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Menterpretation: A New Mansplaining

Our interpretation of the term Mansplaining does not restrict itself just to men explaining things but also the general language and tone they employ while interacting with women. The objective of this project is to fight against this subliminal conditioning through which women learn to question themselves and help them be assertive in their opinions and unapologetic in their speech.

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Group Discussion

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A Group Discussion was held on 10th March 2017. It was an illuminating experience. During the group discussions, we came across a few girls who had not been victims of ‘Mansplaining’ themselves but had witnessed it around them. One girl claimed that this issue is inconsequential because women are now empowered enough to silence anyone who tries to shun them or tell them otherwise. What she did not seem to understand, even after hearing a lot of girls around her state various examples of being mansplained, is that the majority of the women in this country are not actually empowered. They are made to believe and feel like they have all the power to do what they want but our subtly subjected to the problematic patriarchal mind set through ‘Mansplaining’. One girl pointed out that when a girl drives well or does anything remotely ‘unwomanly’ well, she is often told “Wow, you are so much better at this than other girls”. Girls tend to take this as a compliment, but fail to realise the patronizing subtext of this statement, and that is where the problem lies. If enough people are made aware of ‘Mansplaining’ and these subtle insults thrown to women every day, women would stand up against this behaviour and men would make a conscious effort to watch what they are saying or doing. Many girls pointed out that the right kind of nurturing and conditioning of children from an early age would help with maintaining the ‘power balance’ between the genders and would help make women more confident about voicing their opinions. Another example put forth was that of a girl, whose male friend would make decisions for her when they would go out somewhere. She said that she usually takes some time to come to a decision and does not appreciate it when her friend assumes that just because she is taking longer to come to a decision, she in incapable of making one. In these instances, the girl can only stand up to the guy and point out that he needs to be a little patient while she very capably comes to a decision. Group discussions like these are an effective method of spreading awareness about a topic, as they trigger the minds of the people involved, often leading them to discuss the issue in other groups, and therefore creating a domino effect.

Mansplaining : Through Art

Haya123

A woman is a mosaic of emotions. However, when women try to express those emotions, they are shunned by men in the act of Mansplaining. The sketch depicts this suppression of expression due to the continuous conditioning of self-doubt in women through mansplaining.

