The word ‘mansplaining’ is one of the best terms in the last decade, point blank, period. It encompasses a phenomenon for so many women summed up in one nice word that so perfectly embodies an experience that you have to take pause and give praise for a second.
I know that a lot of
men people roll their eyes when it comes to this word, but if that’s your reaction it’s either something that has never happened to you or you lack a level of self-awareness that it takes to realize that you’re doing it.
I thought as I got older that this would stop. After all, I’m in my 30s, I have my BA and no one can tell me shit. Granted, I have big Bambi eyes and in spite of my mixed heritage, I have that black gene that causes me not to age which I theorize is a trade-off from slavery, but I digress. People still think I’m in my twenties. Since I live near a university, it’s a fair assumption that I may be going to school and that ages me down, but with that, it’ll age down how people talk to me.
For example, this past weekend when I was out for drinks, I ran into a friend and his co-workers. We were talking about our various projects and I brought up the topics I’ve been covering for my blog. Of course, the hot button issue has continued to be abortion and probably will continue to be unless America gets its shit together or Gilead happens.
I know it’s a hot button issue, so for the sake of having a casual drink, I skipped past it other than a casual mention. Then, homeboy’s co-worker decides to plop down, and join in on this discourse while partaking in this huge plate of nachos I offered up.
I said that the best way for us to combat this is for people to give money because it’s true. Half the time you hear about anything relating to Planned Parenthood, the word “defunded” seems to come up. A lot. It’s like Planned Parenthood is losing money as a means of taking away their power. Hm.
Instead of just shrugging and moving on, this ashy ass negro decides to go into this whole debate about how that’s not the best way to combat this whole thing and how we need to basically burn the system to the ground. I’m here for chaos, but let’s be realistic.
Disagreeing with me isn’t what has me in my feelings. What really got me about this situation is this friend decides to be this ashy ass negro’s translator like I didn’t hear the hotepery coming from his mouth the first time he said it. So now I’m surrounded by ashy ass negro talking about how the system needs to crumble for real change to happen while eating my motherfucking nachos and his mansplaining translator who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to comprehend what he’s talking about.
There’s a specific difference between explaining something to me because I literally cannot comprehend it and explaining something because you think I’m stupid. For example let me shout out my friend Jeff who has a PhD in psychology. I always ask him what he’s doing in his research. He explains it to me in a way that reminds me of watching Bill Nye back in the day. He wants me to learn. Sometimes he’ll even bust out his tablet to draw a visual and I appreciate the fuck out of that. Jeff knows I’m smart, but Jeff’s field is outside of what I know.
Contrast this with the people who feel the need to keep talking AT me, rather than WITH me about a particular topic because my dumb female brain is consumed with hormones that make me incapable of accessing my own repertoire of knowledge. You know, like all that time in higher education was just by pure luck.
By mansplaining, you’re saying you don’t value my (or other women’s) intelligence and you can’t be bothered to listen. You’re saying that you don’t really respect women and that you still infantalize them and don’t see them as equals. Then again with this reproductive rights mess going on, I can’t say that I’m really surprised that mansplaining is a small instance of a much larger problem at hand.
It’s almost like it’s all tied together and is accounting for a lot of societal problems we still face.
But what do I know?