Tag Archives: Mansplaining

College Campus

I am an aspiring journalist, a brazen feminist, and a proud speaker. I am 5’2, a freshman in college, so my intensity is packed into a fun-sized package. Since my outward appearance is “cute” or innocent looking, I am hardly ever taken seriously. In my first weeks at Willamette University, I was “mansplained” repeatedly. This, I had always assumed, was an urban myth. Sure, it happened some places but never in the liberal bubble of the pacific northwest. As the only freshman on the newspaper staff, I was shocked when a fellow classmate “took the time” to explain to me how to draft a professional email. This boy over the span of fifteen minutes “taught” me how to schedule an interview and repeatedly offered to “look over my article if I needed help.” I have worked for five different papers, conducted hundreds of interviews and worked in newspaper offices for the past three years. I’ve dealt with countless old newspaper men not taking me seriously, and overcame the challenge. Yet, despite all this, an unqualified bio-chem major “taught me” how to draft an email.


I had to liaise with an external company to hire some audio equipment for an event at work. Now…I’m not going to claim to be an expert in audio equipment, but I can find my way around it if required and, after nearly 30yrs of existance as a woman, I am more than capable of realising when somebody is bullshitting me. The guy tried to bamboozle me with big long explainations, every so often throwing in a comment like “I just don’t think you’re understanding, hen…” and when he gets here I find out that he is literally just plugging in a cable and sticking some wires to the floor and charging us through the nose for it cos he knows that at this late stage I have no choice but to go with his company. He also tried to mansplain gaffa tape to me…….of course I’ve heard of freakin gaffa tape, who hasn’t heard of gaffa tape? Jesus man…

Lizzie H

Was in a lecture taken by a female professor, about studies in music psychology. One of the (male) students asked a question that a) would have been unnecessary if he’d been listening to the lecturer in the first place and b) suggested that he (despite being a first year student talking to a professor with years of academic an research experience) knew better than her. In fact, he actually began his question with ‘I’m not trying to say you’re wrong or anything, but…’ and then explained exactly why our lecturer was apparently wrong. Although said student has a reputation for asking somewhat unnecessary/ridiculous questions in lectures, never once has he tried to suggest to any of our male lecturers that their research may be flawed, or that he knows better than them. A mansplainer if ever I’ve seen one.


The setting: The entrance to my complex is off of a residential through road that people often use to avoid traffic on the main arteries. Last month, it was closed in one direction, about 50 feet beyond my entrance for a full 30 days, due to construction. Every day, the residents in my complex had to deal with the unnecessary aggravation of the construction workers for this project mistakenly including our entrance in their traffic control routine, blocking us on both our way in and out while traffic on the through road narrowed to a single lane 50 feet beyond us. The sexism: After the first 2 weeks of this, I was over it. Coming home one day, one of the construction workers- a white guy of around Baby Boomer age, stepped in front of me 10 feet above my turn into my complex holding up a stop sign and instructing me to wait. With my windows rolled up (that’s important), I pointed to the complex entrance to indicate that his instruction was irrelevant, as my turn had nothing to do with the construction just beyond. The guy actually stepped up all the way to my car, shouting through my closed window, “Take a Xanax, lady!” then proceeding to mansplain to me that the road ahead is under construction and saying “We’re just trying to protect your safety, “m’aam. You care about your safety don’t you?” I held my composure and said loudly, “I’m turning right THERE.” He stepped out in front of my hood with his stop sign and turned his back until he was good and ready to get out of my way. There were literally no other cars around, from either direction. But here this asshat was wanting to assert his dominance over a county road and a construction project which had no bearing whatsoever on residents of my complex coming and going. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have been condescended to or dismissed that way if I had been a man. I was furious- but then, when this stuff happens all the time, you have to learn to compartmentalize or you’ll just end up getting your day ruined by every 10th man you encounter.


A guy from Uni I barely know lent me a book of short stories we had briefly discussed, asked me to read one of them. When I returned the book a couple of weeks later, he asked me what I thought of the story, and I briefly explained I liked most of it but didn’t agree with some aspects and some of the actions of the character. I was in a rush, so we left it at that. Later that eveningt, I received 7 long paragraphs of text from him over whatsapp, in which he “mansplained” the plot of the story, the motivations of the characters, as well as my own opinion and comments on the plot back to me. MY. OWN. OPINION. Needless to say, I found it infuriating that he had the audacity to send me – completely unsolicited – these long messages about his views and why his thoughts on the story are “right” and more valid than mine.


Today my male colleague explained to me, a female, what it is like for a woman when they have sex for the first time. “It is more intimate for a woman” he says. Why thank you male colleague for explaining to me what sex is like for a woman, for I would never know.


I deliver a foreign language to primary school children in addition to being a full time secondary teacher. Today there was a cover teacher in the room with me as I delivered the lesson as usual. He stopped me mid explanation to address the children saying ‘sometimes the words come in the wrong order in a foreign language’, took it upon himself to micro-manage the class’ behaviour, and at the end of my regularly timed slot told me the lesson was too short. I am an experienced teacher who speaks six languages, but I am also a woman.


I recently explained to my mother what “mansplaining” is. She told me a story of how she’d contacted a piano tuner to come to my parent’s home to tune her piano. She said that after she had spoken with him about him coming to service the piano, he then asked her to put him on the phone with her husband so he could give the piano tuner directions to their home. To this man’s credit, he was very embarrassed and apologetic when she responded with shock that he didn’t think she knew where her house was.

Ruth Thorpe

I tried to buy concert tickets online but the website didn’t work. An automated message from the site told me to contact the event organiser, which I did. He told me that the site was working. He asked me to phone him so that he could ‘walk me through’ the purchase on his laptop. By this time I had got the tickets using a different browser. A week later, the problem persisted. He flatly contradicted me at a meeting when I said the site was showing premium tickets as sold out. They were in fact sold out. He did not believe me when I said the site didn’t work on IE. He explained that IE is the most popular browser, so if the problem had been IE the website would have solved it by now. He said he was sorry I had been disappointed (his assumption) but stated that I would not have had a problem if I had bought my tickets two months ago. This man knows me. His attitude is disappointing, though if he’d been going for a real Olympic level of condescension he could have told me to calm down, called me ‘dear’ or (for a distinction) ‘dearie’.


I’m from Mexico, the country where we have 7 feminicides a day, and a couple of days ago, a male classmate told me that (1) feminicide wasn’t political, (2) separate homicides according to gender was stupid af and (3) that communities should protect the girls so we can stop it, implying that communitied doesn’t protect themselves ¿¿¿¿???? and later got angry when I called out his bullsh*t.