Ah patriarchy, the gift that keeps on giving..
There has been some recent buzz online regarding the concept of “Mansplaining”, which simply put is when a man (or woman) interrupts a person (often a woman) in order to explain something to them as if they were a little child not having the slightest clue about anything. Lovely, isn’t it? If you have never heard this before, you might want to check this informative video:
Now, first of all, there are those that behave in this disrespectful way regardless of gender, however, the issue at stake here is that mansplaining happens a lot both in films, TV and advertising as well as in real life and also that it seems most often to concern men mansplaining things to women, thus women are and have been systematically silenced by men for a long time. This really should come as no surprise, right? Seeing as how history is written by men, how society was shaped by men and it’s barely been a hundred years, even less in some countries, since women got the right to vote, i.e. “speak” their mind regarding important societal matters. Mansplaining may be a fairly recent term, but the act itself is older than feminism. Women and minority groups have been shushed and silenced in all types of manners for centuries, so this should really not come as a shock to anyone, the only thing I find surprising is that it took this long before we formulated a word for this type of behaviour.
Of course, whenever such topics get talked about online one will soon find people going on about “yeah well women do that too” and thus not really getting the point. But hey, let me manspl..ehm, explain it then:
The point is not that all men mansplain things, or that women never mansplain things, the point is that mansplaining is a phenomenon that occurs relatively often, and in most or at least many cases that are depicted, that many of us are exposed to, it is a man explaining things to a woman in a patronizing way, thus assuming that she is incompetent, that he is superior and knows best without having any reason for this belief. The point is that such an occurrence should not be happening in the scale that is has been and is happening, the point is that it should not be taken for granted that a man will always know more than a woman, regardless of topic.
So, how about treating each other as individuals, hearing each other out instead of silencing each other? There are always more sides to a story than yours. And in the words of David Brent:
Don’t assume. It makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.