10 More Times Mansplainers just couldn’t stop

  1. A co-worker once tried to mansplain that fouls don’t count as strikes in baseball. As a huge baseball fan, I obviously refuted that — the first two strikes can be from fouls, you just can’t strike out on a foul. He still continued to maintain that he was right, because he watched baseball since he was a kid and coached Little League. It only ended with me finally having to show him the actual foul strike rule on my phone.- Kayla Savard, Facebook
  2. My sister and I went to an electronics store to buy a TV for her new apartment. She had narrowed it down to two options and we were discussing the merits of each when a (male) employee came over and started mansplaining to us that the 54″ option was going to be a little bigger than the 50″. I had to walk away because I didn’t know whether to laugh or scream or cry.-Margeret
  3. I explained I needed to take medication that lowers the amount of blood I lose during periods, and the guy said, “You don’t need medication for that! You just need tampons!”
    I tried to explain that tampons wouldn’t help, but he insisted on telling me how they stop the blood coming out, “just like a plug!” I was amazed that he actually thought that was true. And yes, I did then let him know that tampons soak up blood and don’t actually stop periods from happening.-charliemay
  4. A guy I work with often tries to tell me how I’m doing a task is wrong. And yet my assistant manager is about 2 seconds away from wringing this guy’s neck for incorrectly rotating product ON A REGULAR BASIS. I work in a grocery store deli. Rotation is KINDA a big deal. But Skippy McNumnuts insists that he’s the only one who knows how to do everything right. I’m just waiting for him to get his foot stuck in a trashcan.-Kathryn, Facebook
  5. MY masters’ thesis. He actually tried to mansplain MY own thesis back to me.-Stephanie Higgs, Facebook
  6. . I was on a date with a guy and he was driving. I was freezing so I asked him ‘do you mind if I turn the heat up?’
    He indicated to the air conditioner nob (which dictates the temperature with red and blue lines) and says ‘it’s here, if you turn it towards to blue it goes colder but if you turn it towards the red it goes warmer’
    To his credit, though, when I started laughing and said ‘you totally just mansplained that to me’ he said ‘wow I did, I’m sorry… Want to learn how to open a car door too?’
    Nice guy, we still talk.- Maria
  7. One evening my husband was telling me a story about a “horrible” mansplaining incident that occurred at his work. Based on his description, I didn’t think it was mansplaining. At which point he said, “You do know what mansplaining is, don’t you?” And then he proceeded to define it for me. The irony of the moment was delicious and completely missed by him.-ajmwm1996
  8. Don’t know if this is Mansplaining or ManQuizzing, you can decide.
    This is a conversation which I actually witnessed; it occurred at my place in NY and it was between a male friend of my husband and a female friend of mine. They met for the first time, and my friend is very attractive and the male friend was obviously taken with her.
    Man: So where do you live?
    Woman: I live in Hollywood, Florida.
    Man: Where is that?
    Woman: That’s in South Florida; not too far from Ft Lauderdale, close to Miami.
    Man: Did you know that Miami has its own football team?
    Woman: Um, yes.
    Man: What’s the team’s name?
    Woman: (giving me a glance like “Are you f’ing kidding me?) The Miami Dolphins.
    Man: (With a satisfied look on his face) That’s right. Very good.-Monica
  9. I used to be part of a writers group. There was one guy who always half-assed everything — he never finished anyone’s stories or offered up good feedback on anything.
    I had written a short story where the main character used a .22 revolver. He told me that revolvers were “old-fashioned” and “outdated technology” and said that the story would be more believable if the character was using an automatic.
    The character was playing Russian roulette.-LinnieG

10 More Times Mansplainers just couldn’t stop

  1.  I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and had lived there for 32 years. I was traveling for work and spent 6 months in Wyoming. At work one day I was discussing the smog in LA in the 70’s and how bad it was because of the topography that caused the car and industrial emissions to collect in the basin to form an inversion layer. At this point this gentleman interrupts and tells me that I have no idea what I’m talking about and that LA has no inversion layer. Forget the fact that he was born and raised in Nebraska, had never actually been to LA, and that I had spent all those years watching weathermen describe the smog levels as a result of the inversion layer…..So, yea….mansplaining.-Sabrina Amber
  2. A taxi driver once tried to convince me, for about 20 awkward minutes, that the national language of Chile is French.I am Chilean. It’s Spanish.

    -Pamela Cataldo, Facebook

  3. My son has played football for about 9 years. I have been a football fan in general for almost all my life. When I am at his games by myself there is always some dad that tries to tell me how the plays work, what the referee means on penalty calls, and what the positions do. As I was volunteering on the sidelines one day doing what it called the “chain gang”, I had a dad try to explain how to do it. I looked at him and told him he was wrong, he had his part of the chain in the wrong place and that he needed to move it. Then the referee came up and told him the same damn thing. He stopped trying to tell me anything after that and then started asking me questions.
  4. A former guy friend tried to explain to me the appearance, function, and purpose of a push-up bra.-Amanda Ross, Facebook
  5. I work in an major hockey arena in the operations department. I am the only female in my department and the only female manager in the building. I have created an atmosphere now where most men won’t even crack a sexist comment of fear of my wrath that follows. I don’t let them get away with much, however my male direct superior feels I am still inadequate in understanding certain aspects of this business.

    I admittedly am not a fan of hockey, but as a Canadian I’m not a dumbass and know the basics and how it’s played. A few years into my job and hundreds of hockey games later, we had a celebrity hockey tournament in our building and I was taking a moment to watch the game. A fight had broken out and one of the players was being escorted to the penalty box.

