MANSPLAINING EXAMPLE: Know everything there is about mansplaining

The age of social media has introduced us to various alluring lingo, and mansplaining happens to be one of these. Given the credulous nature of the folks these days, it becomes important to throw some light on the subject. So that the next time the word is in your mouth, ready to be hurled at someone or simple get accused of it, you know the mechanism behind it.

Mansplaining: Definition and issue

Mansplaining, in many dictionaries, is defined as ‘ a setting where a man explains any idea to a woman in a condescending or rude manner.’ The term traces its origin to a 2008 essay, ‘Men explain things to me’  written by Rebecca Solnit and made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2018. 

One of the first issues with mansplaining has to do with the very concept. It is the lack of ability to determine whether the concept needs to be evoked or not. This problem can be termed the ‘social media vernacular.’ What follows from the vernacular is the proposition that some people derive their personalities from social media. What other than a personality is replete with conceiving certain concepts either fallibly or infallibly? 

One thing that needs to be pointed out is that no guideline comes with using certain words. Let’s take an example of mansplaining,  you are among your folks, and someone vehemently reproaches you for having expounded on a concept that you thought a lot of people were obscure about, given the recondite nature of the subject. 

Simply speaking, they accused you of mansplaining while all you did was an act of ‘posting’. This posting is a subjective or a personality act, an urge of the intellect to come out in public-private conversations. 

Understanding mansplaining with an example

 Let’s change the tone and tenor of the very ‘positing’ in our mansplaining example. While explaining something, you now act imperiously. You think you are the only person with reason. Your act of explaining was an act of interrupting the previous speaker, and you both said the same thing nonetheless. Overall, you acted as if you knew better, disregarding the want of ‘being-heard’ of humans in general. 

Till now, we have not considered the gender placement of the conversation. Did the gender orientation of the person have anything to do with your interruption? Was the subject such that you thought a gender would be incognizant of the content? In most cases, it could be a personality or conduct problem. 

You think your grasp of the subject is immaculate and compete for its due recognition. Now, in discussions( involving men and women) pertinent to subjects like gyming or any other physical sports with a male hegemony over their knowledge content, it may seem like an example of mansplaining, but even then, it is a matter of poor conduct. 

All of what is said above can be summed up as ‘Mansplaining is a subject of poor conduct than it is a matter of sexism. But even that would be problematic. The section on ‘the importance of Mansplaining’ would make it clear to you. 

Having expounded upon the personality connect with mansplaining now it’s time to highlight the issue of 

Mansplaining hampering the manly expression

Mansplaining hampering the manly expression? Have I lost my mind? Mansplaining is a gender issue inflicted mainly by a man owing to the structural power he has come to hold! I should go and educate myself. Hold your intellectual horses, my pseudo-rationalist. 

In this world, sundry issues demand discourse and contemplation from every gender. For instance, the issue of feminism is not an intellectual proprietary of only one gender. Men have as much right to argue and opine about it as much as a female or any other gender does. It may seem like a truism in reading, but let me tell you, it is not. 

Men are often silenced in discourses, the nuclei of which are female issues. What could they possibly know about it? They haven’t faced the issue. As Rachel from FRIENDS says, ‘No uterus, no opinion.’ 

The underlying assumption here is that if you don’t have first-hand experience with something, you are not right in holding that opinion. As a result, your genuine attempt at dealing with an issue of similar nature would be rendered as ‘mansplaining,’ and you wouldn’t carry with you the edification but rather the shame of the conversation. 

In an article published in the Odyssey, ‘Mansplaining is a myth, Christy Kelly holds a similar position. She writes, “As a woman myself, I find the idea of “mansplaining” to be insulting. Mansplaining is often code for “Be quiet because you disagree with me!”.

Read the full article:

Until now if you are getting the idea that we should throw the word mansplaining out the window or not use it at all, then let me tell you 

The importance of the word mansplain

In the first section, I asserted that ‘ all instances of mansplaining are instances of poor conduct. This statement would make more sense if we omit the quantifier ‘all’ and make it some. In some other cases, the habitual disregard of a female’s opinions on the issues like fitness, sports, etc., makes it an instance of mansplaining. 

In our conversation up until now, it should not be understood that mansplaining does not occur at all, and it is a particular problem of conduct. ‘’Dosage is cumulative,’’ says Rebecca Solnit in her article published in the Guardian. 

Read the full article:

What this means is that particular instances of improper conduct all add up into a much more general issue, and therefore it becomes plausible to introduce certain terms. Hence the importance of the word mansplaining. 

For instance, one particular instance of suicide in a particular region would not pique any concern from the government, but if the instances are recurrent in a particular area over some time, then it becomes a national issue that demands attention and probe. 

We must now return to the first section, where I stated that no guidelines come with using certain words. This can be likened to the fact that 

The concept of mansplaining cannot be evoked unadvisedly 

The fact that any genuine attempt at explaining something is considered mansplaining is an unproductive endeavor that we must steer clear of. But how do you know for sure whether the concept should be evoked or not? For starters, you cannot accuse somebody of mansplaining if the person is not involved in any direct conversation with you. In cases where he is involved in a conversation with you and goes on to elaborate something and the structure of his utterance is purely ‘argumentative’ then it is not mansplaining.

Returning to ‘how to identify mansplaining’, remember that if the same person keeps wearing the same condescending tone in every discussion of the same topic, then it is mansplaining. To supplement your credence further, you can check (if possible) if the same man behaves differently in a discursive-public setting amongst men. 

Want to know the problem with the way we understand feminism? Read: THE WAY WE ARE UNDERSTANDING FEMINISM IS PROBLEMATIC

To sum up

We started our discussion with how someone is accused of mansplaining even when that person is simply ‘positing.’ with a mansplaining example. Then we discussed another feature of the modern problem with mansplaining: its hegemony over certain knowledge subjects. But, in an attempt to show all of this, I did not want you to think that the concept is redundant but necessary. However, when it should be evoked or not is a matter of exercising your critical thinking. 

What do you think about mansplaining? Let me know in the comments, and please don’t forget to ‘Mansplain Manipulate Malewife.’

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