and getting frustrated because I wouldn’t just “STOP and LISTEN.”

    The I would… in snotty tones..repeat back everything he’s said, nearly word for word…drove him nuts!

    These days, all it takes is a rueful laugh, an amused glance…and mutual humor.

  210. #210 SKM
    January 28, 2010

    I’m American, he’s English. We work in England. Here, it gets passed off as “irony”.

    The irony defense is a growing trend here in the U.S. too, sadly.

  211. #211 jamy
    January 28, 2010

    Thank you so much for this thread, it’s amazing. And I have to add (one of) mine…

    You might be a mansplainer if you lecture your girlfriend about “the demographic transition.” Then, she explains that the views on it have changed because you might be interested in learning about new research. BUT you insist that she is wrong and you are right–despite the fact that she took all the demography class in your grad program, you took none AND she just passed the comprehensive exam in the area.

    Sigh. Yes, he is an ex (from a long time ago).

  212. #212 Queef
    January 28, 2010

    Many men, for these female commentators, seem like terribly frustrating things. How do they ever cope? Life, for them, must be hard. It is good that most men don’t regularly encounter equally frustrating scenarios involving female superiority complexes/rudeness.

  213. #213 kootiepatra
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you find yourself in the following sequence:
    1) Ask an obviously upset woman what’s wrong.
    2) When she tells you, make her understand how the situation is not really *that* bad.
    3) When she replies that she understands the situation is not *that* bad, but was still affected by it anyway, proceed to tell her all about how her emotions are really about something else entirely unrelated.

  214. #214 Carlie
    January 28, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you continue to come back to a thread about mansplaining examples to whine about how men encounter frustrating scenarios with females after you’ve been specifically told to take it to another thread.

  215. #215 skeptifem
    January 28, 2010

    you might be a fucking douchebag if you freak out over the idea of mansplaining without realizing the time honored tradition of dismissing women talking as being some irrelevant annoyance. Nagging, bitching women who should really stfu- it is a really familiar meme. Remember that commercial where mr potato head’s wife is angry because he drives like a fucking maniac, and when her mouth pops off he is sooo glad that she finally stopped her bitching? We get this kind of shit constantly. It is an old joke by now. Mansplaining as a concept is new to most of these dudes. If the tiniest bit of this kind of talk bothers you so much, imagine how it feels to have it be there all the time and be the cause of high fives between your bosses and on the tv all the time. Imagine it.

  216. #216 Zuska
    January 28, 2010

    Many men, for these female commentators, seem like terribly frustrating things.

    Hmmm, finally, Queef said something that makes sense.

  217. #217 Sarah
    January 28, 2010

    So…I have been on the receiving end of several examples of mansplainin’. But I think my favorite is one that I keep attributing to some form of communication mishap that only happens between men and women. See sometimes we just don’t seem to communicate and I have tried to be nice and not assume it’s sexism.

    It is when I express opinion A like Mightydoll, with a minimum of description just getting straight to the heart of the problem or idea.

    Man responds by completely restating what I just said in essay form and completely ignoring the fact that I said it.

    I say that clearly we agree since that is exactly what I said.

    Man magically forgets I said anything and moves on as if I weren’t there.

    My second favorite is having Mr Mansplainer talk over me throughout an entire meeting while allowing male colleague to butt in with mansplaining of his own, again as if I weren’t there.

    Short of standing up and screaming I have no clue how to make them quit. *sigh*

  218. #218 ma'am
    January 28, 2010

    I got a bunch of these!

    From my mentor and former boss, after I gave a professional talk that resulted in research dollars from an important group of consultants — a year after he had addressed the same crowd and walked away with nothing — “they just liked you because you were a girl”

    Same boss who interrupted my tour of our lab in front of a group of YOUNG WOMEN INTERESTED IN SCIENCE CAREERS, because apparently my explanation of our work was insufficient.

    From the Nigel who is a PhD in the same broad discipline as mine, but who is a teacher and does no research, while I have gotten several million $ of grants — “research ideas” followed by a long discussion about what excellent ideas they are and how I should immediately drop what I am doing to pursue them — as if I don’t have any ideas of my own.

    From the Nigel who, when hearing me mention a scientific or personal issue, provides a solution to the problem, which might not even be a problem or could even be a former problem which is now resolved, BEFORE I AM EVEN FINISHED DESCRIBING SAID ISSUE.

  219. #219 Lucy
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if your daughter is attacked at gunpoint in front of her apartment and almost shot in the face, is sexually harassed by the police who come to the scene, and subsequently develops a severe anxiety disorder, but whenever she tries to talk about the incident, you whinge at her to stop because it hurts you too much to hear about it. And clearly, your being upset is SO much worse than her ACTUALLY ALMOST GETTING KILLED.

  220. #220 Katryna
    January 28, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you find yourself saying “You might not understand this but . . . ”

    You might be mansplaining if the lady just says, “Yes, I know” and moves on to other topics, yet you can’t let the topic go.

  221. #221 Katryna
    January 28, 2010

    Also: what we are trying to get at by asking you to GTFO is that every space is assumed to be for talking about men’s problems. In fact, EVEN WHEN WE EXPLICITLY STATE “hey, please let us just vent on this thread, any other thread you can vent too, but this is just for us,” you folks STILL come on and try to stop us from venting.

    If you’re not getting what I’m saying and you want to come to a better understanding? Please check out part six of this post and see if that doesn’t clear it up for you.

  222. #222 Hope
    January 29, 2010

    Thanks so much for this thread. Actually the mansplainers further up are rather amusing in a sad kind of way.

    @Curvygirl
    You totally reminded me of the most egregious mansplaining I have ever experienced.

    You are definitely a mansplainer if:

    You are a doctor working at a small town ER and a woman comes in complaining of vaginal hemorrhaging. She miscarried about two months earlier and has been bleeding at a rate of several ounces per hour. She explains that she uses a menstrual cup and so knows exactly how much blood she has lost. You ask her how many pads she has had to use. She patiently repeats that she uses a cup and that she has bled x ounces of blood in the past hour, which is more than twice as much as a complete menstrual cycle. You then suggest that perhaps it is just an unusually heavy period and proceed to mansplain -slowly – the process of menstruation.

    Yeah, seriously.

  223. #223 Queen_George
    January 29, 2010

    Thanks for this, Zuska! I’m a first-timer who got here via SKM’s link on Shakesville.

    You are most decidedly a mansplainer if you find yourself constantly telling your (now ex) gf “You should really check your facts” or “You should really read up on that more” in response to any opinion she holds that is different than yours.
    Bonus mansplanation points if the topic being discussed is one she researched for her Masters thesis.

  224. #224 Lisat
    January 29, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    You can adequately explain why “a release is a good thing – no, I meant a software release, not fresh meat!” should not offend the women present in the conference hall, if they were secure enough, and not themselves prostitutes, etc, etc.

    (Thanks, Mark Shuttleworth)

  225. #225 Jess
    January 29, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you keep insisting that you know more about feminism than your (feminist) girlfriend and wondering why she’s getting so annoyed with you.
    Most recent example however is when I was trying to talk about how hard it is to walk into a classroom full of Saudi Arabian men (I’m an English language teacher) when you’ve just read an article about a female rape victim being sentenced to flogging in that country – Mansplainer cuts in to announce THATS RACISM! and explain for ten minutes how racist I am… until I finally get the chance to say ‘the reason it is hard is because you always wonder if you will treat your Saudi students unfairly’… so YES, mansplainer, I had actually considered my own capacity for racism and intolerance and how this might affect my teaching LONG BEFORE YOU MANSPLAINED RACISM TO ME.

  226. #226 AW
    January 29, 2010

    FYI: This blog is showing up on news aggregators all over the web as a good laugh.

    Congratulations, Zuska. You’ve managed to create a perfect example that people can point to and say, “See? Feminism really is all about dismissing the man’s point of view because he’s a man, and them blaming him for being sexist even though he wasn’t the one who brought sex into it.”

    Thanks a lot, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to ask that you stop helping now.

  227. #227 Rebecca
    January 29, 2010

    The most memorable movie mansplainer (out of the movies I’ve seen) had to be Preston Preston in “Young Einstein”, who mansplained to Marie Curie the workings of a phonograph. Seriously hilarious — I only wish I could find a clip of it on youtube.

  228. #228 Comrade PhysioProf
    January 29, 2010

    Congratulations, Zuska. You’ve managed to create a perfect example that people can point to and say, “See? Feminism really is all about dismissing the man’s point of view because he’s a man, and them blaming him for being sexist even though he wasn’t the one who brought sex into it.”

    Thanks a lot, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to ask that you stop helping now.

    Yeah, every time some fucking bitchez make fun of any men, feminism totally is ruined forever infinity.

  229. #229 Endor
    January 29, 2010

    “Yeah, every time some fucking bitchez make fun of any men, feminism totally is ruined forever infinity.”

    But, you have to admit, it is fucking hilarious when whiny crybaby mansplainers think THEY get to decide when feminism is totally ruined forever. You know, cuz THAT’S NOT MANSPLAINY AT ALL. Morons.

  230. #230 AW
    January 29, 2010

    But, you have to admit, it is fucking hilarious when whiny crybaby mansplainers think THEY get to decide when feminism is totally ruined forever. You know, cuz THAT’S NOT MANSPLAINY AT ALL. Morons.

    Again, please stop helping. Thank you.

    To any dudes browsing here for amusement and validation: The above is not representative of MY feminism. Not all independent women feel the need to lash out and project their own insecurities on others. Don’t judge me by the poster above, and I won’t judge you by the stereotypical caveman.

  231. #231 Endor
    January 29, 2010

    “Not all independent women feel the need to lash out and project their own insecurities on others. ”

    You know what I absolutely love? When total strangers attempt some hamfisted psychological diagnosis on other total strangers based on what they really really REALLY want to be true. Instead of, you know, READING.

    I would be interested in knowing what in the world you’re talking about, but I have a feeling it would just involved more hamfisted diagnosis based on whatever assumptions about me you pull from your behind.

  232. #232 Comrade PhysioProf
    January 29, 2010

    Again, please stop helping. Thank you.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  233. #233 Endor
    January 29, 2010

    “You’ve managed to create a perfect example that people can point to and say, “See? Feminism really is all about dismissing the man’s point of view because he’s a man, and them blaming him for being sexist even though he wasn’t the one who brought sex into it.”

    Ah, I get it now. It’s totally Zuska’s (and by extension any female commenter’s) fault that whiny mansplainers fail so terribly at reading comprehension that they miss both the point of the original post and the multiple posts wherein it clearly states that this is not about all men, but about mansplainers – a word clearly defined several times. Clearly, men think of themselves as one monolithic group and therefore if women complain about one of them, they’re ALL offended and women must be silenced. And if them uppity bitches don’t shut up, feminism is totally ruined for ever and ever a-men!

    To the dudes who object to being so stereotyped: No worries – feminists think better of you than AW does. We think you can actually read and comprehend. We think you are capable of understanding. Sorry AW thinks so little of you, but rest assured, that attitude is not shared by feminists.

  234. #234 SKM
    January 29, 2010

    Don’t judge me by the poster above, and I won’t judge you by the stereotypical caveman.

    You know, I really wish it worked that way. But alas, it is not so. If you are a member of a socially marginalized group, you will be judged first and foremost as a member of that group, interchangeable with and representative of all members of that group.

    If you belong to a privileged group, you will be judged as an individual*.

    So, this “don’t lump me in with all other women and I won’t lump you in with all other men” stuff is pointless. It would only make sense on a level playing field, and we do not yet have a level playing field.

    *Of course it gets pretty complicated, and oppressions interact (interact, not “cancel one another out”. Sweet FSM, if I had a dime for every time I heard someone say “Oh, well, Hillary’s a woman, but Obama is black, so it averages out!. Er, it’s a bit more complicated than that.)

  235. #235 Other Becky
    January 29, 2010

    ENT-TT: If this makes you feel any better, it sounds to me like you may not be a mansplainer, just tedious. Mansplainers tend to do so without being asked, and with a strong undertone of “I will now tell you why I am right and you are wrong, and why your perceptions are incorrect.” Infodump is a different phenomenon.

    You might be a mansplainer if you insist that a woman’s systemic, lifelong experience of sexism is insufficient for her to take any one given action as sexist, because there might be some other (totally implausible) explanation for her opinion being dismissed.

  236. #236 Rev Matt
    January 29, 2010

    “But, you have to admit, it is fucking hilarious when whiny crybaby mansplainers think THEY get to decide when feminism is totally ruined forever. You know, cuz THAT’S NOT MANSPLAINY AT ALL. Morons. ”

    I’m going to go out on a limb and venture to guess that some of these men might not actually give much of a thought to feminism except when they try to use it to deflect much deserved criticism. Which isn’t at all douchey.

