Scene: I’m building a new IKEA flatpack shelf with my partner. The room is full of that intoxicating warehouse smell. I’m pumped for this. I see something on the instructions that doesn’t look right. I say “I’m confused by this- wait, no, it’s fine”. He tells me which holes things go in while I’m doing it. I think no big deal, I can let it slide, maybe he thought I needed help. I ask if there’s another screwdriver in the house, and he says “no, but you can start putting in the screws on step 2. The step 2 screws”. At this point I say I’m a bit annoyed. I just get really annoyed with people telling me what to do next, and it’s not his fault he’s a man, but it doesn’t really help the picture, you know. He proceeds to shut down, get really upset, and go through every defensive tactic in the book. “I do this to everyone”, “Nobody else says anything about it”, “Somebody said something once, but they liked it”, “I just don’t have an idea of how good you are at building furniture”, and I explain that it’s no big deal, and it’s not criticism, I’m just saying it annoyed me. He calms down and then I think we’re all good. He walks out of the room and says: “I think the problem is we both just want to do everything”. A beat. No. In my head, I’m thinking, no, that’s not the problem. I said I was annoyed with you telling me what to do. You can’t twist that into me wanting to control everything. It’s so hard to separate individual communication problems from sexism. But I really feel like I brought up a small thing and suggested that sex comes into my perception of it, and I got a massive overreaction, and him trying to put the blame on me.
At one point during a meeting, I said, to a male client about 10 years older than me but with 25 years less experience in a subject area where I am an international expert in my field, “you know, I’ve been working with these (technical item) for 30 years. I know what I am doing. Please listen to me”. And he still continued to mansplain at me. The most annoying thing is that the older and wiser and more experienced I get, the more I experience this mansplaining phenomenon…
I had to deal with an old man being condescendant with me and using his mansplaining this whole week. At first I thought he was like that,but he will do it most of the times just with me, and when he was explaining something (he was the traineer) he will just look at me, when he looked for a confirmation of what he was explainig he will look at men, giving the sensation that just because they are man they already know everything,even though one them I remember had less experience than me in the sector that we were applying to work.What’s more, if I asked a question,I would ask for clarifications about something that he said,but he will spend one minute of explanation of everything that has been said before, but I already knew that, didn’t need the whole explanation of the section that we were doing.Many times I had to say ”yes, I understand” about an answer that he was giving me and he will continue explaining assuming that I am a fool.Many times a word will come out and he will ask to me,to no one else, if I know that certain word or concept and me, with a blank face,say: Yes of course!. Whenever I made the slighliest mistake he will make it big, or even emphasize it by smiling and saying out loud, You forgot about it? many times he was just assuming that I was writting wrong something and he wanted me to do it in his own way, I had to say ‘i just want to do it in that way,it works for me’ or ‘ I already did it’and then he will stop.He can’t accept his mistakes,specially when they come from a young woman,he would assume he has the power of knowledge and that a twenty something girl like me has nothing to say about his way of teaching, and that would be ok if he wouldn’t have been making mistakes all the time. Why some men feel attacked when a woman,specially if she is younger than them, corrects them or points them out their mistakes? It’s so easy to say,’hey I am wrong, thanks for letting me know’and what is more, you learn about your mistakes and you won’t be able to make them again.
A mobile phone technician lied to me that my phone has been fully fixed by a repair at his shop. I discovered it was still in the original (broken) state before I even left the premises. When I challenged him on this, albeit politely, I was told repeatedly to ‘stop talking’ and that I ‘wouldn’t understand’ even if he did explain what was still wrong with the mobile phone. I’ve just finished my Masters degree so I have a fairly good chance of understanding whatever might have been wrong if he’d bothered to tell me. When I left he sniggered to himself and called me ‘darling’ in rude manner, saying that he’d fended off ‘much bigger fish’ than me during his time. Now I’m not sure what this means, but I think the subtext was that he was belittling me because I am a female and I raised a dispute that he didn’t think was important or valid. I contemplating bringing into the shop my very large and tall ex boyfriend to see if this would change the tone of the discussion at all. I then sighed as I realised that this is 2019 and we shouldn’t have to rely on these tactics anymore and asking him to do that would reinforce his idea that women need men (that’s why he’s an ex!). We should just have the opportunity to be heard in public space. I looked online to see how I can report the sexist behaviour of the technician but it seems so normal that there isn’t an agency who can take this seriously.
I’m 13. I’m in my schools chess club. I was playing against a guy who was new to the club. I promoted my pawn to a queen and he then told me condescendingly that pawns couldn’t do that. I explained to him that we could. One of the two chess coaches (female) explained how promoting worked. He still disagreed. Then, the male chess coach came over, said “you can promote pawns” and walked away. The kid immediately believed him. My first meet at said chess club, I beat everyone in my club (all guys) and they proceeded to compliment me by saying things like “I can’t believe I got beat by a girl! Good job!” “You’re actually really smart for a girl” “guess some girls have a brain” and they teased each other for losing to me because I was ‘a girl.’ I should add that I am non-binary. I wear pronoun pins every day, and have informed the entire school several times that I go by ze/zir pronouns, yet they still refer to me as she/her, and call me a girl. Stereotypical men are assholes.
