No, sorry dudes, “mansplain” is not just another term used to “silence” men. Has it been overused? Maybe, but so are words like bitch and cunt. I don’t exactly feel your pain on this one. And honestly, how many times are men really silenced? About anything. Ever. Including things they should have kept to themselves in the first place or shut the fuck up about a long time ago. Men aren’t being silenced anywhere in the world as far as I can tell.
Mansplaining has to do with a man interjecting himself and spouting his uninvited and unsolicited opinions because he assumes he obviously knows more. I mean that extra X-chromosome has gotta count for something, right? It is used as a way to be condescending and feel self-important all at the same time. It’s being so entitled that you feel your opinion not only should be but must be heard, even with issues that don’t directly affect you.
This is especially critical and oh so prevalent when it pertains to feminist issues or things that impact women on a far greater scale than men. I have even seen a man try to mansplain pregnancy to a pregnant woman. I’ve heard men tell me why I should be afraid of sharing a bathroom with a transgender person (I’m not), and that catcalling is just a compliment (it isn’t).
Well guess what, dipshit? You don’t get to tell another person what should and should not concern them. Nobody but me gets to decide when I feel threatened and by whom. And the sad truth is that all you motherfuckers scare me. Let me clarify, I am afraid of every man I do not know. Do you know why? Experience.
The first time a man scared me was at 9 or 10; a guy in his 20’s circling around an empty school parking lot, then asking me to come over to his car. I didn’t. My heart began to race. I flagged a neighbor who was driving by, and the car peeled out of the parking lot fast enough to leave tread marks. That was one of two near-abduction attempts that I remember, the second one occurring at age 13 and much more ominous. This guy was wearing gloves. In the dead of summer. I remember sexual remarks starting as early as age 12 not only from boys but from grown men my father’s age and older. I will spare you the lengthy list of attempted assaults, actual assaults, and worse.
Those experiences over the last 30+ years have taught me to fear men. Yet I still have to hear excuses for their behavior, if I’m not being directly blamed for it. Also, I am expected to yield to them every time they want to open their trap? Fuck. No. If I wanted to throw out the term mansplain just to shut men up, I doubt I would say much else. But if your opinion was not asked for and you are in a place where people are discussing women’s issues and women’s safety in particular, I suggest you listen to their concerns because they are real and borne out of hard-fought experience.
If this post feels a little dark, it’s because it is. I suspect my past history with men resonates with a lot more women than not. If this feels like it has an air of patronizing superiority, good. It’s what I was going for because that is what mansplaining feels like. But let’s lighten the mood with a side of the more humorous attempts at mansplaining, still infuriating but also kinda funny.