    “If you are a member of a socially marginalized group, you will be judged first and foremost as a member of that group”

    This. How is it that this concept seems so hard for some people (members of both the in and out groups) to grasp? It’s the libertarian fantasy “We are all independent self sufficient unique individuals who will be judged in isolation from any group identification” That would be a wonderful world, were it to exist.

  237. #237 Endor
    January 29, 2010

    “I’m going to go out on a limb and venture to guess that some of these men might not actually give much of a thought to feminism except when they try to use it to deflect much deserved criticism. Which isn’t at all douchey.”

    LOL. They don’t even really need to do so. Obviously, there are “feminists” who are willing to do exactly that for them.

  238. #238 Anthropologist Underground
    January 29, 2010

    Mansplaining orthotist bringing me his notes when I stopped him from inappropriately treating my son’s right leg, when the (minor) disorder afflicts my son’s left leg. A cursory glance at my child–after he left the room and returned with his notes–proved he was in error. He later mansplained that no one ever questions him–MDs trust him to just do his job…

    Old-Mansplaining: old(er) men who reserve special derision for women, but don’t limit their condescension to women only. They target everyone who does not share their personal demographic (age, ethnicity, gender, work history, politics, beer preferences, etc.). They also freely and loudly voice strong opinions about topics which they have very little plausibility of knowing anything about.

  239. #239 Sarah
    January 29, 2010

    Oooh, one of my favorite mansplaining moments from a movie is when Lisa takes the stand in ‘My Cousin Vinny’.

  240. #240 Zuska
    January 29, 2010

    ZOMG! I have broken feminism! The force is strong within me!

    And to think if I had just kept quiet about mansplaining, mansplainers all over the globe would have become feminists. If I hadn’t broken it for them. My bad, ladeez.

  241. #241 Endor
    January 29, 2010

    “And to think if I had just kept quiet about mansplaining, mansplainers all over the globe would have become feminists.”

    Well, us horrible, terrible feminism-breaking commenters didn’t help either. I’m mean, we’re trolls! Feminism-ruining trolls! Think of all the totally- interested-in-furthering-feminism men that we drove away with our opinions and real life experiences! Men are far to delicate for THAT!!!1!1111!!

    If only we’d tap dance for our honorary penises like REAL feminists!

  242. #242 Bectal
    January 29, 2010

    #226 – “FYI: This blog is showing up on news aggregators all over the web as a good laugh.”

    Well, clutch my pearls and find me a blanky to hide under!
    The shame, the ridicule, the….the…someone is making fun of me! How shall I ever share my voice again? Run and hide!

    Pfft.

  243. #243 SKM
    January 29, 2010

    Oh! Now I see! By standing up for myself and other women I’m really ruining it for us all! Because our only hope is to appeal to the beneficence of our natural overlords!

    OK, I’ll get right on that. *yawns*

  244. #244 Endor
    January 29, 2010

    “Because our only hope is to appeal to the beneficence of our natural overlords!”

    Which TOTALLY sounds like REAL feminism, amirite?

  245. #245 stripey_cat
    January 29, 2010

    My own favourite instances of mansplaining are the ones where men tell you something that could only be gained by female experience: someone on another thread mentioned the (male) gynaecologist telling her that the new brushes don’t hurt (I’ve encountered variants of that myself); my father’s insistence that bras and breasts (or lack of proper bra) don’t interfere with running or sport; people who are disbelieving that my knock-knees and brushing injuries stem from hip morphology and manifested in my mid-late teens; guys telling you not to feel threatened by catcalling or verbal harassment; and so on.

  246. #246 thedrymock
    January 29, 2010

    Oh I love this thread.

    You might be a mansplaining doctor (my least favorite kind — of doctor and of mansplainer) if, when a female patient asks you about the side effects of a medication you are prescribing her, your response is to get all pissy that you might have to look something up, and explain that ALL prescriptions have side effects, even Coke has side effects, probably worse ones than most prescriptions, and furthermore aspirin would never get approved these days because of its side effects. Bonus points for huffily printing a list of side effects and handing it to your patient without even looking at it yourself. And I think you win mansplaining if, when your patient says, “Yeah, some of these side effects are going to be problems for me because of other medical conditions I discussed with you not five minutes ago, remember those?” your only response is, “Well, I’m not going to come to your house and FORCE you to take it.”

  247. #247 SKM
    January 29, 2010

    @stripey_cat: and don’t forget, menstrual pain can’t be that bad! Or every woman would be in bed every month! Because we’re all the same!

  248. #248 JMS
    January 29, 2010

    Thanks a lot, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d like to ask that you stop helping now.

    AW? Your Stockholm Syndrome is really showing.

    Not a good look on anyone.

  249. #249 Cara
    January 29, 2010

    jc @ 58:

    -you start with “My name is Im A. Dude, D.Bag. and my buddies [insert names of club members such as Jeezus, Joe the Plumber, George Bush]… blah blah blah” because you mansplain that the club in agreement lends credibility to your statement. It doesn’t. It adds dudes.

    5 out of 5 stars, would LOL again. :)

  250. #250 Cara
    January 29, 2010

    Again, please stop helping. Thank you.
    To any dudes browsing here for amusement and validation: The above is not representative of MY feminism. Not all independent women feel the need to lash out and project their own insecurities on others. Don’t judge me by the poster above, and I won’t judge you by the stereotypical caveman.

    AW, sweet pea, if you really want to help men? Break the suction before their heads cave in…

  251. #251 M
    January 30, 2010

    Ugh, my new boyfriend is a mansplainer, as are at least a few of my classmates, all male of course (I’m in comp sci). It drives me bonkers! There’s nothing better than having three guys independently decide to offer unwanted, unsolicited “help” debugging my sockets lab, even though none of them are even in the ballpark about the bug and all of them finished (a) after me, and (b) with a lower grade. Sigh.

    The Inability to Hear Something Until A Man Says It is also rife in these parts, and also drives me bonkers. Step 1, I say something. Step 2, it gets ignored/rejected. Step 3, either the man I was talking to *somehow* manages to come up with the *exact same idea*, or another man does, and then it’s BRILLIANT! afdasfawsf.

    Seriously, WTF are we doing to our boys that they grow up to do this shit*? If I think really, really hard, I might be able to come up with one or two women who act this way, but I run into dudes like this all the time. It’s terribly anti-social, and it’s absolutely absurd that they manage to get away with it. If there’s any mech eng/hardware folks out there, maybe you could consider inventing some sort of machine that detects mansplaining and makes loud screeching sounds, so as to cover the noise and create a more pleasant aural atmosphere? I’m sure there would be plenty of people willing to invest in it.

    * Rhetorical question.

  252. #252 Carolyn Dougherty
    January 30, 2010

    This kind of thing is so helpful to me–now instead of trying to describe to a friend in detail my interaction with a man I met at a party, and why I found it so amusing/annoying, I can just point to this and say ‘this is what I was talking about’. I’m wondering if we have a word for what might be the opposite of mansplaining, or just another version of it: I recently posted a question to a beekeeping forum along the lines of ‘will doing x be a problem under y circumstances?’ The first response to my question was basically along the lines of ‘I know the answer and you don’t, hahaha’–or possibly ‘only someone really stupid wouldn’t know the answer to that question’. I replied, ‘thank you for taking the time to respond, but I don’t understand your answer–was that a yes or a no?’ Someone else (one of the forum moderators I believe) answered helpfully, saying ‘it won’t be a problem if you take a and b steps’ etc. I’ve seen this kind of thing particularly among younger men, and generally refer to it as ‘masculine status sorting using information as currency’, but it’s clearly somehow related to mansplaining and I’m not exactly sure how.

  253. #253 T. Laurel Sulfate
    January 30, 2010

    @Carolyn

    Both are forms of rhetorical dick-swinging?

  254. #254 drg
    January 30, 2010

    Seriously, WTF are we doing to our boys that they grow up to do this shit?

    It *is* a way to slow things down. Things can’t get out of hand if one person isn’t contributing any speed. I suspect there are plenty of men – and women – who can’t deal with a conversation that goes to fast. Mansplaining is the main way men slow down smarter women. I think, from a little observation, that tossing in irrelevancies is one way men slow down smarter men.

  255. #255 anothermouse
    January 30, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if:

    You feel the need to explain to the booking system engineer how to make a booking from manufacturing after she’s told you she used to be a planner and therefore has made more bookings than you’ve had hot dinners. Not to mention she books for your planner when your planner is out sick.
    You feel the need to point out every little flaw in the system (Screen A doesn’t copy details from Screen B since someone in IT broke the program) *minutes after* said engineer has just said that since someone started messing with the system, screen A has been borked and no longer copies from screen B.
    You feel the need to explain – wrongly – how to use a kanban system. Several times. To the same person.
    You feel the need to explain how ‘stock at supplier’ systems work. By basing all your assumptions that the planner is trying to get less than the agreed stock in (as has already been agreed by the planner and supplier to balance her remaining stocks where necessary btw!) when if you’d listened you would have realised we have a spike order – and need double the amount of stock. And then go on to bitch at the system engineer because she points out that planner didn’t want less than the agreed amount – she wanted double it. Continue attempting to explain your ideas over and over – avoiding key questions and wtf moments at all costs.

    These are just a few of the people I deal with every day as a woman in Industry. People wonder why I have odd things on my desk – it’s so I can distract myself.

  256. #256 anothermouse
    January 30, 2010

    Oh – reminded by a comment about doctors further up:

    You may be a mansplainer if you blame everything on weight when the patient first came to you about something NINE years ago as a UK size 10 – underweight for her height.
    You tell her the debilitating cramps that have her *literally* passing out/so dizzy she keels over in the bathroom/unable to physically move more than the distance from the bathroom to her desk on the rare occasion she makes it into work is “Part Of Being A Woman!”
    You tell her she shouldn’t have questioned your judgement and stopped the only thing that had changed in her life (the pill – which you put her on) prior to her becoming Suicidally depressed! (yes. Apparently I’m supposed to live with the urge to throw myself under a train, a car, a press…) Oh – and that hormones can’t do that anyway. When as the hormones returned to normal, she was back to being her usual self mentally.
    Continually tell your patient that no matter what she says some day she will want children of her own. (Would rather adopt thanks). Continue this after she has replied “Well my GIRLfriend would have to grow a cock first”.
    Refuse to acknowledge the existence of a potential cause for the patient’s problems which she has researched amongst others extensively. In fact, send her for a test for the wrong disease! when she gets back, explain that since it’s not PCOS it’s obviously all in her head – when the one she was offering as a potential was endo. Tell her there’s no such thing as Endo again and that she’s just having heavy periods. Repeat ad infinitum until your patient nearly breaks down into tears of frustration.

    Now on my third doctor about this and finally have potential diagnosis. Of Endometriosis – the thing I started asking him about six years ago. Nine years to potentially diganose.

  257. #257 Simply Sutton
    January 30, 2010

    You might be mansplaining if you open with, “I read your [memo, e-mail, blog post, comment, whatever]with care and respect…” especially if you respond within 30 seconds of receiving the original.

  258. #258 j
    January 30, 2010

    Ha! All good comments above….my $0.02:

    You may be a mansplainer if at any time you find your self in a conversation with either a man or woman that dissolves into you analyzing the etiquette of opening a door for a woman or a woman opening a door for you.

    This usually leads to a cliff-hanger of a conclusion similar to, “Dude. Whas a dude to do these days?” which, when translated really means something like, “I don’t really get feminism or what the issues really are so I will rely on this argument about door-opening to in my own mind excuse myself from doing the work of actually asking genuine questions and then listening to the responses from feminists, or better yet looking it up by myself by picking up a book about feminism or performing a rather perfunctory Google search”

    Also, I wold like to add that mansplainin goes hand in hand with caucasiansplainin. White men weave a rather intricate web that often begins with something like “I am not a racist but…” or “I love women but…”

  259. #259 Cara
    January 30, 2010

    Mansplaining is the main way men slow down smarter women. I think, from a little observation, that tossing in irrelevancies is one way men slow down smarter men.

    I’ve never thought of it this way, drg. I think it’s an excellent point.

  260. #260 SKM
    January 30, 2010

    I’m wondering if we have a word for what might be the opposite of mansplaining, or just another version of it: [...]The first response to my question was basically along the lines of ‘I know the answer and you don’t, hahaha’–or possibly ‘only someone really stupid wouldn’t know the answer to that question’.–Carolyn Dougherty

    This is classic verbal bullying. Check out the verbal abuse octagon designed by Suzette Haden Elgin in her Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense. (here’s a Google preview of the book)

    Female verbal bullies certainly exist, but men are far more likely to be verbal bullies, and women are more likely to get bullied, according to Dr. Elgin (and a lifetime of my own experience!)

