“Mansplaining” — when a man explains something (usually to a woman) in a condescending way, with no regard for what she may already know — happens all the time, and frankly, we’re over it. These 13 stories only emphasize how frustratingly annoying mansplaining can be. So guys, next time you feel the need to “Well, actually…” a woman, take a seat, and think about if those words really need to be out there.
What’s the worst mansplaining you have ever heard?
“I had a male gynecologist once mansplain to me about cervical pain I was experiencing after sex. He said, ‘It’s very unlikely that you can sense cervical pain that specifically. You might be mistaking gastrointestinal distress…’ He shut up when I used extremely graphic hand gestures to pinpoint where and when my pain was occurring.” — Ki Russell
“I am consistently mansplained on politics and, specifically, political economy on Twitter. The number of times a man has tweeted in response to an article I’ve shared (or, in some cases, I wrote) with a basic point that’s VERY CLEARLY made in the article is too many to count. The fun part? It’s literally my job; I work in political economy.” — Hanna Brooks Olsen, on Twitter at @mshannabrooks but not really looking for you to tweet me your Econ 101 theories
“While I was writing my graduate lecture, I delivered it to my housemates as a dry run in preparation for the time I would have to give it in front of students and faculty. Housemate’s trash bag boyfriend interrupted and then mansplained to me how to write a lecture, including that it should include a thesis and proofs, as though I had not been working on it with my adviser for six months. Then, prompted by my housemate, he send me a non-apology email, which included the words ‘I’m sorry if you were offended’ and ‘I guess I didn’t know you weren’t looking for feedback.'” — Chanel Dubofsky
“When my male gynecologist diagnosed me with endometriosis, he told me younger women were getting the disease more frequently ‘these days’ because they are deciding to hold off on childbirth.” — Diana-Ashley Krach
“So hard to boil this down. Such a painful catalog to flip through. This morning I was filing for divorce, and I had followed the instructions exactly. The clerk at City Hall just looked at me and burst out laughing. He said, ‘Is this it? You’re missing, like, everything.’ I said, ‘OK, tell me what I need.’ He continued laughing. ‘Well, you don’t have what you need.’ This was the worst mansplaining, because he wouldn’t EXPLAIN anything.” — Janis Vogel
“The worst I have heard is, ‘I don’t understand women who hate each other and themselves. They’re bitches. It feeds into patriarchy.’ I also saw a white male feminist mansplain why ‘Mindy Kaling is a bitch and holding back the movement.'” — Nashwa Khan
“The worst mansplaining is anything related to sports. I’m pretty sure I understand how basketball works. It’s the game where you use rackets to hit pucks through a goalpost, right?” — Amanda Lauren
“When I was about 30, my then-boyfriend actually mansplained how to wash the dishes to me. He was actually explaining scrubbing a dish, rinsing it and arranging everything in a dish rack. Then he noticed the eerie silence, turned around and saw my stunned, angry face. Needless to say, I’m very glad he was the one that got away — if I had it to do over, he would have been the one who got thrown out in the street, with dishes thrown after him.” — Laura Stokes
“Mansplaining is especially frustrating when a man doesn’t understand or denies he does it. However, the worst mansplaining I’ve encountered is where they assume you’re uneducated about something you know a lot about. They talk down on your opinion, as if they’re somehow valid while you are not. That they need to correct you with their feedback, that you need to listen to them — because you can’t possibly afford not to hear them.” — Danielle Corcione
“On my farthest-reaching Facebook post ever, in which I talked about how ‘bathroom bills’ aren’t about protecting women and girls, but about POLICING women and girls by demanding that they meet certain standards of appearance or risk physical violence, a fellow came along to help clear things up for me.
He said, ‘Less fear Seranine. It’s very unbecoming of a woman.’
When another woman called him out on that, he first tried to belittle the fear I have of using the women’s room like any other woman, fear I feel based on very real threats against girls like me, and me specifically. (I have had a man tell me, ‘I could rip that dick off for you and fix your troubles.’) But this particular fellow compared my fear of that and the people making those threats to a fear of a cockroach. Best of all, when I finally responded and pointed out that he was doing literally the very thing my post pointed out was a problem, he doubled down: ‘I suppose saying it was unbecoming of an adult would’ve been more appropriate.’ — Seranine Elliot
“A man I used to know would often tell me how, as a woman, I must want to have children. And my experience of being a woman wasn’t complete if I didn’t experience being a mother. And what’s even worse is that, every time I would repeat this to anyone, they would assume the man in question was Muslim and Pakistani like myself. He wasn’t. He was very much white, German and a documentary photographer working on disenfranchised communities in the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa. And he identified, quite vociferously, as a feminist. Misogyny knows no nationality, profession, religion or ideology.” — Hani Yousuf
“A friend of a friend asked me to tell him the story of a viral hashtag I’d created in 2013, because he’d heard that it had gotten me on Ellen and in People magazine. I gave him the quick version, since we were at a loud holiday party. He told me, and I quote, ‘But that’s not how hashtags work.’ He patiently mansplained that one does not create a hashtag — one chooses one from a hashtag database. I blinked at him when he was finished, and then he asked me where I found mine. I still give him shit for it at parties.” — Jessica Sutherland
“I wade through endless instances of men who know nothing about media trying to explain media to me (after 20 years as a media critic and media activist), but two years ago I experienced something I described as ‘Achievement Unlocked, ?#?PeakMansplaining?.’ A (smart, generally easy to work with) fellow media activist literally explained to me, step by step, how to leave a message on his voicemail. As he handed me his cell, he said, with the tone of a dad teaching a third-grader to ride a bike, ‘First, you’re going to hear the phone ring. Then you’ll hear my message, followed by a beep. After the beep, you can start talking.’ I tried to keep my laughter and my annoyance to a minimum when I replied, ‘I know how phones work.’
“The kicker? He only gave me his phone because he saw my speech about the importance of telecommunications policy for women and people of color, and he wanted to quote me in his org’s press release.” — Jennifer Pozner