Author Topic: Mansplaining: Why?  (Read 7946 times)

Nast

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2016, 02:38:47 am »
Of course it's as simple, cut-and-dry, and universally applicable as those pop-psychology books make it out to be. But I think there's still validity to the basic concept and that it's relevant to the discussion ay hand.
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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2016, 02:44:38 am »
Not sure if it's really mansplaining, since I lack the whole man bit, but I have an urge where my brain goes, "I know thing, must say thing before I explode!"

I'd say it would have to do with the fact that I can go days without talking to another female in real life, but I've always been that way.
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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2016, 02:49:37 am »
I find myself doing this as well, and i think it has to do with the way men socialize as opposed to women. if a women brings up a subject to other women, the social assumption seems to be for the other woman to listen attentively. Whereas when a man brings up a topic to another man, the assumption tends to be that the issue is a "problem" that needs to be "solved". I remember hearing about this in a communications class once, but it has to do with the different genders having different social "languages". The pofessor also said that the kinds of things men and women value in friendships are different too. WOmen tend to value fidelity (hence all the listening and empathy) whereas men tend to value loyalty (the being willing to step in and help out if a problem DOES need solving)

That, or we all have tiny penises and were just not okay with it. who knows?

Yes, I think we have all been exposed to the "men and women have different communication styles" trope by this point. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, right? Except that of course outside of pop psychology and self-help books, it's not that simple. Socialization definitely plays a role, and the concept of gender-based communication styles is itself a form of social conditioning. We (should) all know that by now.

Nigel, I think you're being too quick to dismiss what Chelagoras is saying. Don't you think there's an appreciable difference between how men and women are conditioned to communicate, and also how men are conditioned to communicate with women, that contributes to the phenomenon of mainsplaining?

Of course I do, and I would love to see someone delve a little deeper into it than saying, in effect, "men and women are socially conditioned to communicate differently", which, ironically, is simply spelling out the obvious...
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2016, 03:41:54 pm »
I fear there's also a touch of misogyny here as well, with some men automatically assuming a woman doesn't know as much about a thing as they do. And then there's the times when a woman may not know the minutiae of a certain subject, and doesn't really care to know more about it, but the dude keeps nattering on.

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2016, 05:59:35 pm »
I do it because I am a font of wisdom. My benevolence is weaponized. I intake the sands of knowledge and form it into pearls of sagelike splendor. Witness me. I will whisper to you the rightness of ways.
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Chelagoras The Boulder

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2016, 06:47:55 pm »
I find myself doing this as well, and i think it has to do with the way men socialize as opposed to women. if a women brings up a subject to other women, the social assumption seems to be for the other woman to listen attentively. Whereas when a man brings up a topic to another man, the assumption tends to be that the issue is a "problem" that needs to be "solved". I remember hearing about this in a communications class once, but it has to do with the different genders having different social "languages". The pofessor also said that the kinds of things men and women value in friendships are different too. WOmen tend to value fidelity (hence all the listening and empathy) whereas men tend to value loyalty (the being willing to step in and help out if a problem DOES need solving)

That, or we all have tiny penises and were just not okay with it. who knows?

Yes, I think we have all been exposed to the "men and women have different communication styles" trope by this point. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, right? Except that of course outside of pop psychology and self-help books, it's not that simple. Socialization definitely plays a role, and the concept of gender-based communication styles is itself a form of social conditioning. We (should) all know that by now.

Nigel, I think you're being too quick to dismiss what Chelagoras is saying. Don't you think there's an appreciable difference between how men and women are conditioned to communicate, and also how men are conditioned to communicate with women, that contributes to the phenomenon of mainsplaining?

Of course I do, and I would love to see someone delve a little deeper into it than saying, in effect, "men and women are socially conditioned to communicate differently", which, ironically, is simply spelling out the obvious...
Well, then it could follow that mansplaining is less an ego thing and more of a need to be socially valued. We are a social species after all, and since men are usually shit at the emotional connection half of things, mansplaining could be the man in question trying to connect using the tools he has to hand, his skills or experience. It could be less about belittling you as a woman and more about saying, "hey, look at me, i'm useful! I have purpose! Don't kick me out of the tribe!"
"It isn't who you know, it's who you know, if you know what I mean.  And I think you do."