  261. #261 jc
    January 30, 2010

    *high five* right back atcha Cara!

  262. #262 wombat
    January 30, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    You are a dOOdly white grad student and your ass-kicking advisor is fielding questions after her seminar presentation and is in the process of coming up with the clearest, most concise answer to her colleague’s question and gets one sentence out before you interrupt her from the front row to turn around to face and grace the audience loudly and authoritatively with the REAL answer, as she could not possibly know the real answer, because of course you think you are the one who really runs her lab and have convinced all the other dOOdly students that she is Unhinged, Not Very Smart, Emotional, and then all the other dOOdly grad students go around spreading rumors that you are the REAL head of the lab and could totally do her job better than her.

    Also, when you first started in her lab you would go over her head and consult with her husband (also a PI, who happens to be the trailing spouse) instead of her. Never mind that you have applied to professional school 5 years in a row and haven’t even gotten an interview because of your shitty grades. You’re the genius. Of course she just got her job as PI because of teh boobiez. I bet her grades and science-y skills really just sucked. Also that woman on your committee who gives you so much shit is just a bitch, she couldn’t possibly be right.

    p.s. I want to claw your face off and the next time you pull this shit in front of me, I won’t be so shocked that I forget to claw your face off.

  263. #263 Queef
    January 30, 2010

    Should we talk about race and arrogance next, since so much can be learned from complaining about Mansplaining? Perhaps Zuska can point out what it is and is not Caucasplaining. Or perhaps we should delve into upper-classplaining and lower-classplaining.

  264. #264 evanyc
    January 30, 2010

    an excellent example of caucasiansplainin–
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35147797#35147797

  265. #265 evanyc
    January 30, 2010

    specifically 45:00 in, or thereabouts.

  266. #266 Brat
    January 30, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you tell every woman in the gym just precisely how to use the machines, even if she says she’s a personal trainer, and even if she is wearing her gym uniform and has bigger muscles than you.

    Strangely enough, the really buff bodybuilder guys never do this – its always regulars who don’t work out intensely.

  267. #267 Boad
    January 30, 2010

    OR, Queef, we can just keep talking about mansplaining, since that’s what this POST IS ABOUT. If you’re jonesin’ to talk about race relations, or class, go to a site that discusses that. You seem to be confused about why we’re here.

  268. #268 Uncle Smokes
    January 31, 2010

    For further reading on this subject, I recommend Rebecca Solnit’s post at TomDispatch:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174918

  269. #269 Nika
    January 31, 2010

    Recently a classmate (male) was so defensive about my daring to assert my opinion about a camera that he was researching, and which I had used and enjoyed, that be felt it was necessary to tell me:

    1. that the camera would never work for the kind of films he said I make
    2. even when I pointed out to him that I make a variety of films, he asserted that he felt my work was in a genre which HE had the authority to describe as being the kind of film that would NOT go well with the camera’s capabilities
    3. when I showed examples of the kind of films I wanted to shoot made using that camera, he argued that I knew nothing about the camera and that I couldn’t just “take it out of the box and make pretty pictures”

    Trash-talked all of my four years of filmmaking and totally misrepresented my work ethic and body of work just because OMG he felt threatened that a “girl” would dare jump into a TECHNICAL discussion about MEN’s toys. Sheesh.

  270. #270 Jim Pivonka
    January 31, 2010

    I am a habitual explainer. The conversion of what I’ve studied into verbal explanation is how the study becomes learning for me. I explain to everyone, and anyone, pretty much indiscriminately, who gives me an opening to do so.

    In my mind all of my “explanations” are conditioned by an “as if” – as if my explanation were accurate; and a “what if” – what if it were not accurate? What response does the “explanation” evoke in you? Do you have another explanation? I’d like to hear it, if you do.

    In fact, I deal with very few people who are expert, or even informed, in the areas that capture my interest and are the subject of my explanation, so I feel really validated if someone responds with an argument, or agreement. Well, that’s life. I have at least had the opportunity to think aloud, and to attempt, however futily, to be heard.

    Men and women get the same treatement. The only ones who get talked down to seriously are those who habitually depend on me to make up for or clean up after the consequences of their impulsiveness & poor object relations. I am, admittedly pretty rough on them – if they want out of the relationship, they know where the door is. At 71, I just don’t have the time to mollycoddle the inability to handle the basic mechanical operations of life effectively any longer. I’ve never been really good at it myself, and it’s NOT getting easier these days.

  271. #271 ellabella
    January 31, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you complain to your doctor girlfriend about not being given penicillin for your infection by the female doctor, refuse to listen when she explains to you that penicillin does not work on the type of bacteria which causes said infection and then come upstairs when her male doctor flatmate comes home and helpfully inform her that Ben says penicillin does not work on that type of infection. Really?! Why didn’t they tell me that in the six years I spent in medical school?

    You may be a mansplainer if you explain to your female doctor why you can’t possibly take her medical advice, (which is okay, it’s your body, you can do what you like with it) and then ask her (1) if she is a ‘real’ doctor, and bonus points if you follow it up with ‘but did you train in this country?’

  272. #272 Katryna
    January 31, 2010

    AW, if you’re still here, can you please link to the places where this article is being linked for “a good laugh”? I entered the URL and didn’t find anything, and I entered the title and didn’t find anything. Of course, it’s your choice whether or not to do this, but if you don’t I’m going to have to conclude that you’re lying. Thanks.

  273. #273 Virginia O'Possum
    January 31, 2010

    This discussion has brightened my day immensely. I just like having my reality confirmed once in a while. My example:
    You may be a mansplainer if you ‘correct’ a woman’s preferences using abstract principles. For instance: “You can’t want the table by the window because the Kitchen Triangle can only be perfected by blocking the window with appliances.”
    Two observations:
    1) How sad that so many examples come from within the context of (mostly ended) relationships. I mean, one should just not have to get this shit in the home.
    2) Thinking about the “men do this to other men” trope — yes, but only to men they assume they can dominate socially. Problem is, for many men, *all* women are men they assume they can dominate socially.

  274. #274 monika/shermanvolvo
    January 31, 2010

    You ARE a mansplainer if you cut off a Woman of Colour sharing her opinion at a conference and then reframe it because she couldn’t possibly get her opinion across with others understanding her.

  275. #275 monika/shermanvolvo
    January 31, 2010

    re: discussions of racism/classism/ableism/fat phobia (etc)

    I see these directly related to mansplaining. I see men more likely to mansplain if the woman they are mansplaining to experiences additional marginalizations.

    In addition, you might be a mansplainer if you are the only man in a group of 20 people and you take up more time than the 19 women combined.

  276. #276 thewhatifgirl
    January 31, 2010

    I knew there was a reason I didn’t like the new guy in my grad department, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until this thread. So…

    You might be a mansplainer if you’re new to the craft of flint-knapping but insist on talking about the mechanics of it – using all of the big words, of course, as if we aren’t already aware of exactly what’s going on in the first place because otherwise we would be really crappy grad students in our field – and we are, in fact, offering to teach you how to do it in the first place. Especially if that craft is traditionally viewed as a male endeavor, but the three women in front of you are performing it just fine in spite of the complexity and danger involved, and the dexterity required.

    And I want to second the “you’ll want to have babies someday” mansplaining diagnosis that anothermouse mentioned upthread, especially when I am asking about getting my tubes tied because I witnessed the 40-something-hour labor when my little brother was being born when I was 13 and have wanted nothing to do with pregnancy or labor ever since.

  277. #277 Kelly
    January 31, 2010

    Okay
    I have a husband who is, shall we say, an offshoot of “mansplaining”. Maybe he is an mansplainer but I couldn’t bring myself to read all the comments supporting this type of male. I have lived it for over 17 years. Let’s say his name is Daniel McMansplainer but we call him Daniel “and I’ll tell you why…” McMansplainer. This is because he’ll start his lectures by announcing why he is right and “I’ll tell you why…”glassy eyes start about right now.

  278. #278 Shelby
    January 31, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you:-

    - tend to interrupt me mid-sentence.
    - stick your hand out like a stop-sign when I’m talking cause you’d really really really like to interrupt me.
    - change the subject by insulting me when we are having a debate and you know I’m right.
    - change the subject by loudly telling me I’m being aggressive when we are having a debate and you know I’m right.
    - explain something to me that I have not 5 seconds ago said in the very same terms to you.

  279. #279 Jonquil
    February 1, 2010

    … if you explain that if *you* were a woman *you* wouldn’t object to the behavior or language in question, thereby privileging you-as-imaginary-woman over the woman who is standing right there talking to you.

  280. #280 dria
    February 1, 2010

    When I try to talk to you about the other night when me and my friend had to call the cops on her crazy-plastered, dangerous mother and you try to rationalize and explain the events, and also tell me why my emotions are wrong (but you do it so lovingly!), you’re a mansplainer. And a *very* ex-boyfriend. And a fucktard.

    Male-awesomeness bonuses:
    1. watching friend having to scream/cry/beg douchebag stepfather to come pick up his son (9 years old) so he doesn’t get hurt/watch his mom hurt herself. Stepfather was very inconvenienced, poor guy.

    2. Having the two male cops dismiss us and our situation as not a big deal

    3. Having the two male cops stare at our breasts and any exposed skin while they took our statements.

  281. #281 shakahi
    February 1, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you begin a sentence with “In the wild female chimps will (insert behavior here)” to mansplain how all women are whores, gold diggers, or just plain stupid.

  282. #282 shakahi
    February 1, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you are at a woman’s apartment playing her video games on her game console but insist on telling her how to play the game while she kicks your ass during the game.

  283. #283 colourcoded
    February 1, 2010

    … if you explain that if *you* were a woman *you* wouldn’t object to the behavior or language in question, thereby privileging you-as-imaginary-woman over the woman who is standing right there talking to you. This. Yes. This.

  284. #284 Phingerspex
    February 1, 2010

    I am a mansplainer, when I talk about football or cars in a technical way when I really don’t care or know very much about either of them, but because I’m a man I have somehow absorbed expertise in these areas by virtue of being born with testicles.

  285. #285 Hazelfo
    February 1, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if, whenever a woman has a discussion with you about a serious topic, you roll your eyes, make jokes, flail your arms around, and laughing say “you’re wrong!” without any explanation.

    Or also, you may be a mansplainer if you preface any argument about X with a woman who practices X with “X is just so stupid!”

  286. #286 Embee
    February 1, 2010

    Upon being awakened by a loud, obnoxious mechanical sound, my husband and I wondered aloud to one another (whilst half-asleep) “what the hell IS that?” After a bit of thought, I suggested that it was the pool pump, and that it sounded like it was cavitating.

    His response: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. (pause) What’s cavitating.”

    Yes, it was.

  287. #287 Rev Matt
    February 1, 2010

    “Thinking about the “men do this to other men” trope — yes, but only to men they assume they can dominate socially. Problem is, for many men, *all* women are men they assume they can dominate socially. ” – Virginia O’Possum.

    This needs to be reprinted everywhere.

  288. #288 SKM
    February 1, 2010

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about. (pause) What’s cavitating.”

    Oh dear, yes!

    Bonus points to the men out there who like to go around saying “my wife is smarter than I am”, yet still treat her (and the women at work, etc) as thought they are ignorant by default.

  289. #289 nicole
    February 1, 2010

    @SKM. Your comments are such a pleasure to read, thanks very much for consistently making such intelligent and funny statements!

    mansplaining: I was once walking around my relatives’ farm with another uncle (a high priest of mansplaining!), where I had been planting the entire garden for them for several years. We walked by the garlic and he insisted that it was corn. He couldn’t be dissuaded despite the facts that there was not enough of it to be corn, it was too tall so early in the spring to be corn, he KNOWS that I PLANTED the garden, etc. I had similar interactions with him regarding a rental car, some wood stacking etc. it would be funny if it wasn’t real.

  290. #290 thebewilderness
    February 1, 2010

    You are most assuredly a mansplainer if when a woman tell you that she made a particular decision you interrupt her to mansplain why she made that decision.

  291. #291 Anonymous
    February 1, 2010

    you know you’re a mansplainer when…

    in a bar, around the pool table, one of the wimminz INSISTS on actually playing a game (instead of sitting on a bar stool an’ filing her nails like any good girl should when the boys are playin’) And despite the fact that she’s kickin’ ass and clearly knows her way round a pool table, you decide to help her out with those tricky cushion shoots by placing a finger (wrongly) where she should try to make the ball bounce. No pressure, just handy, gesturalized-mansplainin’ – where would the girls be without it? grrr….

