There are too many examples of men being both infuriatingly condescending and incorrect
The concept of “mansplaining,” in which a man feels it his duty to explain, often condescendingly, an idea to a woman, has garnered a lot of traction on social media over the past year or so, despite the term’s origination on a message board in 2008 in response to an Los Angeles Times essay on the subject. Despite the term’s recent rise to prevalence, many are unclear on just where the act of helpful explanation stops and misogynistic condescension begins.
The line may not be clearly marked as a result of a recent Twitter thread, but the response to the post below will certainly show you which instances fall on the wrong side of it. Earlier this week, a Twitter user crowdsourced the following request to the women of Twitter:
Quote this tweet with the most obvious thing a man has ever mansplained to you.— nicole froio (@nicole froio)1494977759.0
It didn’t take long for some truly glaring instances of mansplaining to circulate.
@NicoleFroio Guy explained part of my PhD topic to me after he attended my talk on exact aspect of said topic, aske… https://t.co/YCKVUQeYLU— Jackie (@Jackie)1495128501.0
@NicoleFroio How to travel in Italy and what the weather is like in summer. Sono Italiano, io parlo Italiano, anche… https://t.co/clcuF2c0vs— Ariana Sigel (@Ariana Sigel)1495052206.0
@NicoleFroio How to pronounce my name. :/— Anindita Debnath Nair (@Anindita Debnath Nair)1495053263.0
@NicoleFroio How to put oil into a sauté pan. I'm a chef.— WhereIs Darrell Issa (@WhereIs Darrell Issa)1495073096.0
When the stars align, women are subject to mansplanations that aren’t just dismissive, but are objectively incorrect:
@NicoleFroio I'm a geologist. I had a marketing guy mansplain that oil is the lubricant for tectonic plates & remov… https://t.co/0629FyUaOH— Yo-Jo (@Yo-Jo)1495054038.0
@NicoleFroio When a man explained to me that childbirth was no different than pooping.— Belinda McBride 🌊 (@Belinda McBride 🌊)1494987070.0
@NicoleFroio A male ob/gyn told me that if I focussed harder on my work or picked up an interesting hobby my menstr… https://t.co/JHDM3e52HE— Kimberly Willardson (@Kimberly Willardson)1495105628.0
Of course, it’s always a possibility that gender doesn’t inform a man’s desire to intrusively explain something. Surely, men can be subjected to patronizing explanations as well, but the patterns we see suggest that gender sure has a lot to do with the sharing of uninvited advice.