|“||The out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about.||”|
Mansplaining is the process by which a man condescendingly explains something basic, talks over or otherwise undermines the other speaker who is not a man (usually a woman). Similar terms exist to describe other similar interactions where a person with privilege erases the experiences, expertise, and contributions of another less privileged speaker, e.g., cisplaining; as well as the general case: condesplaining.
Mansplaining does not require both/all speakers to be present in order for one to undermine the other, meaning it can take the form of a letter, a lecture, an article, etc.
Rebecca Solnit wrote an article in 2008 in the Los Angeles Times called "Men Explain Things To Me" where she recounted a situation in which a man patronised her. This in turn inspired a comment in a discussion on LiveJournal which used the verb for the first time: "Oh, gosh, thank you so much for mansplaining this to us!" The term has since become popular in on-line feminist discussions.
Karen Healey on LiveJournal might have been the first person to define the term:
|Mansplaining is when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate "facts" about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.|
Fannie, a lawyer and blogger, referring to the previous definition, further specifies:
|The mansplainer's problem isn't so much that he's trying to teach a woman something, but rather that he takes it as a given that she doesn't already know whatever it is he is going to tell her.|
Handmaid, a user of Urban Dictionary, defines mansplaining as:
|to delighting in condescending, inaccurate explanations delivered with rock solid confidence of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation|
Knowyourmeme takes a slightly more internet-oriented approach to defining the term:
|Mansplaining is an Internet slang term used to describe condescending and inaccurate explanations that are given under the assumption that the audience is entirely ignorant on the subject matter or topic. The name stems from an online behavior commonly exhibited by male newbies on female-oriented discussion forums, however, any member of either sex can be guilty of mansplaining.|
- Seven Studies That Prove Mansplaining Exists, by Lucy Vernasco
- 10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn, by Soraya Chemaly
- How To Not Be A Mansplainer: Some Women Explain, by Lindsay Zoladz
- Interview with Rebecca Solnit regarding the mansplaining concept.
- A Taxonomy of Mansplainers, a Tumblr
- Skeptical Spectacle - Mansplaining in the Membrane
- Rebecca Solnit: Men Explain Things to Me
- Comic by artist Matt Bors: The Nude Selfie Sage - Advice from a cool smart man
- Men Explain Things To Me
- A Cultural History of Mansplaining
- Mansplaining, Knowyourmeme
- New word alert: Mansplaining
- A woman's born to weep and fret
- The Art of Mansplaining
- Mansplain, by Handmaid