    It was a bad call on the refs part and I commented “What! Come on!” My superior turns to me with a serious look on his face and says “You see, in hockey there are rules and when players break those rules they go to the penalty box ” Then he continued to explain the rules of hockey and what calls would send players to the penalty box. Took me all my strength not to roll my eyes in front of him and walk away. Instead I encouraged him to continue to explain how hockey was played- eventually I think he got it as he pretended to get a phone call and walked away.

  6. I have a small collection of pins on my backpack, including a lot of Star Trek pins. After class one day, a dude proceeded to hassle me about how my Star Trek pins were “all wrong” because my engineering pin was red and my command pin was yellow. He said the “correct” colors were engineering yellow and command red. He proceeded to rant about fake geek girls before I could get a word in edgewise and correct him. The Next Generation introduced the engineering yellow and command red, and the original series had engineering/security red, hence the “red shirt.” Who’s the fake geek now?-Kiley Cloud, Facebook
  7. I worked on a committee with a man who was convinced I could not disagree with him. Every time I did, with a fully articulated explanation about why I held a different view, he would respond, “You don’t understand.” And proceed to tell me AGAIN why his position was correct. Typically, he ignored my arguments against his position or taking a different position. So, it was just a recitation of his position. This would go on in a completely circular fashion, with me responding to each “you don’t understand” and lengthy recitation of his position with “I understand, I don’t agree” and my rebuttal, until the other members of the committee would lose their shit and call a halt to the “discussion.”
  8. I was buying a new set of violin strings at a music store, and the teenage boy working at the register spent several minutes explaining to me how to change a string on a violin.

    I have a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis on violin performance. I’ve been playing violin for 20 years. I think it’s safe to say I know how to change a string.

    -Sam Rose, Facebook

  9. I was once at a bar with a couple male friends, and two guys none of us had ever met joined our conversation about football. We all love football, me included. The Super Bowl was about to be played between the Giants & the Patriots. I made a comment about how I hate the Patriots, even then they had their spying scandals, and I said Bill Belichick is a piece of shit.One of the strangers overheard, said, “oh, a WOMAN is talking about football!” and went on a tirade about how terrible the Patriots are and I don’t know what I’m talking about. funny, that’s actually the opinion I was expressing! when I started to tell him i agree, that’s what I was saying, he interrupted me to look to my two (male) friends to ask “whose woman is she?” I was absolutely dumbfounded. my quick-witted friend stepped in and said “damn man, she’s her own woman!” and the guy shut up. I think the guy was drunk, but the whole thing was pretty obnoxious. sorry to all the Patriots fans, y’all should know a lot of people hate your team.

    -Zoe, Facebook.

  10. I used to work as a marketing and merchandising analyst for a major retailer. We were in a team meeting discussing if items like pads and tampons should be placed on promotional displays in our stores or if those weren’t the kinds of items that would do well in those spaces. The other women and I started to explain how women shop for pads and tampons to the men on the team — using both our own personal experience as users of those products, and also cold hard customer data from our databases. We were then harshly rebuked by Kyle, our idiotic and mansplaining team lead, who said, “Listen, that’s not how women shop for pads and tampons, OK? I know how women shop for pads and tampons.” He then proceeded to advance his own nonsensical theory on how women shop for pads and tampons while all the women in the room felt dead inside.-emilieh4055168ea

Why girls “can’t” play Football?

As a girl who loves playing sports, this is something I personally experienced at my “elite” and “modern” school:

I had been on the school team for Basketball and Athletics for a few years, and had a good rapport with all the coaches, when two of my friends who were really interested in Football came up to me with the suggestion of starting a girls’ team. Excited about the whole idea, we went to the football coach. He barely let us finish what we were saying and told us that he would consider it if we got a team ready.

