Mansplaining: to delight in condescending, inaccurate explanations delivered with rock solid confidence of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation ~ Urban Dictionary
First an exception- I do not, generally, count as Mansplaining when it comes to mathematics because I don’t discount any person as wrong (regardless of gender) when they explain math to me. I am one of those people who cannot comprehend these concepts. Math is a foreign language to me, akin to Sanskrit. I will never understand it. Yes, I still count on my fingers. On Facebook, I recently outed myself as a cheater on third grade timetables. Ten times out of nine, I am wrong when it comes to math. My limited capabilities are widely known, famous even. I am legendary in my inability to grasp mathematical concepts. And as Talking Barbie so unfortunately, yet honestly in my case uttered: math is hard. I don’t get it.
But I believe that most women have been victims of Mansplaining. The incident that stands forefront in my mind is a debate when I was twenty-two. My cousin’s very cool Monte Carlo had a unique feature beloved by me; when the car sped up or slowed down, the sound system reacted accordingly, increasing (or decreasing) the volume of the stereo.
Despite this being a factual feature of many cars, and a feature I experienced firsthand, a male co-worker insisted I was a nutter and no such feature existed. I was filled with rage. Perhaps it doesn’t exist in autos you’ve ridden in, but I do doubt that you’ve ridden in every auto possible, so how dare you discount my knowledge.
But I do believe this was the first, and one of the very few times I was a victim of Mansplaining. I am immune to Mansplaining. First of all, I’m pretty smart. Out of all the IQ tests I’ve taken, I average a 144. Now, internet IQ tests are nowhere near official. But after ten tests, I think it gives a good general idea. I want to make this clear; I have never taken an official IQ test. I doubt I would come close to qualifying for MENSA, but I am smart. I am well read on diverse topics. I am one of few people who check references, and I take learning as a life’s passion, not something to be done for a purpose and then forgotten.
The funny thing is I have a man to thank for my immunity. My dad Jim is a know-it-all. This does not always win him points, but he almost always wins in a battle of wits. My dad taught me to learn as much as possible about whatever strikes my fancy. Any curiosity deserves research, and some subjects deserve research merely because they are there, like Mount Everest. Learning is a responsibility of the human condition. A day without learning is a day wasted.
Another valuable lesson from dear old dad is that when you’re right, you’re right. It doesn’t matter who spouts off. If that person is wrong, it automatically becomes your obligation to show that person the error of their ways. There is nothing wrong with busting out a laundry list of references to show fools their true colors.
And it’s here that we come to Mansplaining. It is my personal belief that Mansplaining comes from the fragile male ego. A man must be right! Why? For centuries, women have been taught that the male ego is so fragile; they must kowtow to it, even when the man is a complete and utter idiot. Au contraire dit mon pere. Screw that bullshit. Any man who can’t take the truth is not worthy of your time. Merely walk away from the ignorant fool. You owe a man’s ego absolutely NOTHING.
The protection of males and their delicate sensibilities is an insidious practice that I believe is handed down unconsciously from mother to daughter. To her credit, my mother never ascribed to this line of thinking either. Perhaps that’s why my father saw the true worth of his daughter’s strength, intelligence and independence. It’s why he fostered the sense that no man is superior to me simply because he has an outie and I have an inny. Once again, I don’t claim to be superior to all men. But if I am, I’m sure as hell not going to act like I’m not. If a man tries to tell me what’s up, I’m more than happy to let him talk out his ass before shoving him in the hole he just dug himself.
Women are fighting back against Mansplaining, and all I can say is about damn time. It’s time we stop coddling them. Our brains are just as big as theirs. A human’s capability for learning and retaining information is vast. A human’s, not just a man’s. It’s the original inconvenient truth that no man wants to believe, but tough! You’re not talking down to me. In fact, it’s impossible to talk down to me when you’re talking out your ass and my head is three feet above that.
So women unite! Shut down the Mansplaining. Don’t nod and smile, then walk away and laugh. Go ahead and laugh right in their face. Men don’t care about the female ego, why should we care about theirs? Take the lesson I absorbed from my father. I’m right; you’re not, thanks for playing. Collect your parting gift at the door.
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