Dr. Helen

Stop Using the Word 'Mansplaining'

Have you noticed that every time a man opens his mouth these days, he is told by a condescending woman to “stop mansplaining”? Case in point: Theresa May talking down to a man here:

During the often rowdy prime minster’s questions session in the British Parliament today, Theresa May brought her A game, slapping down Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for “mansplaining” to her. ….

The prime minister delivered her well-timed zinger after Corbyn tried to link the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman to International Women’s Day.

“Tomorrow is International Women’s Day,” Corbyn started, “a chance to celebrate how far we’ve come … but also reflect on how far we have to go.”

He continued, “As she makes her arms sales pitch, will she also call on the crown prince to halt the shocking abuse of human rights in Saudi Arabia?”

“First of all,” May responded, “I want to thank the right honorable gentleman for telling me it was International Women’s Day tomorrow.”

The chamber howled.

“I think that’s what’s called mansplaining,” she said, receiving rousing applause and loud boos.

In everyday life, men are constantly being told they are “mansplaining” if they so much as voice an opinion to a woman or a group of women. I have seen faculty women tell male faculty that they are “mansplaining” if they don’t like their view on a topic.

It is rude and the equivalent of saying “shut up” to someone. This style of interaction will get little accomplished except for posturing — which is why it is being done.

Why not try treating people like human beings and engaging in real discussions rather than attempting to put others down with terms like “mansplaining”? Isn’t this condescending behavior what women were upset about to begin with? Now they do it themselves and think it’s okay? Men will avoid them or pretend to give in while silently seething. This dynamic will work out well…