Im a pretty smart girl. I get A’s in all my classes, especially math. So, I became a tutor at my high school. I love helping people. But, some things have happened during my time there are unacceptable. I will list them now. 1) I was helping this senior with calculus (I was a sophomore at the time) and he kept claiming that I was doing it wrong, and took over and so helpfully “explained” calculus to me. It’s important to mention that everything he said was completely wrong, and when I pointed this out to him, he claimed that I was just pissed cause someone proved that I was just like all the other dumb blondes. I never tutored him again and am smug to report that he didn’t graduate. He was one credit away. Calc. 2) This junior kept making sexual innuendoes throughout the lesson, even though I made it clear that I was lesbian. When the session was over, he grabbed my ass as I was leaving. I slapped him across the face and I almost got suspended for unprovoked assault. Unprovoked my Ass. 3) A sophomore attempted to rape me after a tutoring session 4) This douchey junior kept mansplaining the trigonometry to me, even though he was the one flunking trig. I know that a lot of these are just minor offenses, but still thought I’d share. Women, just so you know, high school tutoring involves a LOT of douchebag stoners who think they’re better than you because they have a dick and you don’t.
A kid in my grade, has a girlfriend, hitting on one of my friends. He has done this to multiple girls this year, while having the same girlfriend. Offhandly comments, ‘oh, she would be mad if she knew i was talking to other girls.’ Gives lewd winks and smiles to us, and when we get angry, ‘gals, I’m not mansplaining you, I’m just right’ says he is a huge supporter of gender equality. Yeah right. Nope. Prying into our personal lives, inquires about private group chats, says, “I’m your friend, that’s why it ok for me to know all about you.” Reached over to previously mentioned friend, pulls a hair, and says, “i’m gonna clone you. Maybe your clone will like me better” me and 2 other girls (both of whom he has hit on this year (cant help but think I’m next)) sit with him for 3 periods, and we are on a message stream together. We are in 6th grade. I do highlands dance, which requires complicated costuming, but a basic for all the costumes is a lace dicky pinned underneath the collar. At festivals and competitions, girls will walk around in just their bras and their dickies, with their kilts, because man, those black velvet jackets get hot! Well, apparently were hot without the jackets too. Men will get richer s to a competition or a Scottish festival just to stand around watching dancers stand around and warm up in sports bras with lace pinned to them, and swingy kilts with nothing on under but a pair of black booty shorts.
I was with my ex-boyfriend for several years, and every time we would meet with the rest of his family they would undermine me and make me feel small. He is one of three brothers who were all competitive with each other, but the way they extended this to me as a woman was exceptional. Every time I expressed an opinion on something – even something I had studied at Masters level and they had not – I was met with a ‘correction’ – which ironically showed only the level of their ignorance about the topic at hand. Their assumption of superiority was incredible. Unfortunately, this was also true of the mother, who assumed I was an airhead despite being the first in my family to go to university, obtaining the highest grades in my year in a number of subjects, and gaining a scholarship. She seemed to be obsessed with sizing me up physically instead, making comments about my body and would do the same to other women in a similar fashion. What was so surprising to me was that these were highly educated people, but their prejudice knew no bounds, and was deeply irrational, rooted in misogyny. I’m glad they never made it to in-law status, sometimes it’s good to look back and realise you’ve had a lucky escape.
I recently got an interview for a funded creative writing PhD. There are not many opportunities like that in the UK and the competition is fierce. I know this very well as I have spent the past year researching it, and applying for places. I was talking about the interview with a man I’d just met, a friend’s boyfriend. I commented that it’s hard to get a funded PhD in arts and humanities. He then explained for five minutes that ‘he’d heard from a friend’ that there are lots more funding opportunities in recent years in the UK, and it was easier to get funding than before etc etc. I said ‘Maybe that’s true for science’. He said, ‘No, for all subjects.’ Thank god for the term mansplaining and the light it has cast on these bizarre conversations. I repeated myself firmly and clearly the facts that I know first hand to be true – it is very hard and competitive to get PhD funding for arts and humanities, more so now than five or ten years ago. I gave him a brief example of this. He looked vague and mildly affronted and we drifted out of conversation.
I was talking to a guy friend online and told him that I felt very bad and was probably sick, and he answered me, like, “Relax, take some tea, maybe it’s just girls thing” and started explaining me what girls thing was – the effect of hormonal changes on women’s mood and psychology and “that he doesn’t have to tell this to me”. My physical senses were never so devaluated in my life.