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2016, 08:04:56 pm »
I fear there's also a touch of misogyny here as well, with some men automatically assuming a woman doesn't know as much about a thing as they do. And then there's the times when a woman may not know the minutiae of a certain subject, and doesn't really care to know more about it, but the dude keeps nattering on.

Yeah, I think misogyny is so deeply embedded in Western culture, and particularly American culture, that it's almost impossible to escape that effect. As a woman, it means often accepting being treated like a child, with a man assuming the role of teacher/lecturer yet, oddly, not expecting the woman to actually learn and remember. I think the unconscious assumption is that women can't actually learn.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2016, 08:07:39 pm »
I find myself doing this as well, and i think it has to do with the way men socialize as opposed to women. if a women brings up a subject to other women, the social assumption seems to be for the other woman to listen attentively. Whereas when a man brings up a topic to another man, the assumption tends to be that the issue is a "problem" that needs to be "solved". I remember hearing about this in a communications class once, but it has to do with the different genders having different social "languages". The pofessor also said that the kinds of things men and women value in friendships are different too. WOmen tend to value fidelity (hence all the listening and empathy) whereas men tend to value loyalty (the being willing to step in and help out if a problem DOES need solving)

That, or we all have tiny penises and were just not okay with it. who knows?

Yes, I think we have all been exposed to the "men and women have different communication styles" trope by this point. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, right? Except that of course outside of pop psychology and self-help books, it's not that simple. Socialization definitely plays a role, and the concept of gender-based communication styles is itself a form of social conditioning. We (should) all know that by now.

Nigel, I think you're being too quick to dismiss what Chelagoras is saying. Don't you think there's an appreciable difference between how men and women are conditioned to communicate, and also how men are conditioned to communicate with women, that contributes to the phenomenon of mainsplaining?

Of course I do, and I would love to see someone delve a little deeper into it than saying, in effect, "men and women are socially conditioned to communicate differently", which, ironically, is simply spelling out the obvious...
Well, then it could follow that mansplaining is less an ego thing and more of a need to be socially valued. We are a social species after all, and since men are usually shit at the emotional connection half of things, mansplaining could be the man in question trying to connect using the tools he has to hand, his skills or experience. It could be less about belittling you as a woman and more about saying, "hey, look at me, i'm useful! I have purpose! Don't kick me out of the tribe!"

That would make more sense if men primarily mansplained to other men, as a means of displaying their value to decision-makers. Your conjecture makes sense if women control the tribe, but in American culture that isn't the case, and I have noticed that Europeans, particularly Northern Europeans, mansplain far, far less than Americans.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2016, 08:21:36 pm »
In an example Alty just mentioned, our friend saw the camera equipment in my office and started mansplaining photography, which is an interesting move since it assumed that I don't understand the equipment that I clearly own. I have purchased it and placed it on shelves in my workspace, yet his automatic assumption seemed to be that I do not understand it. Why, then, does he think I own it? For decoration perhaps? It makes little sense; why would anyone go into someone's workspace and assume that they know nothing about their own tools?

And yet, this behavior is not atypical; it's completely commonplace, barely remarkable. It happens daily, about almost anything. Just about the only arena in which I am unlikely to encounter it is the grocery store.

What's the best way to let someone in this situation know that they are mansplaining? Do you say "Hey, dude, you're mansplaining"? Or "So that's a camera? You don't say? I wasn't sure why I bought it."
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2016, 08:29:53 pm »
I fear there's also a touch of misogyny here as well, with some men automatically assuming a woman doesn't know as much about a thing as they do. And then there's the times when a woman may not know the minutiae of a certain subject, and doesn't really care to know more about it, but the dude keeps nattering on.

