As women, we've all had our fair share of mansplaining. For those of you not sure if you've experienced mansplaining, the basic premise is a guy explains something to you in a way that comes off condescending and/or patronising, generally with women being given unsolicited advice or explanations, hence the term. They don't even need to know much (or anything) on the subject matter, and many are unaware (see: ignorant) to their behaviour. Of course, the term attracts the attention of men who see it as a personal attack, when really it merely describes a behavioural pattern of the disregard and dismissal of female knowledge and experiences (and in general, voices) that we regularly see in our culture.
Kim Goodwin came across a hand-drawn flowchart by fellow Twitter user ElleArmageddon entitled, Should You Explain The Thing To The Lady?, and developed herself a mansplaining graphic which she shared on her Twitter with the tweet: 'I have had more than one male colleague sincerely ask whether a certain behavior is mansplaining. Since apparently this is hard to figure out, I made one of them a chart.'
Needless to say — and this is probably one of the funniest things I've seen — the influx of men who rushed to Twitter to mansplain the mansplaining chart was instant, with some coining the term 'womansplaining' as Goodwin responded to their tweets. Some called her patronising, and told her that her responses were equally as unsolicited, so women are clearly just as bad as men, and it was wrong for the ideology to be 'gendered'. It comes as no surprise; the Not All Men Brigade got offended and just had to get involved. Of course, there were men in defence of the mansplaining chart, but for every one of those, there must've been around 30 fighting against it.
Despite some men (no, not all men) responding to the flowchart with such distain, it's gone viral and serves as a clear starting-off point for men who just have no idea. The flowchart asks questions such as 'Did she ask you to explain it?' and 'Did you ask her if she needed it explained?', along with four final destinations for the flowchart: Not mansplaining, Probably mansplaining, Definitely mansplaining, and Just stop talking now.
Sigh. The Men of Twitter are mad, and yet, the world still turns and not a single fuck was given. *shrugs shoulders*
[Header image description: A man sits on the edge of a desk in an office environment with a female colleague, mid-speech and gesturing with both hands. Photo: Getty]