Don't worry, this campus statue will mansplain everything for you
We’ve all been there. We’re in the middle of discussing a subject — any subject, really — when a certain type of man feels the need to interrupt and expound, inform or otherwise correct us on what we’re talking about.
It’s called “mansplaining” — and before you say anything else, it’s now a legitimate word according to the Oxford Dictionary. As the dictionary describes it, mansplaining is when a man attempts to describe something to a person — typically a woman — in a way that can be viewed as condescending or patronizing. But you already know this.
What you may not know is that the pastime has been preserved in bronze at a college campus—and it’s now a viral phenomenon.
This completely real statue, called “New Friends,” can be found on campus at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. And yes, it perfectly captures the feeling of being caught in the crosshairs of mansplaining.
It was originally spotted by Twitter user Cathy de la Cruz, who snapped the photo and posted it to social media. Pretty soon, it had been labeled, “Mainsplaining the Statue,” by culture writer Anna Friedman.
From there, the statue inspired tons of comments, with some users suggesting it not only represented the cultural perception of “mansplaining” — but also “manspreading,” wherein men tend to take up more space than physically necessary on places like public transportation.
Some people also imagined what Mr. Mansplainer might be saying:
And better yet, how the statue subjected to said ‘splaining might respond.
And lest you think this is the only college campus statue that completely illustrates mansplaining, another Twitter user shared a photo of a statue on Purdue University’s campus that’s almost identical.
Apparently, this Purdue statue, an homage to the class of 1950, is wistfully entitled “The Way It Was.” Some might beg to differ: mansplaining isn’t exactly a thing of the past just yet.