Author Topic: Mansplaining: Why?  (Read 7991 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2016, 10:19:16 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.

I really think that what LMNO said about misogyny is extremely key, though. America is definitely more misogynistic than other developed countries, and as a result women are infantilized more here. Men do mansplain to other men, and sometimes women mansplain too, which is a phenomenon worth delving into, but it's not the commonplace, everyday occurrence that men mansplaining to women is.
“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 #31 on: January 01, 2016, 10:23:20 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.

I kind of think that pointing out that he is mansplaining might be a key element, though, because if you are unaware of the nature of a certain behavior, you can't do much to change it. So it becomes a question of "do I want to tackle that, running the risk of it turning into an unpleasant, defensive conversation, or do I continue to obey my social conditioning and pleasantly deflect?"
“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.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2016, 10:29:32 pm »
I'm certainly not doing him, or others who engage in mansplaining, any favors by maintaining the status quo and deflecting rather than pointing it out when it happens. On the other hand, women who complain about mansplaining, condescention, or other commonplace elements of misogynistic microaggression tend to be quickly dismissed as shrill, hysterical feminist social justice warriors who are overreacting over something insignificant. In fact, even in the course of this conversation, I leveraged LMNO's mention of misogyny in order to bolster the credibility of that claim, because I know that if I was the one to bring it up it would be more likely to be dismissed. I know this because of 44 years of experience being female in the US, and a degree in psychology, and it's a well-studied phenomenon from which nobody is immune, and yet I am explaining this right now because I know that many people's first reaction to reading that would be "oh, come on, give me a break".
“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 #33 on: January 01, 2016, 10:36:22 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.

I really think that what LMNO said about misogyny is extremely key, though. America is definitely more misogynistic than other developed countries, and as a result women are infantilized more here. Men do mansplain to other men, and sometimes women mansplain too, which is a phenomenon worth delving into, but it's not the commonplace, everyday occurrence that men mansplaining to women is.

Yes, I do agree that it's the main factor. I didn't want to come across as denying that misogyny is playing a key role here, I just wanted to also explore other angles of it.
"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 #34 on: January 01, 2016, 10:39:43 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.

I kind of think that pointing out that he is mansplaining might be a key element, though, because if you are unaware of the nature of a certain behavior, you can't do much to change it. So it becomes a question of "do I want to tackle that, running the risk of it turning into an unpleasant, defensive conversation, or do I continue to obey my social conditioning and pleasantly deflect?"

It sounds like you already know what to do in this situation then...
"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 #35 on: January 01, 2016, 10:43:29 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.

I kind of think that pointing out that he is mansplaining might be a key element, though, because if you are unaware of the nature of a certain behavior, you can't do much to change it. So it becomes a question of "do I want to tackle that, running the risk of it turning into an unpleasant, defensive conversation, or do I continue to obey my social conditioning and pleasantly deflect?"

It sounds like you already know what to do in this situation then...

No, not really. I know what's more morally right, but what's more morally right is less socially acceptable. It's not the easiest stream to swim against and I don't know whether I want to fight that particular battle.
“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 #36 on: January 01, 2016, 10:46:32 pm »
Basically, I am trying to muddle through the best way of tackling this problem, personally and on a wider social scale.
“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.”


Chelagoras The Boulder

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2016, 10:46:48 pm »
well i think there's a difference between calling out microaggressions in strangers and calling them out in loved ones. In strangers, you have no significant level of connection or relationship with the person, so fuck it, call him a shitlord and go about your day. With loved ones however, you risk threatening that relationship by making what could be perceived as an attack on his or her character. rather than treat this as an obstacle, think of it as a tool and use your connection to approach the topic in a nonjudgemental way. Dont frame it as "hey i'm calling you out on your bullshit, cut it out" but instead come from the heart and say something like "hey can you not X, because it makes me feel Y" This will also probably feel weird and awkward, but it probably wont end in yelling and may actually work.
"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 #38 on: January 01, 2016, 10:47:19 pm »
I'm certainly not doing him, or others who engage in mansplaining, any favors by maintaining the status quo and deflecting rather than pointing it out when it happens. On the other hand, women who complain about mansplaining, condescention, or other commonplace elements of misogynistic microaggression tend to be quickly dismissed as shrill, hysterical feminist social justice warriors who are overreacting over something insignificant. In fact, even in the course of this conversation, I leveraged LMNO's mention of misogyny in order to bolster the credibility of that claim, because I know that if I was the one to bring it up it would be more likely to be dismissed. I know this because of 44 years of experience being female in the US, and a degree in psychology, and it's a well-studied phenomenon from which nobody is immune, and yet I am explaining this right now because I know that many people's first reaction to reading that would be "oh, come on, give me a break".

