The thing I don’t like about mansplaining is the condescending, “I’m better than you because I wrote an essay/took a class in the subject” tone.
It appears that the great majority of the recent submissions are from early 20 something undergraduates (or stories from that time period) and they feel so snooty!
Especially in regards to interactions with people outside of the academic world.
The title of the blog is “academic men explain things to me”, but many of the submissions are just other male undergraduates, or, heavens, mechanics, shopkeeps, and other laymen.
OF COURSE I am not denying the existence of mansplaining.
But you can describe instances of it without the snooty attitude.
I feel like some of the ones we’ve all cringed over are particularly bad because in their great effort to explain sexism, some of the women who submit this dip eagerly into classism, totally ignorant of their own prejudice.
Okay, I’m in rant mode today. Sorry. I really do think mansplaining is disgusting, which is why it’s a shame to see the term watered down to where pointing mansplaining out becomes a joke.
Yeah. Going after a salesperson/mechanic for mentioning that they could do the job for a better price isn’t mansplaining, it’s being in the service industry and informing you of a product.
Mansplaining is disgusting and sexist, even when it’s subtle or kindly given.
To make up an example, an English professor questioning why you think Shakespeare was a proto-feminist and then presenting ideas as part of a researched lecture why he wasn’t one isn’t mansplaining. An English professor telling women that Shakespeare was a proto-feminist and the discomfort they feel from reading his work is invalid and why it is invalid IS mansplaining.
But back to the class issue, it’s even against people who have,say, several years of education but in different fields, and there are even a few of the old “I’m a science student, therefore I must be superior” garbage that I’ve seen in mansplaining stories (not necessarily there, but in other ones) If you’re starting your PhD in Physics at a new university and the male librarian mentions that the system is different than at other universities and many students have had trouble with them so don’t be afraid to ask and here’s where to find the FAQ, and your response is to go to Tumblr to complain how the dude at the library dared to assume you couldn’t figure out a library when you’re starting a PhD, well, get over yourself, because librarians often have specialized knowledge of many subjects AND can deal with snooty brats who think they are experts in everything even though they can hardly figure out how to log on the system to find the FAQ.
There’s nothing wrong with someone, even a man, knowing more about a subject than you. The problem is when the man tries to invalidate what you know, or assumes that because you’re a woman you won’t know anything, or knows less than you but thinks he must know more because he’s a man, etc. It’s not because the stock boy at Target knows that Bookcase A, despite having lousy online reviews for appearance, is sturdier than Bookcase B and that’s why the reviews are lousy.
Sorry, went on a rant there. It’s a ranty sort of day. I don’t want to see the definition of mansplaining watered down to mean “any time a man says something”, but I certainly don’t want to ever invalidate anyone’s experience with mansplaining or with the inherent sexism that goes along with it.