Recently, I read Bridge Michigan (a favorite and a news outlet I support) an article titled Speaking while female, mansplaining hurt women in workplace.
Now, if you are a woman, you have first-hand experience with how this works. I don't know a single woman who hasn't experienced this, and it's usually at the hands of a mediocre white man.
What is it?
Mansplaining is a pejorative term meaning (of a man) "to comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner". The term was coined by Rebecca Solnit in her 2008 essay "Men Explain Things to Me".
Mansplaining is often characterized by the following:
- The man assumes that the woman knows less about the topic than he does, even if she has expressed expertise in the area.
- The man uses a condescending or patronizing tone, as if he is talking to a child.
- The man's explanation is often inaccurate or oversimplified, as if he is simplifying the topic for the woman's benefit.
- The man ignores the woman's attempts to correct him or point out that she already knows what he is talking about.
Here are some examples of mansplaining (these are priceless):
- A man explaining to a woman how to use a computer, even though she is a software engineer.
- A man explaining to a woman how to drive, even though she is a race car driver.
- A man explaining to a woman about her own body, even though she is a doctor.
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