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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.

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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