Recently, while chatting with three scientist-friends (one male, two female), I learned a new word: “mansplain.” Now I have a word in my vocabulary that describes a phenomenon I’ve been observing for years.
I looked up “mansplaining” in the Urban Dictionary. On the Urban Dictionary Web site, users can give a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” to any definition in it. Here are some of the several definitions offered, along with their “ratings” (you can check the site to read other definitions, and “vote” on them if you like):
“The tendency of some men to mistakenly believe that they automatically know more about any given topic than does a woman and who, consequently, proceed to explain to her – correctly or not – things that she already knows.” (1,201 thumbs ups, 507 thumbs downs). [Doctor Linda’s note: This definition describes the phenomenon I’ve been observing.]
“A word used by pseudo-intellectual feminist (e.g. ugly chicks, over 30 single moms with no chance in hell of getting a man their own age, and insecure fat chicks or combo of all three) on the internet to justify their loosing argument and/or anti-male rhetoric.” (110 thumbs ups, 315 thumbs downs)
“A term created by radical feminists to automatically discredit the opinion of a man because he’s, well, a man.” (209 thumbs ups, 771 thumbs downs)
In “Mansplaining 101: How to Discuss Politics and Feminism Without Acting Like a Jackass,”, writer Amy McCarthy offers this advice to men: “Feminists are not always right, but neither are you. Mansplaining is a scourge in academia, online activism, and the blogosphere that discourages women from participating in the dialogue. If you consider yourself a true feminist ally, stop doing it. Most importantly, back up women when they call it out.”
PS – I found so many “mansplaining” images that made me laugh that I thought I’d share some of them here….