Mansplaining in space!
Image via Twitter.
On Sept. 8, 2016, NASA astronaut and comparative physiologist, Jessica Meir, tweeted a video of herself in a space equivalent zone 63,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. This altitude is extremely unsafe for human life because the barometric pressure is so low, water begins to boil within the body. Lucky for her, Meir was safe inside a space suit. But as you can see in the video, the water in her beaker boiled furiously.
My first venture >63,000', the space equivalent zone, where water spontaneously boils! Luckily I'm suited! https://t.co/0zB5Ku5Tdy— Jessica Meir (@Jessica Meir) 1473383148
After her tweet, a man on Twitter pulled the know-it-all-card and wrote a very condescending and nitpicky response saying the water boiling wasn’t “spontaneous.” As if this NASA astronaut needed someone to correct her knowledge of science.
Image via Twitter.
After the know-it-all’s tweet, Dr. Paul Coxon, a physicist in materials science at Cambridge University, was quick to point out that this interaction was a perfect example of mansplaining.
According to Lily Rothman of The Atlantic, mansplaining is “explaining without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer, often done by a man to a woman.” Mansplaining implies a lack of respect for the listener and assumes that the female — by virtue of her gender — lacks the man’s intellectual capacity.
After that, Twitter got after it:
When you're literally an astronaut and The Situation tries to mansplain space to you. https://t.co/1qmpNAXCGk— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1473423787
@Astro_Jessica did you forget yourself for a minute and think you were a legit astronaut? Lucky @CaseyOQuin is there to mansplain for you!— no one (@no one) 1473413884
@CatherineHaines @paulcoxon What's the line again about women needing to be twice as qualified to get half the credit?— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Kayleigh Donaldson) 1473415021
Before deleting his Twitter account, the mansplainer had one last statement on the matter: “Again, I forget how everyone gets offended by everything.” Some guys agreed with him and came to his social media aid.