A word called “mansplaining” doesn’t mean man explaining things; it refers explicitly to certain men lecturing women in a condescending attitude. Mansplain originates from a book called: Men Explaining Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit in 2014. She was once at a party when she met a self-righteous man who kept bragging about a recently released book. That book was actually written by Solnit. Solnit’s story resonated strongly with many women: who hasn’t encountered such people who think they are so knowledgeable and love to give lessons? Then, the word mansplaining was born. Mansplain quickly became popular and derived mansplainer (self-righteous) and mansplainy as an adjective form. In 2012, the New York Times listed mansplainer as “Hot Word of the Year”. The New York Times’s explanation to the mansplainer is this: a man compelled to explain or give an opinion about everything – especially to a woman When facing a female audience.
What happened next added to the controversy of the term?
Mansplain has increasingly become a male patent as if only men love to teach people continuously. Some people lamented that as long as a man spoke, he committed the crime of mansplaining. Urban Dictionary has become one of the battlegrounds in the gender war. Users have taken up the weapon of dictionary power to fight back against the practice of fixing the sin of mansplaining on men. Under this entry, the current top definitions are as follows: Stating verifiable facts that are inconvenient to the feminist worldview.
Is Mansplain being misused? Of course, this may be the common fate of all online buzzwords; people love to follow the current trends, and the meaning of buzzwords is modified and transferred in every lively application. But the word is written mansplain rather than womansplain for A REASON. Another neologism with a similar meaning, manologue (man + monologue, used to refer to the behavior of men who monologue a conversation), reflects the same cultural and social phenomenon: men do prefer to monologue, and the more people are present, the more they do so. And there is actually scientific research supporting this phenomenon: “The larger the group, the more likely it is to be dominated by talking men, according to a Harvard study.” https://scroll.in/article/807266/the-theory-of-the-manologue-now-gets-some-scientific-heft
In fact, this kind of example happens way often in real life. Maybe women do not have as much expertise as men in some fields, but there are always some arrogant and overconfident men, not to mention that they are half-knowledgeable and make stupid mistakes. Regardless of men or women, there are always people who have a preconceived judgment based on gender. It is a good thing to teach others a valuable lesson, but please also pay attention to your own attitude. Lecturing someone who doesn’t want to listen is embarrassing yourself, even if you have a right point.
Written after I was mansplained to by a client who only met me for 6 minutes and tried to tell me how to make the right choices for my life and my career path (which I didn’t ask for).
Thursday SUCKS 🙂