What Is Mansplaining
Can a woman mansplain?
After the life-altering dawn of digital communication, ‘Voices’ have become prominent and spectacularly striking. Especially when it comes to knowledge, we as civilized species are accustomed to the inflated sense of intellect, that usually results in doling out pieces of unsolicited advice and explanations. Mostly un-asked on social handles by some self-proclaimed doyens, who apparently have drunk all the wise waters from a well of saintly wisdom. Even if the explanation, whether it is technical, emotional, or psychological, is disrespectfully declined, there are civilized species who fail to grasp the signal. The consent you see. If I need an understanding of a particular idea or thing, I will ask for it. If I am not asking and turning it down, I AM SAYING NO. Consent comes into play here too.
Well, my concern here isn’t about explaining something by a teacher or manager to their students or employees about a lesson or a product. It is precisely about the area where they have no expertise. Like a man talking a woman into making babies, a bold extrovert asking an overthinker to be at peace, or a superiority-ridden patriarch telling a timid woman to be less aggressive. Perhaps mansplaining comes from the idea of manipulating a woman. Yes, the Cambridge dictionary explains it very well.
To quote, ‘Explaining something to someone in a way that suggests that they are stupid; used especially when a man explains something to a woman that she already understands. I emphasize ‘something that she already understands or is expert at’, like making babies or being empathetic or whatever her job is. The job title can be a surgeon, now you don’t sit and explain to a surgeon how to cut, clean, and stitch infections. If you do, and you are a man, trust me you are MANSPLAINING. Just the way you don’t teach a womb to make babies. To clear the fog, I don’t label all the disagreements with men, and their tail-ending explanations as mansplaining.
As the word itself is suggestive of man-explaining, is quite associated with gender-specific manipulation. A dude assumes to know more about cars, and sports. Some macho dudes even believe that they basically have high intellects, which should keep pouring on other gender/s. The Mr. Know-it-all also assumes that a woman needs supervision and suggestion over and over again. The article in the Atlantic suggests mansplaining at best.
I’ve seen guys rehearsing their next line of argument while talking to a woman, instead of interacting. It saddens me when I see young people dancing at the mansplaining tik-tok beats, and comprehending without understanding. I am talking about the girls. As Jesus uttered the words, ‘Father. forgive them, for they know not what they do’, I quote myself inwardly, for the ignorant girls can be forgiven for being a ‘mansplainee’ but, quite closely, I’ve known women who do the mansplaining! The woman pampers the other gender by saving themselves for inferiority.
Mansplaining is age-old, and so is patriarchy. Mansplaining is worse because it allows the man to sit in the driver’s seat, even if the pillion is an F1 racer, magnanimously pour out the wisdom on driving a plain sedan. The disheartening part is you can not only drive, but you can also race and win accolades.
When I say, women doing mansplaining, I say that there are women who subscribe to the idea that ‘Man knows better. My great aunt had her favorite saying, ‘Husband is the one who makes you cry in one eye and smile in the other’. It’s the sexist remark that stayed with me for longer than I imagined by a woman. So, yes, women too mansplain. I also bought into that school of thought developed by a woman again, that man works their asses off, and they need not be bothered by woman’s petty issues in the household. Even my mum’s aunt stopped my mum mid-sentence, saying that ‘man knew better’ even if that better understanding was about exclusive femininity.
I reckon that it’s hard to understand the personal experiences of another gender, but the idea to put the feet in their shoe is worth trying.
All it will do is, some empathy and no mansplaining!