  292. #292 Jess
    February 1, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you are the person who posts about a zillion times on this feminist site’s thread: http://www.feministing.com/archives/008579.html , dominating the thread and thus making it unreadable.

  293. #293 Katherine
    February 1, 2010

    “”Thinking about the “men do this to other men” trope — yes, but only to men they assume they can dominate socially. Problem is, for many men, *all* women are men they assume they can dominate socially. ” – Virginia O’Possum.

    This needs to be reprinted everywhere. – Rev. Matt”

    Reprintin’ dat.

    You might be a mansplainer if…
    You insist on mansplaining to women around you what they really should do (travel staying only in backpackers) because of course they’ll feel exactly the same as you about it. Won’t it be such fun? Even though you should know the very woman you are promoting it too is on the other end of the introvert-extrovert scale from you.

    Hard to phrase this starting with “you might be a mansplainer so:
    A man tried to do me a favour by offering to invite me to gmail (back when you needed an invite), and got all snotty after I told him several times that I didn’t need it despite his mansplaining that gmail had several GB of storage when I didn’t need more than the 100MB that the university email provided.

    Bonus 2: An ex asked a question, I didn’t hear it and asked him about 5 times to repeat it while he read through a document looking for the answer. When he couldn’t find it he deigned to repeat his question and what do you know? I knew the answer all along. And he wondered why I was always upset with him.

  294. #294 kristyn
    February 1, 2010

    anothermouse — I thought that was just what happened to me.

    You might be a mansplainer if …

    I am a professional poet, but you feel the need to explain the concepts of ”irony” and ”cynicism” to me, then gently ask if I am deluded about my talent ”because [I] don’t seem to get it” — in other words, because I am correct and you are not.

    you were my best friend and you raped me while I was drunk, but now you Facebook me to ask if I want to join your production company, and tell me to ”let [you] know when [I] want to become an adult”, ”learn how to divorce [my] personal life from [my] personal life if [I] want to get ahead”, and to ”stop guilt-tripping and harassing [you]” when I tell you in no uncertain terms that I am actually still quite upset.
    Bonus points if you say I am delusional, insist I am making everything up, use the phrases ”spreading lies” or ”causing drama”, and claim I am ruining YOUR life even though I am the one who still has PTSD flashbacks and dissociates from her body on a regular basis.

  295. #295 kristyn
    February 1, 2010

    Oh, and also if you are my father and you console me for being unable to create the same kinds of art or access the same kinds of emotion as men, because men and women are different — but that you’re sure it’s good anyway.

    As I am handing you the second-ever-printed copy of my first book of semi-acclaimed poetry, and before you have read it.

    And also if you are my father and you sign me up for a gender-essentialist seminar entitled ”Getting What You Want Out of a Man” after I tell you I’ve been raped. Because, thanks, that helped, I only ever got raped because I don’t know how to ask for what I want out of a man.

    Bonus points if I am also involved with a woman when this exchange occurs.

  296. #296 kristyn
    February 2, 2010

    Sorry for the serial posting, but 294 was supposed to say

    ”learn how to divorce [my] personal life from [my] PROFESSIONAL life if [I] want to get ahead”

    I almost committed suicide over this alone. If it were not for other feminists on the internet, I would be cold and in a box right now.

  297. #297 Kookaburra
    February 2, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if:

    -After learning that I am just finishing up paramedic school, you spend 10 minutes telling me how to perform basic CPR, and that “…see, an abrasion is like skinning your knee, whereas an avulsion is when a flap of skin is hanging…”

  298. #298 Endor
    February 2, 2010

    Soooooo nearly 300 comments – where are all the d00ds telling us its all imaginary now?

    (((((kristyn))))) If ya want them.

  299. #299 kangeiko
    February 2, 2010

    I recently returned from a trip to quite a dangerous area, where something not very fun happened to me. It wasn’t terribly serious, but I was still required to file a security report and to also let my boss (and colleagues) know for safety precautions during future travelling. One response?

    “I think you must have misunderstood it. I’ve been there before and nothing like that has happened to me.”

    Because the chances of a middle-aged male being sexually harassed are exactly the same as those of a twenty-something female. It’s helpful to know that I must have misinterpreted it!

  300. #300 nicole
    February 2, 2010

    re: laughing all over the internetz. I found this through a link on theawl.com but they were all laughing at the men being so childishly indignant, not the concept of women complaining about mansplaining. just saying.

  301. #301 madamab
    February 2, 2010

    Thank you so much for enlightening me as to why, when my husband stands over me and “explains” how to do stuff I’m already doing (such as cooking, which he readily admits I do better than he does), it’s incredibly f*cking annoying. (He’s practically perfect otherwise, I hasten to add. Love you, honey!)

    I have sent this post to him as confirmation that I am not, in fact, insane for feeling that his behavior is condescending and sexist. And, I’ve linked to it on my blog.

    Thanks for womansplaining it all so well.
    ;-)

  302. #302 SKM
    February 2, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer (in bed) if…

    …you don’t understand the difference between “communicating with your partner about what feels good to both of you” and “pompously instructing your female partner about how to service you adequately”, while simultaneously forgetting to give a shit what she likes.

  303. #303 Vicki
    February 2, 2010

    SKM–Wouldn’t a mansplainer be telling his female partner that she should be enjoying what he was doing, because everyone knows that women like that? And telling her toshut up and let him pleasure her the way he knows is right, even if she is bored or in pain, because he knows more about her body than he does.

  304. #304 SKM
    February 2, 2010

    @Vicki–yeah, that too!

  305. #305 JAM
    February 2, 2010

    This question is for Zuska and anyone else that may have some insight:

    Is it possible that some women can also be Mansplainers to the women and men around them?

    And, isn’t it sexist to say things like, “I am not going to listen to anything you say or even try to have a constructive conversation with you, because you are a white privileged male”?

  306. #306 Cara
    February 3, 2010

    This question is for Zuska and anyone else that may have some insight:

    Is it possible that some women can also be Mansplainers to the women and men around them?

    No.

    And, isn’t it sexist to say things like, “I am not going to listen to anything you say or even try to have a constructive conversation with you, because you are a white privileged male”?

    No. Avoiding conversations with certain men is a rational conservation of a woman’s time–specifically, those men who refuse to acknowledge that her lived experience is valid simply because she’s lived it.

  307. #307 Elliot
    February 3, 2010

    Oi! Thanks for this! I just shared this with my trade group, mostly women, I can hear the laughter there now.

    On sci-fi blogs mansplainin’ is so common it’s —normal. And when a person with a male screen name refutes another male, it’s fine, but if ‘he’ is later revealed to be female, the yelping is astounding.

  308. #308 ENdor
    February 3, 2010

    “Is it possible that some women can also be Mansplainers to the women and men around them?”

    No. As has been repeated ad nauseum at this point – yes, women can be know-it-alls. This is not the same as mansplaining. A mansplainer is a know-it-all who believes he’s right based on the fact that he’s male and the one he’s speaking to isn’t. It’s an act of privilege.

    “And, isn’t it sexist to say things like, “I am not going to listen to anything you say or even try to have a constructive conversation with you, because you are a white privileged male”?”

    There have been next to no “white privileged males” who’ve come to this thread to have a “constructive conversation”. mostly, they’ve come merely to reenforce their privilege, do some MORE mansplaining and generally be clueless asshats.

    That said, no, it is not “reverse sexism” to not converse with such people. They merely want to suck up every women’s time, force them to talk about what the man wants to talk about and generally be trolls.

    They have nothing to contribute, but think they do, because they’re male and who doesn’t want to hear what men have to say about shit they know nothing about, amirite?

  309. #309 Endor
    February 3, 2010

    Addendum:

    “And, isn’t it sexist to say things like, “I am not going to listen to anything you say or even try to have a constructive conversation with you, because you are a white privileged male”?”

    Do you honestly think “white privileged male(s)” have any idea what sexism is? Do white people know what racism is? Do straight people know what homophobia is? etc etc etc.

    Just because a “white privileged male” has an opinion about something, that doesn’t mean it’s correct, valuable, or worth listening too- no matter how convinced of his correctness he is. He hasn’t walked a mile in women’s shoes. He genuinely and truly has no idea what he’s talking about. To him, it’s a mere academic conversation. To us, it’s fucking REALITY.

    I.e. I’m white. I have no fucking clue what being a target of racism is. Sure, I’ve been called “cracker” a few times, but that is nothing and gives me no experience with living under constant bigotry for the color of my skin. Ergo, when people of color talk about racism, I shut the fuck up and listen because they know, I don’t.

    “white privileged males” would be smart to do the same, instead of what most of them are doing – denying the realities of other people because those people have no penis.

  310. #310 Marnie
    February 3, 2010

    I believe there is no finer practitioner of the art of mansplaining than Ann Coulter. There is nothing like being told that the wimminz tend to vote democrat so their right to vote should be revoked. Brilliant mansplaining.

  311. #311 SKM
    February 3, 2010

    I believe there is no finer practitioner of the art of mansplaining than Ann Coulter.

    Ann Coulter is a woman; she has a lot of privilege, but not male privilege, which is central to the concept of mansplaining (see: the original post and the entire thread). Ergo, Ann Coulter is not a practitioner of the art of mansplaining. IOW, mansplaining is not just about the behavior of the individual, but also about how society views and responds to that individual. Many people (at least in America, for sure) have a very hard time accepting that we do not in fact make our own reality through sheer will, and that we do not have the power to be seen in any way we choose.

  312. #312 Rev Matt
    February 3, 2010

    “And, isn’t it sexist to say things like, “I am not going to listen to anything you say or even try to have a constructive conversation with you, because you are a white privileged male”?”

    Nice straw man, make it yourself?

    I don’t see anywhere here, nor have I outside of some seriously extremist blogs, anyone claim that they wouldn’t try to have a constructive conversation with a white male simply because he’s a white male (privileged is a given in this context).

    What I have seen is a lot of women reacting to men who are behaving in a sexist manner by essentially saying “Well, this specific guy clearly has no interest in a real conversation so I’m not going to waste my time.” Call me crazy but that seems an entirely reasonable position to take.

  313. #313 JAM
    February 3, 2010

    After reading the entire threads, both this one and the latter, it seems there is a fine line between generalizing an entire category of individuals skirting on prejudice and judging a specific individual on their character in person.

    Call me crazy, but I do not see the difference between the Mansplainer and the woman know-it-alls. They are one in the same besides their gender.

    Thanks to those that took the time out of their busy lives to respond to my question.

  314. #314 Endor
    February 3, 2010

    “it seems there is a fine line between generalizing an entire category of individuals skirting on prejudice and judging a specific individual on their character in person.”

    Sure is. it’s called sexism and the women around here have clearly had to deal with it quite a lot.

    “Call me crazy, but I do not see the difference between the Mansplainer and the woman know-it-alls. They are one in the same besides their gender.”

    What’s the difference? As has been repeated ad nauseum – P-R-I-V-I-L-E-G-E.

    They are not one in the same aside from gender. men have all of society backing them up for being mainsplainers. People make all sorts of excuses and justifications for men condescending to women – as these very threads proved over and over again. Whereas a female know-it-all is a shrill, nagging, shrewish bitch who needs to be put in her place and taught a lesson.

    A female know-it-all merely thinks she’s smarter or better informed than her audience. A mansplainer thinks that by virture of his teeny weeny, ALONE, no one else knows anything and needs to be instructed by him, even on topics he knows nothing about.

  315. #315 Boad
    February 3, 2010

    Just to be a know-it-all for a minute: it’s one “and the same”, not “in the same”.

  316. #316 JAM
    February 3, 2010

    Thank you for esplaining through prejudicial examples.

    “shrewish bitch who needs to be put in her place and taught a lesson” and “by virture of his teeny weeny”.

  317. #317 Endor
    February 3, 2010

    “Thank you for esplaining through prejudicial examples.”

    LOL. I thought I was perfectly clear I was talking about misogynistic attitudes vis a vis know-it-all women, not my personal opinion.

    next time, I’ll mark it with a warning.

  318. #318 Endor
    February 3, 2010

    “Just to be a know-it-all for a minute: it’s one “and the same”, not “in the same”.”

    LOL. Touche!

  319. #319 startswithA
    February 3, 2010

    They are one in the same besides their gender.

    Oh but you see, that difference is a WAY bigger one than you think. You seem to think it’s a negligible detail, rather than the precise reason women are being condescended to all the time. If you want to keep talking about how no, really, it’s the same and anyone can be a know-it-all, you’ve missed the entire point by mansplaining that the phenomenon that hundreds of comments here have supported as real, is actually not, or at least isn’t a gendered behavior.