I'm kind of confused by this thread by right now. You created a thread to discuss what are the mansplaining, asking for people's advice on how to deal with friends who are mansplainers, but you already seem to have all the answers in your mind right now.
"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."

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2016, 10:50:43 pm »
And then there's the bigger question, which is, what can Discordia do about 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 #40 on: January 01, 2016, 10:52:37 pm »
I'm certainly not doing him, or others who engage in mansplaining, any favors by maintaining the status quo and deflecting rather than pointing it out when it happens. On the other hand, women who complain about mansplaining, condescention, or other commonplace elements of misogynistic microaggression tend to be quickly dismissed as shrill, hysterical feminist social justice warriors who are overreacting over something insignificant. In fact, even in the course of this conversation, I leveraged LMNO's mention of misogyny in order to bolster the credibility of that claim, because I know that if I was the one to bring it up it would be more likely to be dismissed. I know this because of 44 years of experience being female in the US, and a degree in psychology, and it's a well-studied phenomenon from which nobody is immune, and yet I am explaining this right now because I know that many people's first reaction to reading that would be "oh, come on, give me a break".

I'm kind of confused by this thread by right now. You created a thread to discuss what are the mansplaining, asking for people's advice on how to deal with friends who are mansplainers, but you already seem to have all the answers in your mind right now.

What about my indecision gives you that idea? Or am I supposed to not think while I write, nor come up with clarifying thoughts over the course of a conversation? This isn't really a "give me advice" thread, it's more of a "let's talk about this thing" thread.
“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 #41 on: January 01, 2016, 10:53:49 pm »
well i think there's a difference between calling out microaggressions in strangers and calling them out in loved ones. In strangers, you have no significant level of connection or relationship with the person, so fuck it, call him a shitlord and go about your day. With loved ones however, you risk threatening that relationship by making what could be perceived as an attack on his or her character. rather than treat this as an obstacle, think of it as a tool and use your connection to approach the topic in a nonjudgemental way. Dont frame it as "hey i'm calling you out on your bullshit, cut it out" but instead come from the heart and say something like "hey can you not X, because it makes me feel Y" This will also probably feel weird and awkward, but it probably wont end in yelling and may actually work.

I am not sure that actually addresses the problem 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.”


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2016, 10:55:26 pm »

What I am wondering is what drives this? Is it driven by a deep-seated desire to help? Is it an ego thing? An authority issue?

If anyone here has ever caught themselves mansplaining or is aware that they do it, how would you describe the motivation for explaining something to someone who hasn't asked or otherwise indicated in any way  that they need an explanation?

For reference, these are the actual questions in the OP, in case you actually mistook this for an asking-for-advice thread and not a discussion thread.

In the interim since posing these questions, via this discussion, I have concluded that it is primarily an embedded cultural misogyny thing, so the discussion has been helpful in that respect.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:57:38 pm by Mesozoic Mister Nigel »
“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 #43 on: January 01, 2016, 11:01:23 pm »
But, it's probably far more comforting to simply decide that I am being difficult, because that allows everyone to walk away from the conversation and not think about  it anymore, thus avoiding the discomfort and potential inconvenience of confronting a cultural phenomenon we all participate in that is essentially rooted in bigotry.
“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.”


Chelagoras The Boulder

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Re: Mansplaining: Why?
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2016, 11:09:50 pm »
well i think there's a difference between calling out microaggressions in strangers and calling them out in loved ones. In strangers, you have no significant level of connection or relationship with the person, so fuck it, call him a shitlord and go about your day. With loved ones however, you risk threatening that relationship by making what could be perceived as an attack on his or her character. rather than treat this as an obstacle, think of it as a tool and use your connection to approach the topic in a nonjudgemental way. Dont frame it as "hey i'm calling you out on your bullshit, cut it out" but instead come from the heart and say something like "hey can you not X, because it makes me feel Y" This will also probably feel weird and awkward, but it probably wont end in yelling and may actually work.

I am not sure that actually addresses the problem at all.
it does for you and that person.
"It isn't who you know, it's who you know, if you know what I mean.  And I think you do."