Examples of mansplaining

If you had some particular expertise in the field you’d have said so - unless you were aiming for some kind of gotcha.

I’m with Babale on this one. One of the definitions of mansplaining that I’ve heard was when a man explains to a woman what she is thinking. I think a non-expert giving facts to an expert is just being a jerk (I know everything) and just because it is a male non-expert talking to a female expert does not make it mansplaining. Where it goes into mansplaining is as the female expert explains her position the male tells her what she means.

And what it doesn’t mean is anytime a man explaining anything to a woman. When I explain to a female colleague how to do something that she needs help with, it is not mansplaining.

I disagree, I think @Kimstu gave a reasonable definition above. But the posters insisting on contradicting the Title IX lawyer, despite the fact that he was right and they know nothing about the issue, only fits the second point and not 1 and 3.

“Mansplaining” has clearly gone the same way as “man-flu” in that most people don’t really understand or care what the original meaning was and just use it how they think it should be used - often wrongly, and often the total opposite, but who cares?

There must be many words like this. Do they have a collective name?

I think that there is a characteristic male conversation that goes like this:

a) Thesis.
b) Counter-Thesis
a) Supporting Arguments for initial Thesis.
b) Counter-arguments.
a) summing up.
b) summing up.

If a person is not willing to engage in conversation by stating and defending an explicit counter-thesis, you get mansplaining instead. It’s man-splaining, because it’s what a man does, and it’s splaining because it’s not being countered by an explicit counter-thesis and supporting arguments.

And it happens to women, because the style of conversation stated above is not a characteristic female style of conversation. One characteristic female style of conversation goes like this:

a) suggest topic
b) agree and expand topic.
a) address topic in more detail.
b) agree and address topic in more detail and suggest new topic.
b) suggest new topic.

What we get when the two styles are mixed:
a) State Thesis
a) Supporting arguments
a) More supporting arguments.
b) Makes an excuse and leaves.


You first.

ETA: Actually, don’t bother, it’s not really relevant to this thread.

That sounds more like an argument than a conversation.

There are many cites in the linked thread. There are also many posts by you and others saying “lOoK tHe PrEmIeR tItLe Ix LaWyEr On EaRtH bAcKs Me Up”

I’ve been a male my whole life and have never had a conversation like this outside of formal work/school contexts.

And yet here we are: I advanced a thesis, you advanced a counter thesis, and now I’m advancing a supporting argument.

I’ll grant that message board discussions tend to follow your model more closely, due to the fact that you respond to a whole post and can edit or take some time to think about what you want to say. But I don’t consider that conversation. And I see women using that model here as much as men.

A male doctor told me once that menstrual bloating isn’t a thing. It doesn’t exist.

There was a man on my facebook who tried to tell me about menstrual cravings.

Men may be “expert” in somethings, but unless they are a trans-man, they have never experience menstruation.

There was an episode of Modern Family that dealt with this in a way. I know quoting a TV show is not ideal for citations on any subject, but it’s food for thought.

Phil is chatting with the ladies at a spa. He tells them about the argument he had with Claire. He said he was trying to help her but she took it the wrong way. They explain the female perspective to him.

When she complained about traffic making her late for work, he recommended she try an alternate route. The ladies tell him that’s not what she wants to hear. When he says “You should do this,” she hears it as “You’re not smart enough to solve the problem.” She wants him to be supportive of her, not try to fix her life.

So, by the end of the episode, she’s complaining to him about her co-worker’s bitchy attitude. He says “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. You worked on that project for weeks. Who does she think she is?” She responds positively, and he realizes he’s getting some nookie tonight.

Cue laugh track.

But you don’t see as many women here as men. Various female dominated boards I’ve been on don’t tend to follow this pattern.

I once had a male OBGYN tell me, a woman pregnant with my third child, that I could not possibly feel the baby moving at four months because it was way too early. The look on my face must have eloquently said “How the fuck would YOU know what a baby moving feels like???” because he immediately began stammering “well, uh, of course this isn’t your first baby, you probably know how that feels…”. I give him credit for realizing in this one occasion at least what an ass he sounded like.
But later, at one of the last-days checkups, I told him the baby had descended, he again dismissed it nonsense. Then he did the exam and remarked “wow, the baby’s really descended here…” :roll_eyes:
Apparently they teach them in OB school that women don’t know their own bodies and need male doctors to explain how they work.

I don’t think that’s only in the OB department.

Mostly, the departments put all their energy into teaching students not to make stupid assumptions like that – the stupid assumptions come naturally.

That’s not what I’d call mansplaining. Several years ago there were several popular pop psych articles about it.

It’s an interaction that happens more with men and women than same-gender pairs, but it’s not exclusive to those. Men are more likely to try to think of practical solutions, and women are more likely to simply offer support, expecting that the person complaining has already considered practical solutions, and, if they wanted actual advice, they’d ask for it.

It’s only “more likely,” of course. I’m female, and I realised that I often made the error of offering advice when actually all that was needed was supportive listening. When other people did it to me, it was annoying, but then I realised that I was doing it too. Still do now and then, I think, but way less than before.


One of my most blatant examples of this technically isn’t even mansplaining because the guy refused to actually talk to me. When I was 18-19, I was the weekend evening supervisor at a service station (gas station and garage instead of gas station and mini mart) while going to college. After about 5 or 6, the garage was closed for serious repairs but was always open for tire repairs/rotations, oil changes, batteries, etc. My boss always had two people working to reduce chances of robbery.

One day a guy comes into the front office and steps to the counter. He tells me that he needs a battery for his car. Sadly, I did the unforgivable – I asked him a necessary question instead of automatically and deferentially seeking out A Man to help him with his problem:

Asshole: “I need a battery for my car.”

Me: “sure thing! What’s the year, make and model?”

He gave me a disgusted look and said, “uh, I need to speak to the guy on duty.”

Dave had been walking in anyway so he asked what the guy needed. Keep in mind Dave was a year younger than me and in high school. But he was The Guy, you know! So the asshole tells him he needs a battery for his car. Care to guess what Dave replied with? If you guessed literally exactly what I had said, congratulations!

But see, that was okay. Because Dave was The Guy, unlike me, who had the audacity to Garage While Female. But the cherry on top of the shit sundae was his response: “uh, I’m not sure. I think it’s a Ford?”

THIS MOTHERFUCKER refused to speak with me when he didn’t even know what kind of car he had!

It got even more surreal.

Me: do you know the year?
Asshole: …
Dave: (looks at me) do you know the year?
Asshole: uh, well it’s older but not super old, maybe early 90s?
Me: is it a car or truck or …?
Asshole: …
Dave: is it a car or truck?
Asshole: no, it’s not like, a van, but kind of like a van?
Me: an SUV?
Asshole: …
Dave: an SUV?
Asshole: yeah! One of those!
Dave: so maybe an Explorer?
Asshole: … no, that doesn’t sound right …
Me: what about a Bronco?
Asshole: …
Dave: (is giving me a look like “wtf this guy???”) Is it a Bronco?
Asshole: THAT’S IT! That’s what it is!

The battery chart was, of course, invisible until I handed it to Dave. I was allowed to ring up the sale, though! Afterwards, he thanked Dave for his help.