    Since so many of these comments are about men who the commenters love (husbands, boyfriends) or who work with them in a professional/academic capacity (presumably because both have demonstrated competence and/or excellence in their field), I ask YOU: why would these men be so disrespectful, so condescending, so openly hostile to women that are supposed to have already earned their place at the table? Who else would this kind of thing happen to? And why, if it’s not because they’re sexist, dismissive d-bags, would so many men be so very rude and aggressive to the women in their lives?

  320. #320 Cara
    February 3, 2010

    I ask YOU: why would these men be so disrespectful, so condescending, so openly hostile to women that are supposed to have already earned their place at the table? Who else would this kind of thing happen to? And why, if it’s not because they’re sexist, dismissive d-bags, would so many men be so very rude and aggressive to the women in their lives?

    *raises hand* Ooh! Pick me! Pick me! I know!

    Oh, wait. That makes me a female know-it-all, doesn’t it? Drat.

  321. #321 snobographer
    February 3, 2010

    Recently, on the Internets . . .

    A dude said, “By casting a wide net revolutionaries alienate those who would otherwise be critical to actual forward momentum; yadda yadda This plays into the hands of the actual powers that be.

    If you read revolutionary history this pattern repeats over and over again. bloop de bloop la la.”

    So I said, “I’m pretty sure the French peasants didn’t try to make nice with the monarchy and reach a mutual understanding with them. Look how that turned out.”

    So he said, “You’re betraying a lot of historical ignorance here. While the monarchy by and large met with the chopping block they were not really the grand holders of power that may be depicted in a Kirsten Dunst film.

    As was the case in the 1780′s France a fairly large and politically mobile “middle class” (often educated and moderately wealthy) have always been essential to lasting social change… blah di blah blah blaaaaahhh…

    And then I called him a patronizing asshole and told him to fuck off.

    I’m editing this way way way down. The guy’s comments are miles long. Why do mansplainers always think putting up a wall of words to lull their conversational partners to sleep makes them seem intelligent? Just makes you seem like a boring blowhard too up your own ass to pick up on social cues.

    It’s a dead conversation (thank effing christ) but if anybody wants to read it unedited, it’s over here:
    http://jezebel.com/5448937/it-is-her-job-to-give-me-pleasure-the-disturbing-beliefs-of-men-who-visit-prostitutes#c18427304

  322. #322 snobographer
    February 3, 2010

    And to add to and clarify my comment above, basically what the dude there was arguing was that if feminists say unflattering things about men, they’ll lose male allies.

  323. #323 JAM
    February 3, 2010

    Thanks for the English lesson, though maybe I was thinking of the book, maybe the song, or maybe it is just the natural slang here in my part of the country and I didn’t think twice about it, somewhat akin to “y’all” down there in the south.

    Now that I mention it, maybe I am a bit indifferent to the subject of The Mansplainer since it is not common place here in my neck of the woods to see ”the precise reason women are being condescended to all the time.” It is also possible that I do not attract such men, but I will leave that to the psychology experts. Or, living in a liberal state provides for better tolerances between the sexes. Not that I am saying it doesn’t exist here. It is just not as common place here as this thread makes it out to be.

  324. #324 JAM
    February 3, 2010

    Note: I lived in another area of the country for a while for business reasons, and I could never get over how rude, condescending, and disrespectful people were to me as well as to each other. I was glad to move back home where people hold the door for you, say “please and thank you”, and just provide each other with the simple courtesies in life. Though, we drive like nut cases!!!

    I guess it all depends on where you live, where you work, and whom you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

  325. #325 Handmade
    February 4, 2010

    You May be a Mansplainer if you are a Doctor, especially a young male resident in training who feels the need to explain to me, your female medical interpreter that it is impossible to give your patient your medical license number, even after said interpreter shows you how to find that information on the hospital’s computer system. When the patient (female also) who needs the signature for a reduced fare disability pass, explains that she cannot afford transportation to work unless she gets this pass ASAP, you talk to her very slowly using the simplest language available to you saying “I will have to mail this form back to you as I have too many other important things to do today” You may not only be a mansplainer but also a freakin leotard!

  326. #326 Handmade
    February 4, 2010

    Mansplaining isn’t just the act of mansplanation but also the act of manlistening. You may be a mansplainer if after being told repeatedly by your limping girlfriend that part of her depression is because she is unable to do much physical exercise due to severe arthritis you greet her frustration with the comment “You just need to get out and walk more” Then you go on to explain the days news to her as if she had not already read seven different newsites.

  327. #327 ENdor
    February 4, 2010

    “It is just not as common place here as this thread makes it out to be.”

    LOL!! Ah, of course. There are countless women on these threads proving that it is, in fact, very prevalent, but it doesn’t happen to YOU, therefore it’s not as common. Nevermind the literally HUNDREDS of comments proving otherwise. What you think trumps them all.

    Comedy gold, this utter cluelessness.

  328. #328 JAM
    February 4, 2010

    Endor:

    Mentioning prevalence of a behavior regionally doesn’t negate that the behavior exists.

    “There are countless women on these threads proving that it is, in fact, very prevalent, but it doesn’t happen to YOU, therefore it’s not as common.”

    First, this is not a set that is “countless.” I can count them, I am sure you can too. This is also a skewed set of data since people were drawn to this blog to list examples. It, the blog itself, is by no means a true measure of prevalence. It does prove that the behavior exists and I never said that it hasn’t happened to me. I am just saying that it may not be as common place where I live as when compared to where you live.

  329. #329 skeptifem
    February 4, 2010

    Had dudely supervisor try to tell me that CC’s and ML’s are not the same, and that he used a “cc syringe” to measure chemical additives so his addition of 10x more chemical than called for to a sample tube was actually correct (1.2 ml’s instead of .12, which is why I asked). “cc’s are MLs” just didn’t make it through the dude brain for consideration, he opted to show me a fucking syringe instead. ass.

  330. #330 Endor
    February 4, 2010

    “I am just saying that it may not be as common place where I live as when compared to where you live.”

    Liar.

    “It is just not as common place here as this thread makes it out to be.”

    is what you said. Surely, such a condescending and brilliant person, who can’t grasp the usage of the word “countless” for brevity, can understand how easy it is to SCROLL UP.

  331. #331 snobographer
    February 4, 2010

    “Or, living in a liberal state provides for better tolerances between the sexes.”

    LOL! When I used to work in a San Francisco advertising agency doing IT support, the dudes in the graphic arts department were the most pedantic, hanging-over-your-shoulder, “are you sure you know what you’re doing here let me help you with that” mansplainers in the place. And I will hereby guarantee you not one of those San Francisco art school grads ever voted for Bush.

  332. #332 thebewilderness
    February 4, 2010

    I adore that argument, that the cultural behaviors that I am accustomed to in my geographical area are not so very misogynistic as the cultural behaviors in ever other geographical location.

  333. #333 Bectal
    February 4, 2010

    With a sympathetic nod to kristyn @ 295:

    You might be a mansplainer if your 18 yr. old (and rather naive) daughter finally explains that the reason she’s been acting so sullen is because she’s been being sexually harassed and molested by her 65 yr. old boss, and your response is: “well, you must be doing something to encourage him.”

    Bonus points if, when she reminds you of this conversation, years later (on the advice of her therapist), you scream at her: “I said no such thing!”

    Silly, silly girl. So glad to have those mansplaining explanations of what happened (or didn’t!) to me.

  334. #334 grumpystudent
    February 4, 2010

    You might be a mansplaining thesis committee member if this sounds like you…
    Committee member d00d asks me for the specific numbers of my background readings RIGHT NOW and I say “I’ve got that, but I’m trying to figure out why the highest concentration is so low- which is true with or without the background corrections”
    d00d: “I can’t tell without the REAL NUMBERS! You should be able to give me the real numbers! What is it? 20? 2000?!”
    me: “nothing like that- it’s fairly low level, but the effect is most pronounced at this high concentration…” *flips through notebook trying to find the raw data*
    d00d: “you can’t just present the data like that!”
    me: “here, the problem is I’m trying to do everything with the powerpoint, let me just open up the file *opens Excel file* see, here’s the background, it’s about 20″
    d00d: “Well why’d you say it’s 2000?”
    me: *thinking: WTF?!!* “Don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say that- I said I didn’t know”
    d00d: “yes you did!”

    female committee member, quietly as an aside to you: “no, actually, she didn’t”

  335. #335 ma'am
    February 4, 2010

    startswithA “Since so many of these comments are about men who the commenters love (husbands, boyfriends) or who work with them in a professional/academic capacity (presumably because both have demonstrated competence and/or excellence in their field), I ask YOU: why would these men be so disrespectful, so condescending, so openly hostile to women that are supposed to have already earned their place at the table? Who else would this kind of thing happen to? And why, if it’s not because they’re sexist, dismissive d-bags, would so many men be so very rude and aggressive to the women in their lives?”

    I am going to risk all of feminism by proposing an answer: (1) all men truly think they are smarter than all women all the time, and/or (2) admitting (either on the inside or publicly on the outside) that any woman is smarter than they are would force them to confront (and possibly address) their precious undeserved male privilege.

    Personally, every man I know and every man I have ever met has been at one or more times a mansplainer. Most in fact cannot speak without mansplaining.

  336. #336 SKM
    February 4, 2010

    I adore that argument, that the cultural behaviors that I am accustomed to in my geographical area are not so very misogynistic as the cultural behaviors in ever other geographical location.–thebewildeness

    Oh yeah, that’s one of the best arguments! Of course, I can’t risk Ruining Feminism by saying what that argument’s called, but here’s a hint: it starts with “denial” and ends in “-ism”

  337. #337 SusansalisburY
    February 4, 2010

    Here’s my favorite. I am a lawyer specializing in litigation. At a recent court appearance regarding a sizeable arbitration award ( over 900,000 dollars.) The male lawyer who represented someone on the other side began explaining to me why my legal theories were, and I quote, “ridiculous”. My response was “and yet, I won.” His head didn’t literally explode, but he began yelling at me to shut up. OH, and the arbitrator, who agreed with my theories and awarded the large sum? A man, a retired partner from a large lawfirm. Hmmm.

  338. #338 JAM
    February 4, 2010

    Endor,

    When I said “here”, I was talking about place, home, or area of the country; not the blog itself.

    And for the English lesson; countless = very many: many more than it is possible or convenient to count. Since they are numbered, the counting should be easy for you.

    Calling me a “liar” shows your maturity level and that you are behaving exactly like the people of which this blog is all about, so it is not worth discussing anything further with you.

    JAM

  339. #339 CaitlinMac
    February 5, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if… mansplainer #1, total stranger: you walk up to the weight machine I am in the middle of a set on and pull out the pin (because it must be too heavy for a woman!!!) and walk off.

    … mansplainer #2, ex:you explain how great a swordsman you are (and so much better than me). And repeat so after I beat you twice in a row, because you got the worse sword. And then claim it was a fluke when I beat you *again* after swapping swords.

    …#2 again: lather, rinse and repeat in archery and political science (your field, supposedly– maybe you should study more and mansplain less?), and planning.

  340. #340 thebewilderness
    February 5, 2010

    I need to get me a snark tag.

    Not to worry, JAM. At some point in the next few weeks you will be so shocked to discover that it really is everywhere.
    That will be the time to discuss it.

  341. #341 Cara
    February 5, 2010

    Calling me a “liar” shows your maturity level and that you are behaving exactly like the people of which this blog is all about, so it is not worth discussing anything further with you.

    Step 1: Present ironic performance art piece demonstrating the very premise of comments thread.

    Step 2: Dig self into hole.

    Step 3: Declare victory on grounds of it being Secret Backwards Week.

    Step 4: Run back to MRA site trumpeting, “I showed those bitchez!”
    Step 4a: If male, receive high-fives and war whoops.
    Step 4b: If female, receive pat on head and master’s sweet, sweet approval.

    Job well done, JAM. *pat pat*

  342. #342 Cara
    February 5, 2010

    The male lawyer who represented someone on the other side began explaining to me why my legal theories were, and I quote, “ridiculous”. My response was “and yet, I won.” His head didn’t literally explode, but he began yelling at me to shut up.

    You know how people type “LOL” when they didn’t really laugh out loud? I really did. LOL.

  343. #343 SKM
    February 5, 2010

    I need to get me a snark tag.–thebewilderness

    Me too, I guess. I knew what you were getting at–sorry for any confusion.

  344. #344 UhThanks
    February 5, 2010

    Mine is also gym-related. I would bet that there is a typology to be made for mansplaining, ie, workplace, Best Buy/Tech Stores, the gym.

