Talking about mansplaining with other women can be just the release you need sometimes. Because women get it. Men? Not so much. It’s hard to explain that feeling of being told something you know, like how to work a camera or do your job. BuzzFeed writer and co-host of the podcast Another Round Tracy Clayton asked women to share their mansplaining experiences on Twitter the other day — the ones that really got under their skin — and the results were hilariously sad.
If you identify as a woman anywhere in the world, you probably recognize at least half of the stories. What’s sad is the fact that men were not at all pleased. One man defensively tweeted that mansplaining apparently was any time a man opened his mouth. He literally (and incorrectly) mansplained mansplaining. Clayton tweeted on Wednesday morning that she woke up to her mentions full of men angry about the whole exercise.
For reals. Men, you mansplain to women all the time. Just because you don’t know you’re doing it — hey, society’s trained you, too — doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You don’t even have to have a condescending tone of voice to do it. Interrupting us counts. The fact that you think we need an explanation in the first place is condescending. That you think a bunch of professional women (most of the responses were from people who work in media since that’s what Clayton does for a living) talking amongst themselves on Twitter is a bad thing is pretty sexist and lame.
The most egregious forms of mansplaining are when men attempt to explain reproductive health, how women “feel” about certain political issues, or even what our orgasms feel like. Instead of telling us, asking us how we feel so we can tell you (since we are the authority on our own experience) is a better place to start.
But there are small ways to mansplain, too.
Here are some of the most painful examples.
We can only shake our heads. And hope no dude ever tries to tell us how to insert our tampons.