Mansplaining, explained


Another woman friend has un-friended a man on Facebook because he refused to stop accusing her of claiming all men are guilty of abusing women.

Now, my friend has been abused. She also has said a number of times that she knows not all men are abusive. But this guy keeps coming to her posts and repeating that she shouldn’t be such a man-hater because not all men are abusive.

Methinks he doth protest too much.

Look, guys, we know how we feel and we don’t need you to tell us.

We also know what our own life experiences are and how they affect our views. Again, we don’t need you to tell us.

During my Facebook shitstorm the other day, one man kept telling me why he isn’t bothered by being called honey and that I should share his view until I finally blocked him.

Later, another male friend came on and said he really couldn’t understand why it bothered me so much. He has lived in Texas for a long time and it’s part of the culture there. When I said I want the respect of not having my experiences invalidated simply because his were different, he agreed.

That’s how simple it is.

Try this, guys: “Oh, I see our experiences are different. OK, then.”

Or this, if you want to continue the conversation: “Wow, we have really different experiences. Tell me more.”

Mansplaining is when you try to tell us why we should share your point of view, even when our own experiences leave us with the exact opposite view. It’s when you close your mind to our perspective while insisting we be open to yours.

What that does is tells us our experiences don’t matter to you. It tells us that you think we have to conform to your view because it somehow is superior to our own experience.

It tells us our opinions are not valid because they don’t align with yours and that we are the ones who have to rethink our world view so it matches yours.

It’s telling us you want to protect us from one thing or another when we have not asked for your protection and you have not asked us whether we need it.

Mansplaining is condescending and disrespectful,  and if you haven’t figured it out so far, let me tell you it’s deeply offensive.

We don’t need you to explain our lives to us, OK? If that bothers you, too bad.

If we point out to you that what you’re doing is mansplaining, it’s time for you to stop talking.

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