    Explaining: my gym got new equipment, that has a pin-lock component I hadn’t seen before. So on the first day I tried the new equipment I asked a guy working out near me who was using the same kind of weights how the new pin-lock worked (because if it isn’t locked, it was clear the big hurt could happen). I asked him because he was the closest person to me who was also at a stopping point in his workout – not because he was d00d who could explain technology to me :) He came over, pulled the mechanism apart, showed me from start to finish, and said, ‘there you go’. And I said ‘thanks’. And he said, ‘no problem’.

    Mansplaining: the other guy, the one I didn’t ask, who came over to me when I moved onto the next station, to let me know that the pin-locks were new, and very difficult for ‘some people’ to work, and did I really understand them now, and he decided that he better come do it for me because he wasn’t sure if I was sure of how to do it (after being shown how to do it), and because they were harder for ‘littler hands’ to work, and maybe I should have one of the trainers do a circuit with me, and he was concerned because safety in the gym was important and we all had to look out for each other.

  345. #345 Rev Matt
    February 5, 2010

    “Not to worry, JAM. At some point in the next few weeks you will be so shocked to discover that it really is everywhere.”

    I think that in the highly unlikely event that such realization were to dawn on JAM they would be loathe to ever publicly admit it just on general principle.

  346. #346 Katharine Weber
    February 6, 2010

    I was introduced to a man at a social gathering who half-heard someone say something about me being a writer and the Triangle factory fire of 1911, and he then proceeded to hold forth about everything he thought he knew about the Triangle fire because he had a read a review of a book that had just come out. He went on and on with all sorts of information and knowledge and finally concluded by telling me that I really should read this book if I myself was going to write anything about the fire. I told him that I was the author of the book he was talking about. He didn’t blink. He changed the subject.

  347. #347 copykatparis
    February 6, 2010

    Oooh, I just remembered when I nipped mansplaining in the bud! I had to take my car to a new garage, and I carefully researched the problem (didn’t want to get ripped off because of my femaleness). So I walked in (in my wimmen business attire), said something like “The car’s doing such-and-such, I think it’s the throw-out valve, could you take a look at it?” After the mechanics picked their jaws off the floor, they confirmed my diagnosis. (DAMN that felt good!) And whenever I took my car there after that, sometimes they very kindly showed me how other stuff worked in my car… without mansplaining. I have the faint hope that they now restrain themselves, remembering that yep, some wimmenz can understand greasy nuts and bolts stuff.

  348. #348 snobographer
    February 6, 2010

    Katherine Weber, your story is exactly like the one Rebecca Solnit wrote in her article “Men Who Explain Things,” which seems to have been the starting point of recent internet discussions of mansplaining. I imagine that happens to female authors all the time.

  349. #349 Katharine Weber
    February 6, 2010

    My guess is that this happens a whole lot more to female writers than to male writers. This is only tangentially related, but I have been introduced at a couple of libraries by someone who spent more time describing my husband’s books than mine. This has never happened to my husband.

  350. #350 ann
    February 7, 2010

    I was fooling around with a guy. I politely asked him not to touch my lady bits quite so hard.

    His response: “No, girls like it when you use lots of pressure there.”

    I should have stood up, said, “I guess I’m not a girl then,” and left.

  351. #351 sab
    February 8, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if…
    You think it’s your solemn duty to educate a very pregnant woman about PREGNANCY!
    (unless you are that woman’s doctor, then you’re mostly excused [unless you're like the other doctors mentioned in the comments above])

    Yes, thank you for telling me what trimester I’m in and how developed my baby is. It’s not like I would know what, what with the baby growing in me and all. And I really need to know every bit of pregnancy, baby proofing, and child rearing advice you have to offer.

    Extra points if it’s a random guy you’ve never met before!

  352. #352 Endor
    February 8, 2010

    “Calling me a “liar” shows your maturity level and that you are behaving exactly like the people of which this blog is all about, so it is not worth discussing anything further with you.”

    Translation: Since JAM has completely lost the debate after hoisting her/his self on her/his own petard, zie’s stomping off pretending I’m the problem. It’s easier than being an adult and admitting to being a shameless liar.

  353. #353 Comrade PhysioProf
    February 8, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you are a highly-paid coddled handsome man-child rookie NFL quarterback telling all the women watching the Super Bowl how important women are to men and how important it is for women to take care of themselves while they are pregnant.

  354. #354 Endor
    February 8, 2010

    “You may be a mansplainer if you are a highly-paid coddled handsome man-child rookie NFL quarterback telling all the women watching the Super Bowl how important women are to men and how important it is for women to take care of themselves while they are pregnant.”

    Additionally, you might also be a mansplainer if you use a current NFL player who was once accused of rape in an ad telling women to take care of their hearts because their symptoms of heart attacks are different, all because you insisted on showing ads about how women’s sole purpose in life is to risk her life to have babies (who might grow up to be football players!) and people complained. Way to show you care, CBS. Have babies, and let rapists tell you to take care of your heart. He don’t want to rape corpses, you know!

  355. #355 Ace
    February 10, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you explain glue to someone. Because women never, EVER need to weld. It’s just wrong. Bonus points if, when they insist the project needs to be welded, you ask them if they know what a bolt is (and you aren’t joking).

    Is there another word like manventing for conjuring elaborate situations in your head that explain away any situations that contradict your “facts”? Ex: I was mansplained to that the reason one of my homework questions was wrong was not because I had simply lost track of a wayward negative sign, but because women cannot understand physics with their poor tiny non-spatial brains. Yet when I pointed out that that I had scored roughly 20% higher in physics on our (non-curved) graduation exams than he, he manvented the “fact” that the government adjusts womens’ scores in math and science to make them feel better. Or something. Because I didn’t actually write a perfect exam, I just scored higher than the rest of the inferior females.

  356. #356 j
    February 10, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if…

    …you insist she has a “G spot” and you know exactly where it is because a man on the Internet told you.

  357. #357 mb
    February 10, 2010

    I am so glad I came across this thread. I have been fuming for days about how I got myself manplained in a job interview the other day. I am, by background, an immunologist. I have worked in the pharma industry for the past few years in bioinformatics. I was interviewing with an MD who called himself an immunologist. During the course of the interview he asked about my post-doc, which I did in a well regarded lab. The lab head (now dead) was well known for work on cell surface proteins. I was using an anecdote about this guy to show how he was so good at analyzing protein sequences, way back in the dark ages of the 80s and 90s. I mentioned the structure of a well know receptor, and it’s Ig like domains. The MD immediately said, ‘that doesn’t have Ig like domains.’ I goggled. I said, ‘yeah, the alpha and beta chain . . .’ He said. ‘No it doesn’t. Other chains do, but not that one.’ And here is the part that shames me. I started to wonder if I was wrong. There is no way I was wrong. There are x-ray structures by the hundreds to support me, but I started to wonder if the world had stood on it’s head since I was a post-doc, and that everything I knew had been reversed when i wasn’t looking. So, I said, ‘in any case, here’s another example . .’ But, I was completely off my game. I was going to bring it back up at the end of the interview, but he decided not to meet with me again. I emailed him later about it, but lamely called it a misunderstanding about this receptor structure. I did manage to maintain that the structure was what I said it was. I fear that the reason he was behind the desk and I was the one interviewing is because idiots like that can make me doubt what I know to be true. I didn’t get the job, thank god.

  358. #358 kristyn
    February 10, 2010

    Thanks for the kind words, you folks! Since I wrote this, I’ve been gradually feeling better for … well, the first time since it, and by ”it” I mean ”the rape”, happened. It’s good to know we have solidarity, even if it’s just the solidarity that comes out of sharing shitty, shitty experiences.

    I, too, love the ”regional” excuse. My parents use it on me too. ”Oh, you have experienced sexism, but now that you live in New York City, you won’t! Because WE are LIBERALS!”

    And when I describe things that have happened to me IN NEW YORK, they say, ”Well those people must not be New Yorkers! Because we are LIBERALS! And therefore exempt from sexism.”

    And if I say it was liberal men who did it … they say I am making it up, or being too sensitive. And generally treat me as though I am fifteen instead of twenty-five, then wonder why I do not hold them up as paragons of progressive thought. Because I couldn’t be, you know, MORE PROGRESSIVE than they are. Because they are OLDER. And one of them is a man.

    So yeah, women can be pompous, but men have social authority to back them up. My stepmother is a doctor and my father her secretary. They are pompous on the same level, and I doubt that would be true if their roles were reversed.

    Did you not love JAM’s backtracking, where zie purposefully, obtusely pretended we thought zie meant ”region” to mean ”this blog” and not physical region? WHAT? Because clearly we are all that stupid, to not know the difference between the internet and actual, physical geography.
    Facepalm, dejected weeping.

  359. #359 john frederick
    February 13, 2010

    Hold on ladies… you call this a comment thread? Let me show y’all how to comment. All kidding aside. I really like the word mansplalnation or mansplain. Growing up, my father would always kind of butt in when I was trying to figure something out- I was never holding the golf club correctly, or had to choke-up on the bat. I was holding the shop broom wrong etc. etc. It was annoying as all get out, but unfortunately I too have picked up on this bad habit, no matter how feminist I consider myself. I don’t like to consider myself a mansplainer, but the utterance of a mansplanation are at most time unconscious actions that seem to be the result of many years of social conditioning. Thanks to blogs such as yours and Historiann I am aware of mansplination and y’all can consider me one more man doing his part to break out of this cycle.

  360. #360 Alfonso Rodriguez
    February 14, 2010

    So in other words, you might be a “mansplainer” if you are male, and you might not be a “mansplainer” if you are not?

    Gosh. When I saw “scienceblogs” in the title bar, I sort of figured there might be some dispassionate empirical method to some of these claims.

    Oh, sorry, ladies – science is another form of “Mansplaining”. My bad.

    Always, always, our bad.

    Welcome to the new Victorianism.

  361. #361 Cara
    February 16, 2010

    Oh, sorry, ladies – science is another form of “Mansplaining”. My bad.

    Always, always, our bad.

    Welcome to the new Victorianism.

    Get over yourself. You can survive not being the center of attention just this once.

  362. #362 Endor
    February 16, 2010

    Awww, poor Alfonso can’t read. That’s very sad. Poor thing, totally not getting the point of the post or comments and still feeling the needs to humiliate himself by admitting it publicly!

  363. #363 Estraven
    February 18, 2010

    @Ace: I just call it “making things up in their heads.” I am a bisexual activist, and all the facts (genetics, history, etc.) are on the LGBTQ2I side. When someone posts a biphobic/homophobic comment on the Internet, I post the facts, with links to support my assertions, to contradict them. Granted, I am assuming the posters are male, but it sure FEELS like I am being mansplained at. My favorite was when I posted a link to the research that shows that male bi/homosexuality IS genetic (same gene). The immediate mansplanation? “The researcher is gay.”

    I am a little embarrassed to admit that I was so nonplussed by this that I didn’t answer. But I went back on the Internet and looked up the researcher. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find anything about his sexual orientation. Then I realized I had been had. The mansplainer had made it up in his head!!! If I couldn’t find it, he couldn’t either. Mansplainers want to be right so desperately they simply make things up, and convince themselves they are true because THEY want to believe them. Then they present them like they are absolute fact. However, I have found that if you confront them with the fact that they are making it up in their head they fold pretty quickly (like the person who never provided the URL’s about all the people laughing about this thread).

  364. #364 Estraven
    February 19, 2010

    Zuska, thank you SO MUCH for this thread, and giving me a word for something I have experienced a lot of. My first husband and a lot of his friends were tall, while I am short, so they would be literally talking “over my head” as though I wasn’t there. Very unpleasant.

    And another thing on the topic of mansplainers’ attempts to distort reality. At times I have been able to argue a mansplainer to a standstill, at which point they will never say that they were wrong, they will simply deny that they said what they previously said. With my first husband, he got me wondering if I were, perhaps, out of my mind, because he would deny it so vociferously, until my daughter got old enough to draw me aside and whisper to me “Mommy, I heard him say it.” And when I had those arguments with men in chat rooms on the Internet, and 100% of the time this would happen with men, I would be able to say “You never said that? SCROLL BACK UP.” They would still not admit saying it, even with the typed evidence in front of their face; they would usually just make some excuse to leave.

  365. #365 MadGastronomer
    February 21, 2010

    Wow, is this thread still going? Fabulous! I was just coming to vent about the mansplanation I got tonight, but I didn’t expect that anybody would still be around here.

    So. I recently opened a restaurant. My chef, my general manager and I are all women. All three of us have AAA degrees in culinary arts (which program includes a bunch of business and hospitality classes), and my GM has a hospitality degree as well as a lot of experience in the field. Tonight, brought in a friend who had gone through the same hospitality program as her. He proceeded to mansplain to us exactly what was wrong with our lighting, our signage, or menu design, and a number of other things. This despite us making very clear that we weren’t listening to him and that he was being obnoxious.

