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
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.