Today I have a guest post from the lovely Nicky of Happy Lippy. I particularly like her post about that utter cockwomble Mike Pence Today Nicky is talking about mansplaining.
“Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement”. Oh yeah, this is a real article headline I found. After reading the article it was clear it was meant to be satire. The thing is...would it shock you to actually see a headline like this? Probably not, it wouldn't shock me anyway.
Despite the fact that it is women who have spent years fighting for the vote, fighting for rape to be illegal even if you're married and demanded reproductive rights. According to some men, we just aren't as good at it as we like to think. When it comes to sex and gender function we are still apparently so inadequate we need a man to explain our inadequacy to us, and what we can then do to work on that.
Despite how many men have kindly reminded me not all men are this badly behaved or ignorant I've learned it really can be any man who decides to enlighten you.
All it takes is an analytical mind that's not been hampered by the possession of a uterus to remind us how clueless we are about complex concepts. Gender fluidity and social construction of sex are too big for our smaller brains to grasp, alas all us feminists just get distracted with being overly emotional over who won "Legs-it".
Before the likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and even Beyonce braved expressing opinions about how someone experiences womanhood, liberal men - convincing themselves that they are allies to both trans people and all women – have been quick to lecture us on the topic.
Despite the many ways in which woman think feminism should be done, the ultimate goal is to create an inclusive conversation where we can get to the root of systematic behavior that suppresses the ability of women to succeed. Mansplaining is when a man speaks to a woman with the assumption that the she knows less than he does about a given topic, even when it’s painfully obvious that she knows more. Mansplaining only serves to define a certain type of arseholeishness, it undermines men's understanding of the other forms of privilege they may have.
Thinking about the anti-feminist idea that “reverse sexism” is common nowadays, I have heard men throw around the word ‘womansplain’ before and it's the point that if a man can explain something condescendingly, then a woman can as well. Which of course is true! Of course it is.
But clutching to that argument just ignores the fact that mansplaining was invented to unmask privilege -– the kind of privilege a lot of men assume they have to assume that they are right, that women are wrong, and that it is their duty to explain something to the poor woman who just isn't getting it.
Basically that's the whole foundation for which mansplaining was made: Privilege. But by calling out men for mansplaining, feminists are bringing up a taboo word almost boardering on summoning Voldemort it's that frowned upon.
Okay I'm getting a bit on the ranty side so here is something I hope helps. Some hints and tips for when mansplaining will happen to You, because it had and it will.
1. If it happens over the internet, you could send them a link to buy the book "Men explain things to me".
2. Explain mansplaining to them! Let's give them the benefit of the doubt for a moment...
3. Question them always.
"Oh, I thought I knew loads about biology because I have a degree in it, but clearly you know more than me. Have you got a Masters?"
It's always fun undermining their authority.
Thanks Nicky for a fantastic post!!
Thanks Nicky for a fantastic post!!