    So you may be a mansplainer if you tell two women with equal or better educations in a field in which you no longer work what they’re doing wrong in their successful business venture.

  366. #366 anonymous
    February 21, 2010

    You might be a mansplainer if you tell your girlfriend that women’s urethral openings are located inside their vaginas, and her knowledge of basic functions of her own body is trumped by your (mis)reading a diagram in a textbook once.

  367. #367 veganrampage
    February 26, 2010

    Zuska, what a brilliant term, thank you, you are a fucking genius. This thread has kept me amused for days. Thanks to all the brilliant feminist “commentators.” GOL (Guffawing Out Loud).

    Anyone with a screen name “queef” should be flogged, derided, and then ignored forever.

    You may be a mansplainer if: you show a woman chef with twice your experience and skill in a professional kitchen how to PEEL A CARROT. Along with the physical demonstration came a running commentary on how to hold the peeler, the carrot, etc.

    Having read this thread three times over I want all the mansplaining men to know that their mansplaining mansplaining to women, by definition an event that they could not have possibly experienced, is terrifically HI -fucking- larious. I am laughing at you, all of you, just so you know. We, all of us, are laughing at you. YOU are the laughingstocks you total, clueless, total tools.

    @ Endor, yes, not only can they not hear, but as you wrote they cannot read, or remember facts that contradicted the narrative of the denying fairy stories they make up in their head as they go along, rationalizing away every time they feel ”bettered” by a lower class of sub-species, women. This feeling seems to be pervasive.

    How childish , whiny, over emotional, irrational and hysterical most men folk are when they are not the absolute center of everyone’s attention. Most can not stomach the fact that women have their own virtual space in Computer-land, even this teensy weensy little thread.

    Heavens- to- Betsy woman exist, take up space, push them out of real space in the real world, have real equality, and get a real level playing field. How truly inadequate they must be and feel.

    Mansplainers are the funniest fucktards ever; just not in real life! Zuska, can you make mansplainers virtual so there is more room in the real world for us? Get right on that all you SciWomen, please!

  368. #368 SKM
    February 26, 2010

    Heavens- to- Betsy woman exist, take up space, push them out of real space in the real world, have real equality, and get a real level playing field.

    Well, we’re still working on that equality and level playing field stuff, but yeah, the Extreme Whining that ensues when women insist on existing on our own terms is hilarious (until those moments when it temporarily becomes utterly exhausting).

  369. #369 Jacques Bouvier
    February 27, 2010

    Yeah. Mansplaining. As if men have a monopoly on condescending stupidity. Unfortunately it is not true and all of you know it. If you were really interested in doing something about it you would get of your high man-bashing horses and try to help solve the problem. Of course that wouldn’t be as much fun as taking cheap shots would it? But you also complain about mis-treatment by men. Why are you surprised at that? Could it be that condescending meanness begets more of the same?

  370. #370 Cara
    February 28, 2010

    If you were really interested in doing something about it you would

    Oh, NO. Mansplaining doesn’t really exist, does it? It’s just the uppity wimmenz being uppity again.

    Idiot.

  371. #371 Estraven
    February 28, 2010

    @Jaques Have you read this whole thread, the way I have?

    “sexism (and indeed any *ism) equals prejudice plus institutional power.” To explain this to you, let’s use the example of the n-word vs “white trash.” When the n-word gets thrown at a black person by a white person, it brings with it the threat of the Ku Klux Klan, of the black man who was dragged to his death behind a truck not so long ago, of Jenna 6, of cops arresting black people for “driving while black,” etc. If a black person calls a white person white trash, it evokes Paris Hilton, the Beverly Hillbillies, etc. – there is no menace or implied threat of violence, jail, or death behind it.

    So the exact same behavior, a racial slur, becomes very different with institutional power behind it. Men still have physical and institutional power over women. As I said in my example, my tall ex-husband and his friends would literally talk over my head, and if one’s boss or husband upon whom one is dependant financially is doing the mansplaining, it’s hard to tell them to shut up.

    The first step to solving a problem IS describing and naming it, and that is what Zuska has done. I have forwarded this thread to all my female friends, and to my more open-minded male friends. I posted it on Facebook. I think you, and a lot of men, need to learn how to LISTEN.

    Please go back and actually read the thread. You might learn something.

  372. #372 Jacques Bouvier
    February 28, 2010

    “I don’t understand why “condescending ass” doesn’t cover it? Why the need for a silly new (and sexist) word?”—Posted by: Janice | January 30, 2010 6:12 AM

    Thank you.

  373. #373 GXB
    February 28, 2010

    Ooh, a brand for something that gets under my skin! Hello Zuska et al, I’m just stopping by, this whole thread is fascinating.

    You may be a mansplainer if…

    When a young woman says that she is a mathematician, you, an older man, say in a tone of astonished admiration (paraphrasing, this has happened many times): “Good for you! There aren’t many women who do math…” Bonus points if you then proceed to tell her what she should do next, no matter what she says.

    Yeah, thanks. Thanks a LOT for the “encouragement”. I’m sure I needed to be reminded that the *most important* thing about me even at work is that I’m female, nobody talks about genius-level women for me to look up to, there are at best 1 women for 3 men around me, and we can still be discriminated against because people believe we couldn’t have got X without special treatment. (Lies, and I once had internalized them! Now I know women just have to work harder to get the same credit.) /snark

  374. #374 Rehema
    March 2, 2010

    In the math professor vein … half mansplaining, half dickhead:

    First-year student at office hours: Professor B, I was very disappointed in my grade on the last test. I didn’t understand the recent topics as well as I’d like. Do you have some extra problems we could work through together?

    Professor B: Let me tell you a story. One semester, a young woman came to me crying because she thought she had gotten a C on a test and asking that I give her a B to improve her average. After grading her exam, I found she had actually gotten a B, but I was tempted to give her a C just for crying!

  375. #375 Isabel
    March 2, 2010

    “the Beverly Hillbillies, etc. – there is no menace or implied threat of violence, jail, or death behind it.”
    The term is usually used to describe lower-class white people in a way that implies that they themselves are responsible for their socioeconomic status. Spreading stereotypical ideas does harm classes of people. Along the same vein, stereotyping white ‘rednecks’ as racists puts the lion’s share of the blame for racism on working class whites and takes the focus off more powerful whites.

  376. #376 Endor
    March 3, 2010

    Wow, thanks Jacques for mansplaining what the real problem is! Never mind that virtually everything you wrote was already covered multiple times upthread. Nevermind that mansplaining has been explained multiple times and no one ever denied that women can be condescending too. Nevermind all that – you said it, that makes it new! and fresh! and us silly bitchez should pay attention to your awesome manly mansplanations!

    Congrats! you showed the world you’re a complete moron.

  377. #377 rakhi
    March 3, 2010

    This post is absolutely brilliant.

    You might be a mansplainer if (like some exes I know):

    - I tell you how a professor was inappropriately hitting on me, and you tell me how I misunderstood the situation, and explain how I should have understood the situation…even though you weren’t even there.

    - I tell you an interesting fact I just learned, and you mock the way I say a word in the sentence to avoid the fact that I told you something interesting you didn’t know.

    - I tell a joke, and instead of laughing (I swear it was hilarious) or even rolling your eyes, you mansplain to me about the factual inaccuracies found therein.

  378. #378 SKM
    March 4, 2010

    - I tell you an interesting fact I just learned, and you mock the way I say a word in the sentence to avoid the fact that I told you something interesting you didn’t know.

    Oh YES! And it’s one nobody here has mentioned yet!

    I had an ex who not only criticized the way I talked, but the way I breathed when he couldn’t find anything to take issue with in what I said or how I said it.

  379. #379 Knuckle-dragging Neanderthal
    March 5, 2010

    So if I have this straight, a “mansplainer” is any man who differs from any woman for any reason, or who states any dissenting case of any sort to any woman at any time (even correctly), or who must for whatever reason (fair or foul) express a case that dissents from any woman in any way by any means.

    Why is this site called “scienceblogs”, anyway? Looks more like, er, a bunch of women’s studies majors.

  380. #380 Alfonso Rodriguez
    March 5, 2010

    Get over yourself. You can survive not being the center of attention just this once.

    No, honestly, “Cara” – being the “Center of Attention” of this bunch of not-very-bright people is the LAST thing on my mind.

    Awww, poor Alfonso can’t read. That’s very sad. Poor thing, totally not getting the point of the post or comments and still feeling the needs to humiliate himself by admitting it publicly!

    Oh, I get the point. Wimmins unimpeachably good but inevitably victimized. Men bad. Shiny object scary. Need meat.

    Lemme guess – EVERY man in your life has been a “control freak”, right?

  381. #381 Vicki
    March 5, 2010

    Alfonso–

    No. Quite the contrary. I and most of the women here have known good men. Some of us are in long-term relationships with men who are not control freaks, and do not mansplain.

    That makes it easier to notice the differences. It means we know it’s not something men are biologically forced to do. It’s not part of the package with the external genitalia and the prostate gland. It is learned behavior, and can be objected to and unlearned.

  382. #382 Endor
    March 5, 2010

    ” Wimmins unimpeachably good but inevitably victimized. Men bad. Shiny object scary. Need meat.”

    So, not only are you incapable of reading comprehension, you can’t even insult with any ingenuity. I pity you so much.

    “Lemme guess – EVERY man in your life has been a “control freak”, right?”

    Wrong again, you whiny douchecanoe! not my dad, brothers, uncles, friends, or my hubby falls in that category.

    You fail, Alphiepoo! :)

  383. #383 Endor
    March 5, 2010

    Shorter #379: KDN: “I didn’t read the post, but women are talking about men in a not flattering, fawning and totally truthful way! Must go try to stop them! Must not bother to read anything first, so i can be sure to make a total ass of myself!”

    Congrats on your successful venture, KDN. You’re kind of whiny, dense douchery gives me giggles.

  384. #384 SKM
    March 5, 2010

    I found KDN #379′s comment to be especially funny in juxtaposition with my own at #378

    The point, thou hast missed it.

  385. #385 Cara
    March 6, 2010

    Get over yourself. You can survive not being the center of attention just this once.

    No, honestly, “Cara” – being the “Center of Attention” of this bunch of not-very-bright people is the LAST thing on my mind.

    Which is why you posted initially, and responded after being told you were full of shit and to bug off. Not attention-seeking behavior at all.

  386. #386 Estraven
    March 6, 2010

    @Alfonso My second husband is NOT a control freak, and comes from a lower SES than I do. I had always used “white trash” in a joking way, since I am white and figured I could use it about my own race, and not thought much of it, but he, being more of the class it talks about, found it offensive. So I researched it, and found that, as Isabel points out, when it is used, for example, as it has been, by priviledged white people to justify sterilizing poor white women, it can be an ugly word indeed. So I no longer use the word, because sometimes my husband is right and I am wrong.

  387. #387 GXB
    March 8, 2010

    I’m not sure why “capsiplex” copied my first two sentences, but having clicked the link I think it’s a spam website. Would you, Zuska, mind deleting the spam if this is still possible? I was comment 373, the spam is 385. Thanks.

    I’ve almost felt like I was attempting something analogous to mansplaining at times recently, when expounding feminist views to male friends, because I find it harder to convince them than to get women to open their eyes. But then I remember that I know the problem I’m talking about because it’s (often) my /reality/, and they are denying it at first because it’s not theirs. It is hard to remember. Right, I’m talking too much already, but long live this thread! Unless the mansplaining dies with it.

  388. #388 N
    March 8, 2010

    I’ve never read your blog but I wanted to leave an example!

    I was at a dinner party with several couples, all male/female couples. One of the guys had lived in Ireland for 3 months. He was going on and on about America and how nobody else understood American culture the way he did because of how worldy and rounded he was due to having lived overseas. And argued about some things he thought were specific to America but other people thought were worldwide issues. Among the people he agued with were three women, one who had lived in Germany for 6 years, one who was born and raised in the UK, and one who was born and rasied in Chile.

  389. #389 drummergrrrl
    March 8, 2010

    Thanks for giving me some well-articulated ammunition to respond to my idiot “friend” on Facebook today …

    I posted that it’s International Women’s Day, and then of course I got this argument: “Why does every cultural group or gender get its own day/month/hour to celebrate itself? I want White Man Day, but apparently you people think that’s EVERY DAY.”

    Thanks for mansplaining the lack of privilege in the world’s societies. I never would have known that I was on equal turf with men in every aspect of my life, which is why I don’t deserve a special day to high-five my sisters throughout the world.

    Yeah, give me a second to resume my position in front of the stove. Whew! Thank goodness you mansplained that to me … for a second I actually thought I had some rights. Glad that’s cleared up.