I want to come back to this, because I just realized that this is an element that I am taking for granted, yet clearly not everyone in the conversation is taking for granted. OF COURSE it's rooted in cultural misogyny; that much seems plainly obvious to me. Not that all men who do it are woman-haters, but for the same reason men and women have different communication styles; it's culturally embedded, it is as ingrained in men to not think about what a woman might already know as it is ingrained in women to listen patiently while men bloviate. Just as fear of black men is so culturally ingrained that no matter how thoughtful, educated, and enlightened a person, they will still have an alarm response when they encounter one on a dark street. Even black men are enculturated to fear black men. American men are enculturated not so much to think of women as incapable, but to not think of women's capabilities at all.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2016, 08:31:36 pm »
I do it because I am a font of wisdom. My benevolence is weaponized. I intake the sands of knowledge and form it into pearls of sagelike splendor. Witness me. I will whisper to you the rightness of ways.

 :lulz:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2016, 08:36:43 pm »
Not sure if it's really mansplaining, since I lack the whole man bit, but I have an urge where my brain goes, "I know thing, must say thing before I explode!"

I'd say it would have to do with the fact that I can go days without talking to another female in real life, but I've always been that way.

I really am not sure whether that would fit the category of mansplaining or not. I guess it depends partly on whether you do it with topics that the person you do it to should reasonably be expected to already know. For example, if you walked into someone's home and saw that they own, for example, a Nintendo 64, do you assume they know how to use it, or do you start explaining the rudiments of playing Nintendo 64 games to them as if they have ever seen one before, let alone own one? Mansplaining really on some level requires an unthinking assumption of complete ignorance on the listener's part, specifically about a topic they would obviously, if the explainer was using reason or thinking about it at all, already be fluent in.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Nast

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2016, 09:31:07 pm »
In an example Alty just mentioned, our friend saw the camera equipment in my office and started mansplaining photography, which is an interesting move since it assumed that I don't understand the equipment that I clearly own. I have purchased it and placed it on shelves in my workspace, yet his automatic assumption seemed to be that I do not understand it. Why, then, does he think I own it? For decoration perhaps? It makes little sense; why would anyone go into someone's workspace and assume that they know nothing about their own tools?

The only possible conclusion is that mansplaining is not so much intended for the receiver's benefit, but rather the mansplainer's own self-edification. It is a form of unsolicited vice, and therefore a form of verbal diarrhea.

I think the reason mansplaining is more prevalent in America rather than other countries is because American culture encourages verbal diarrhea. Even if what you're saying has no particular worth, the fact that you're forcing others to listen to you is an act of status.

"If I owned Goodwill, no charity worker would feel safe.  I would sit in my office behind a massive pile of cocaine, racking my pistol's slide every time the cleaning lady came near.  Auditors, I'd just shoot."

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2016, 09:53:10 pm »
What's the best way to let someone in this situation know that they are mansplaining? Do you say "Hey, dude, you're mansplaining"? Or "So that's a camera? You don't say? I wasn't sure why I bought it."

Hm...that's tricky. I think, for situation you described in the OP, in the chatroom, saying "Thank you for wanting to help, but I'm not actually looking for advice..." is the most gracious yet direct way to say it.

I wish I had some suggestion for dealing with IRL situation, but I'm pretty shitty at dealing with IRL situations myself so take my advice with a grain of salt. Maybe try agreeing enthusiastically yet curtly with him and then quickly change the subject? For example:

Friend: "You know, the model T-480 lens is the best for capturing those close-up shots!"
You: "Absolutely! The geese are really coming in well this year. I think this might be the year that Betty starts laying eggs."*

* I know nothing about cameras or geese so I just kinda made this conversation up.

"If I owned Goodwill, no charity worker would feel safe.  I would sit in my office behind a massive pile of cocaine, racking my pistol's slide every time the cleaning lady came near.  Auditors, I'd just shoot."

Chelagoras The Boulder

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2016, 10:05:46 pm »
If it's something that  your friend does kind of a lot, I would try and bring it up to him out of the exact moment. Bringing it up in the moment might cause him to get defensive,  which might keep him from getting the "lesson".
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:15:28 pm by Chelagoras The Boulder »
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