The Spinster Aunt writes:
Mansplaining — you know mansplaining, right? It’s that loud, annoying, repetitive alarm call that men emit whenever they perceive a lower-status person challenging their authority — isn’t really so goddam hilarious in and of itself. This is because it is a hallmark of domination culture, because it is comprised primarily of meaningless noise (whether taken in or out of context), and because it is obfuscatory, oppressive, denigrating, sexist, and rude. It can only achieve comic status when openly mocked.
Using a comment left on her blog, she goes on to illustrate some traits of the mansplainer:
My thoughts turned briefly to mansplanation mockery this morning when I found myself deleting a something of a dilly. The author in question was, as is typical, correcting me on this point and that, explaining that my views (but not his) are “sexist,” yadda yadda, in a tone that suggested so deep a reverence for his own intellect that he’d expect the solar system to explode if he failed to execute this very important takedown on my blog. His brilliant denouement? The assertion that if I “honestly” disagree with him — apparently this contingency should be all but impossible — then “what [I] practice isn’t feminism.”
How about another example? You might be a mansplainer if you begin a sentence addressed to a woman whom you know holds a degree in neuroscience with “there are molecules in the brain called neurotransmitters”.
So the mansplainer … I never could quite put my finger on this phenomenon, and now I have some theory and a lexicon to boot! Happy days.
If you’d like some more examples of mansplainer behaviour, check out Zuska’s mockumental post (and the Spinster Aunt’s dream come true), “You May Be A Mansplainer If…” — join in the fun and give your own examples of being mansplained on.
My favourite comment is from Paulino (who doesn’t believe the phenomenon is necessarily limited to men), who explains that in Brazil this type of behaviour is called “crapping a rule”:
“In Brazil we have a term for this that translates to “rule-crapping”, a person who does it is a rule-crapper, you can use it in a phrase “There, he did it again, he just crapped a rule.”, but it’s unspecific as it doesn’t identify it as common manly activity.”
It’s all priceless.
1) There are molecules in the brain called “neurotransmitters” – Spinster Aunt’s post
2) You May Be A Mansplainer If… – Zuska’s post
Unrelated bonus p.s. Please go see this knit meat at knithacker.com today. It doesn’t crap rules and it won’t drop any mansplanations on you. AND – it’s pre-packaged!