Has a man ever tried to tell you that he knows more than you? Has a man ever tried to explain your own expertise or body to you? Has a man ever spoken to you as if you have no idea of what is going on? The answer is most likely yes and the reason behind it is mansplaining. Mansplaining has decades of history behind it, but is a relatively new term that is constantly debated on a global scale. The term is used to explain the situations in which men explain something to women in a manner that can be regarded as condescending or patronising. Many women experience mansplaining on a regular basis and several cases have been televised globally striking a debate on whether it is real.

Several women, including professional and experts, are often seen, or treated, as being less credible than men regardless of the qualifications and experience that they have. Their insights and, more surprisingly, legal testimony are regularly dismissed unless they have been validated by a man. A study that was conducted into this issue explained that women are interrupted more than men and men account for 75% of speech during business meeting sand classroom discussions. More often than not men believe that they have the upper hand over women and that they can provide more of an insight on situations than what women can purely on the basis that they are men. A common example of mansplaining that is experienced by several women is catcalling. Men tell women “smile” or “you should smile more” and try to tell them how they should appear by dismissing their actual experience and implying that they know what is best for them. When women protest they are usually subject to further derogatory terms which imply that they are “too sensitive” and “should be flattered”.

Although there are some very real examples of mansplaining from all over the world the usefulness of the term has been disputed for its gender-specific nature and negative connotation and it has been said to use ‘man’ as a derogatory prefix. The term is focused on the idea that all men are flawed in this way and doesn’t acknowledge the fact that it is only a select few that explain things that they shouldn’t and don’t hear things that they should.

Men think that they are capable of explaining what women need, think and feel which reflects their lifetime habit of questioning the credibility of women and snubbing the contributions that they have made to the world. The concept of mansplaining is very evident within today’s society and is only on the rise making it near impossible for people to dispute that it exists. Although every man may not be guilty of such actions, it cannot be disregarded completely.

Leah Langley



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