How could we get a team ready without having permission to practice, or even a coach to make us practice?! Anyway, we had to figure something out and so we went around making a list of girls interested in being a part of the football team. We got a list of 31 people, and all of them were really passionate about it. We took this list to the coach (mind that he had told us to get at least 11 girls on board), all proud that we got more girls than expected, and he blatantly dismissed us by explaining to us that “girls don’t take practices seriously” and that we would be unable to get even 5 girls to come for the morning practices.

We were adamant too, so we convinced him to give us a chance and at least decide on a few days when we could come for practice. He gave us one day, ONE DAY in a week for scheduled practice. And why, “so that the senior boys team’s training is not disturbed by the girls, and their lack of skill”… Yup, that is what he said. So we got the one day when the senior boys team had a day off, although the junior boys would still be there.

Now, this coach, who we thought was really sweet and caring before this stunt he pulled, thought it was not worth his time to give the girls training, so he hired a coach to come only on that day to train the junior boys, and pay the girls a little attention. The whole time, we were told that the girls team needs to train before it can become a reality, but we were not given proper training. We were made to play matches with the boys, where the ball would not be passed to us “cause we were girls”.

We were not giving up any time soon and we would go up to the juniors and inspire them to carry on this fight (since the three of us were in our second last year). We got to know that the junior branch of our school had a girls football team, and it was sad to know that the senior branch could not do so. We got every girl we knew to come for practices to show the coach that we were serious about this, we would tackle the ball from the boys during matches to show them that we are capable of playing like them, if not better. Eventually a team was set up, in the year after we graduated.

The point of this whole story is to showcase how the behavior and words of men can patronize us, and make us question ourselves. There were instances when we would ponder over whether we should give up or not. But we realized that we cannot depend on men to eventually change their mindset, it is up to us girls to do that with our resolve and determination. It is on us to keep our head up high and never lose confidence in our passions and choices, just because a man tries to explain that we are incapable of those things.

Stay strong, girls! #stopmansplaining

 

 

Why Mansplaining is not a myth.

Mansplaining. Try saying that word without managing to evoke a cry of indignation from a nearby testosterone-raging male specimen. If you’re lucky you may find someone willing to partake in a discussion about said word. If you are, however, not privy to such luck (like most of us) all you’ll get are loud comments ranging from “MANSPLAINING IS A MYTH!” to “WOMEN CAN MANSPLAIN TOO!”. Worry not fellow reader, your next-door feminist is here to help.

Let’s break down Mansplaining, shall we?

Mansplaining is the act of a man explaining something to a person (typically a woman) in a patronizing and condescending manner. It evolves from Privilege; male privilege to be more specific. (This is the reason why women can’t mansplain.) It’s a condescending explanation where the member of a privileged class assumes the ignorance of a member of a lower class.

Phrases like “No, that’s how you operate a computer” to “That’s how you change a tire” are the most commonly heard but it goes to a whole new level when these men try to explain to women their own experiences! Experiences these men have never gone through! A stark example of this is of Lyman Abbott who wrote an article in 1903 about how he knows that women don’t want suffrage:

I believe it is because woman feels, if she does not clearly see, that the question of woman suffrage is more than merely political; that it concerns the nature and structure of society,—the home, the church, the industrial organism, the state, the social fabric. And to a change which involves a revolution in all of these she interposes an inflexible though generally a silent opposition. It is for these silent women—whose voices are not heard in conventions, who write no leaders, deliver no lectures, and visit no legislative assemblies—that I speak

While this piece talks of an extremely important event, the act of mansplaining is witnessed in all conversations. These seemingly harmless remarks act as a snowball effect on the psyche of women leading to the feeling of self-doubt and low self-esteem and I’m sure we’d all agree such feelings are not harmless in any way.

 

Now this is not to say that we blame men for this. Feminists agree that such a behaviour stems out of a subconscious conditioning that has been taking place since generations. Centuries of patriarchy has taught us the roles we are to assume. It’s time we unlearn some lesson.

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