  390. #390 Yvonne
    March 10, 2010

    You may be a mansplainer if you respond to your girlfriend’s explanation of her research by telling her how her research equipment *really* works, especially if you have never used the equipment and are just assuming it works like something you used once in high school.

    And for the comic geeks: You may be a mansplainer if you ask the woman who just said she’s the collectibles buyer for a comic store chain, “So do you know the comic ‘Dark Knight’?” and then try to launch into an explanation of great the author *Alan Moore* is. (Caveat: This second example is a test.)

  391. #391 SKM
    March 10, 2010

    “So do you know the comic ‘Dark Knight’?” and then try to launch into an explanation of great the author *Alan Moore* is.

    *facepalm*.022 x 10^23

    I am by no means a comic geek, and even I know the difference between Alan Moore and Frank Miller!

    There’s really no end to this, is there?

  392. #392 Rev Matt
    March 11, 2010

    While I’m appalled by the stories of mansplaining, it does make me feel a whole lot better about myself as a man. I’m far from perfect but I read these tales and think “Hey, at least I’m not that moron!”

  393. #393 ginger
    March 11, 2010

    Moore’s “Killing Joke” stayed with me longer than Miller’s DKR. Sorry, I’m not trying to excuse your mansplainer, Yvonne, just to say that I can understand getting the impression that Moore was responsible for reviving the franchise.

  394. #394 Julie
    March 12, 2010

    This thread has made me laugh, cry, and I think it’s changed my life.

    I have a picture of my ex-mansplainer, and it reminds me so well of how far I’ve come. In the picture, he’s making pancakes on a camping stove. What the picture doesn’t capture is that he was mansplaining … how to make pancakes.

    This ex was from early grad school, and I also remember getting really mad at him for a comment he made out at a bar once, that started with “when all 4 of us get our PhDs …” Yep, you guessed it, there were 5 of us at the table, and only one of us wasn’t male. He did not understand why that upset me so much, and I do remember some mansplaining around it. Fifteen years later, he and I are the only two of those five with PhDs.

    Thanks, Zuska, for the term. And thanks to (I can’t remember) for the very clear wording that the problem is bigotry PLUS institutional privilege. And a final thanks for the quote about social domination. This thread has been priceless.

  395. #395 Yvonne
    March 12, 2010

    @ginger: It is hard staying on topic with this, isn’t it? The examples are so numerous, I too just ache to find some other explanation for the behavior. But again, the issue isn’t about making a factual error and why that might be understandable. It’s about not being able to admit, even to oneself, that the other person in the conversation even could be more knowledgable.

  396. #396 ginger
    March 14, 2010

    Yup, Yvonne. Yup yup yup.

  397. #397 fmc
    March 14, 2010

    First of all, I’m so wonderfully happy to have found this blog and this thread! Seriously awesome.

    My favourite mansplains are both medical:

    I once went to a walk-in clinic because I was doubled over with weird abdominal pains. The lovely, helpful young man with the medical degree patiently explained to me what menstrual cramps felt like.

    Another time, I was referred to a specialist, but began feeling better before our first appointment. I went anyway; he explained to me in a rather paternal manner that I couldn’t possibly be responding to my new medication because it was at a subclinical dose, and I was imagining things. I politely explained that clinical doses were generally (at least back then) based on the physiology of 175 lb men, and that I was a 110 lb woman. He didn’t like that.

  398. #398 snobographer
    March 15, 2010

    “The lovely, helpful young man with the medical degree patiently explained to me what menstrual cramps felt like.”

    I’m sorry but that’s just hilarious.

    I was out at a bar with these two guys and they were having a knowledge-off about predestination. Basically the conversation consisted of their repeating the definition of predestination back and forth to each other. I attempted to insert my opinion that the whole idea of predestination should have been counter intuitive to religion, because if it’s already decided whether you’ll go to heaven or hell and there’s nothing you can do to change that, why bother to worship god at all or do anything the bible or your pastor tells you to do? It should have lead to mass rebellion. Not a very complex point or lengthy argument, really, but it took me a good ten tries just to get it out because one of the dudes kept interrupting me to explain that predestination is the concept that whether you go to heaven or hell is already decided – you know, the basis of the opinion I was trying to express if the guy would just shut up for 20 seconds. I finally called him out on it and had to explain that I wasn’t asking him a question, but trying to express an opinion, then he finally gritted his teeth and allowed me to finish my sentence. But then he was all dejected and his guy-friend was all sympathetic wincing to the mansplainer and somebody just changed the subject.

  399. #399 maxh
    March 15, 2010

    My boyfriend (whom I love dearly) does have the unfortunate habit of being a mansplainer. But mansplains to everyone, his friends (guys and girls), his mother (she has the patience of a saint) and me, who doesn’t. It came to a head last weekend when I pulled into a parking space and hit the curb with my front right tyre. He very helpfully pointed out that a)I had hit the curb (cos otherwise I would never have noticed!) and b)hitting the curb is actually quite bad for a car tyre. Well really Einstein! Gosh! Who knew?! And here was me ramming my poor tyres into all the curbs I could find cos it was so fun.

    I basically told him to stop fucking mansplaining to me, it wasn’t cool and I would pick him up on it now everytime he did it for ever more.

    He’s been pretty good since :)

  400. #400 Calli Arcale
    March 16, 2010

    I attempted to insert my opinion that the whole idea of predestination should have been counter intuitive to religion, because if it’s already decided whether you’ll go to heaven or hell and there’s nothing you can do to change that, why bother to worship god at all or do anything the bible or your pastor tells you to do? It should have lead to mass rebellion.

    Actually, there is a significant body of theological work arguing that not only is predestination true, it’s true for everything in life, including whether or not you worship God. The Puritans believed that. You were chosen for heaven or hell before you were born, and your life on Earth is reflective of that. So if you’re predestined for heaven, you’re going to be hard-working and pious. If not, it’s evidence that you’re not one of the chosen. So obviously this gave people a lot of motivation to not look like one of the bad people, since it would make their neighbors think they were damned.

    It’s kind of backwards, in my opinion, but it is a sound argument all the same, at least theologically speaking. I have no idea if it would have occurred to the fellow you were speaking with, of course.

    maxh — I’m not sure that counts as mansplaining, since it’s not attempting to justify male behavior but rather just saying the bloody obvious. It’s douchy, but not mansplaining, IMHO, unless he was implying that he had to say it *because* he’s a man and you’re a woman. (I know some folks, both genders, who just like to correct everybody at every opportunity. Very annoying.)

    Worst mansplainer I ever knew was my late grandfather. Very smart man, had lots of respect for everyone (male and female, every race), but at the same time was unashamedly sexist and racist. This might seem contradictory to some, how he could have great respect for women and still be sexist, but it’s quite possible. Basically, he felt women were just as valuable as men, and should be expected to meet a high intellectual standard in conversation, just as men are, and that both men and women should be prepared to “rough it” and to pull their own load, and that both should have their wishes respected as much as practical. At the same time, he felt that there were very specific roles for men and women in life, and that both had responsibilities to fulfill those roles. He also shocked the family when he took my brothers aside to explain to them why he disapproved of his new daughter-in-law: as a divorcee, she was “damaged goods”. He was a paradoxical fellow.

    Another example of mansplaining came courtesy of a family friend who had served in the Navy, explaining why he felt women should not be allowed to serve in combat roles. (The Navy was the first service to permit women to serve in combat, though the submarine service has been particularly stubborn in resisting integration, mostly pleading plumbing issues which is frankly silly. If NASA could figure it out in the human sardine can known as the Space Shuttle, surely the submariners can figure it out too.) His argument mostly came down to “men are conditioned to protect women, so having women on the front lines will make men take too many risks”, which in my opinion seriously devalued the experience of men who had taken extravagant risks to protect their *male* colleagues, as if suggesting men will only protect what they deem fuckable. It was at a family gathering, so I didn’t point that out, as I couldn’t think of a nice way to say it. Instead, I settled for saying that they should damn well learn to think straight with women on the field, and that I believe men are intelligent enough to be trained.

  401. #401 Jennifer
    March 16, 2010

    I’m so glad this thread exists. For the longest time, for whatever reason, i assumed this was something that just happened to *me* because of something in my demeanor maybe? I’m glad to know I’m not crazy.

    I have dozens of examples, but the ones that stuck the most:

    Having my doctor refusing to give me blood tests, telling me my extreme fatigue was normal because I had babies. Took me a few more years to discover I’m a celiac.

    Having multiple auto mechanics talk over my head to my husband, despite the fact he’d been standing quietly aside while I explained the problem with the car, and what steps *I’d* undertaken to solve them.

    A male friend ignoring my explanation of a subject I’m expert in, to ask my husband to explain, when everything he knows on the subject he’ll readily admit he learned from me. =/ On a similar note, a man used a link to my own website while attempting to argue with me about some point.

  402. #402 mansplainer
    March 17, 2010

    My boyfriend (whom I love dearly) does have the unfortunate habit of being a mansplainer. But mansplains to everyone, his friends (guys and girls), his mother (she has the patience of a saint) and me, who doesn’t. It came to a head last weekend when I pulled into a parking space and hit the curb with my front right tyre. He very helpfully pointed out that a)I had hit the curb (cos otherwise I would never have noticed!) and b)hitting the curb is actually quite bad for a car tyre. Well really Einstein! Gosh! Who knew?! And here was me ramming my poor tyres into all the curbs I could find cos it was so fun.

    Instead of hectoring your boyfriend, wouldn’t it be better to, like, learn to drive properly? It’s not that hard – perhaps an older female relative or friend can vagsplain the driving process to you in a kind, empowering way.

    Your poor boyfriend, having to be jolted and thrown about in a vehicle operated by an angry, incompetent, dangerous woman driver. He should find a nice gay racecar driver and leave your gear-grinding, fender-bending ass on the curb. For his own health and safety, if nothing else.

  403. #403 Endor
    March 17, 2010

    Oh dear, call the WAAAAAHHHHmbulance. There’s another crybaby douche mansplainer who can’t read properly in da house!

  404. #404 Endor
    March 17, 2010

    Actually, diddums you ARE a douche. A big, whiny, crybaby douche who can’t read. Now, i understand – you’re bitter and angry that no women IRl will even so much as glance at you, so you come her saying idiotic things in a desperate bid to get women to talk to you any way you possibly can. Hey, negative attention is better than NO attention, amirite?

    Now, outing your pathetically obvious limp dick agenda aside, try reading that post a little more slowly and thinking about what the writer is actually objecting to. I know it will tax the limits of your seven brain cells, so take a few breaks when you need to.

    Think about it hard now. What is maxh objecting to? I’ll give you a big boy cookie if you get it right!

  405. #405 Vicki
    March 17, 2010

    Zuska–In the last few posts, the troll “parodies” have crossed over into hate speech. Poe’s law or no, this level of sexism isn’t made less obnoxious by a strong suspicion that the poster would cloak their hatred in “can’t you chicks take a joke?”

  406. #406 Zuska
    March 17, 2010

    I agree – deleted a few of the over the top hate speech ones. Besides, this thread is for mocking mansplaining, not for whiny hateful d00ds to vent their nisogyny. They have the rest of the Internet for that.

    Zuskateers: please remember I did not coin the term ‘mansplaining’. See the link in the original post up top.

  407. #407 SKM
    March 18, 2010

    I guess we’re getting more and more angry trolls because commenters here just won’t shut up.

    It’s easy to tell myself that they can vent elsewhere on the net, but I actually think these guys take their anger out on the women around them, or are at least vocal in their day-to-day misogyny, because they see women as basically interchangeable and because society supports them in their misogyny.

    Of course, that’s no reason not to talk here–I mean, these guys are going to be angry no matter what–but I recognize that this hatred is not just kept online, and it’s a real quality-of-life issue for me and for all women.

  408. #408 Endor
    March 18, 2010

    “It’s easy to tell myself that they can vent elsewhere on the net, but I actually think these guys take their anger out on the women around them, or are at least vocal in their day-to-day misogyny, because they see women as basically interchangeable and because society supports them in their misogyny.”

    Bingo. D00ds like that one Zuzksa deleted are angry at women as a whole. And the angier they are online, the more I tend to think the more brutal to women they are IRL.

    OTOH, i tend to think that, at least some of the time, they vent online precisely because they’re cowards in real life. Meaning, they hate women regardless of where they are, but IRL they don’t say these things. Being safely anonymous on the net means being able to vent the bile that rots their souls.

  409. #409 Zuska
    March 18, 2010

    I don’t want to close comments here – I like having a spot for women to keep adding their stories. I’ll monitor for trolls but right now I am involved in heavy mom-care duty and can’t keep close watch. So I’ll close comments for a few days then reopen. If you have a story to share come back in area days, or email me.