March 5, 2014

That time I said "mansplaining" in a law school setting.

The scene in Room 2211 yesterday evening looked like this:



Photo by Meade, across the vast landscape of tabletop and the remains of the dinner provided by The Federalist Society.

Ilya Somin was there to talk about some of the things in his book "A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case," and I was there to offer a few insights of my own. I began with a description of the last time I heard Ilya speak about Obamacare, which was at another event sponsored by The Federalist Society, that one at the Madison Club, where the audience sat at round dinner tables, and Meade and I were among the last arrivals and took the last 2 seats at a table full of strangers, probably Madison lawyers.
I don't think the person I sat next to knew I was a law professor. He started lecturing — he started mansplaining — he started mansplaining — I'd never say that in law school — he started (as I say) mansplaining to me about how this is really all politics and that the healthcare reform bill represents a big important political effort, and that's why it's going to be upheld in the courts. It's all politics, this was so important to the Obama administration, this was such a huge deal politically that there's no way that the courts are going to be able to strike it down. So I said if it's all politics, then what about all the polls that show how unpopular it is? People don't like it. So if the court is responding to politics, why wouldn't the court respond to politics in the form of striking it down? Well, at that point the panel began, so he didn't have to answer me, but I thought I had him cornered.
Much more was said, of course. And Professor Somin gave a lively presentation taking the strong, clear position that the individual mandate is beyond the commerce power and could not properly be regarded as a tax. Me, I thought both sides on both questions were within the realm of debate. As usual, I'm more interested in how people can think the different things they think and what might be motivating them than in taking positions on legal issues and trying to persuade anyone. So Ilya and I took different tones, but I think it harmonized pretty well for a nice evening law-and-politics talk.

IN THE COMMENTS: I expanded on the meaning of "mansplaining":

You see a woman and you assume she doesn't know anything about something you think you know something about. You might be explaining constitutional law to a constitutional law professor. She could be thinking: You're assuming you know more than me because I'm a woman and you're a man.
The aptly named wholelottasplainin' said:
That sounds an awful lot like feminists sneering at men, "You just don't get it, do you", as a way of NOT engaging them "on the merits".
I said:
It sounds quite different to me.

The feminists you describe are openly expressing hostility and exasperation, as if the interlocutor should already have figured it out and is perhaps being willfully dumb and therefore doesn't deserve to hear it spelled out. Part of it is that she expects to be agreed with and any disagreement is getting characterized as failure to understand. It's a manipulation, of course.

The mansplainer isn't displaying hostility, but his need to be dominant. He performing in the theater of verbal expertise and he's overdoing the explanation, possibly concerned that he might otherwise seem dull or weak. He's failing to take into account that the woman might be knowledgable and missing a chance to connect as equals.

Note that I am not being the woman who says "You just don't get it" to the man. I'm trying to explain a dynamic that I have experienced many, many times in the last 4 decades. It used to be worse, and I used to get it even from students. It's bad etiquette.

109 comments:

Michael K said...

In the ad business it's referred to as: "What if the dogs don't like the dogfood ?" In the ad business, the answer is to change the dogfood.

Not in Obama's world.

Trashhauler said...

If there is one thing certain about the ACA, it is that events are being manipulated to ensure that public opinion will not affect the final outcome. Presidential orders, waivers, and rescheduled mandates will ensure that the underlying unrest never boils over into outright demands for repeal. It's going to happen, no matter what public opinion thinks about it.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

So some unknown guy is spouting off about his pet theory (probably already regaled the others earlier) and you jump to "mansplaining"

What a miserable little world you live in.

Levi Starks said...

According to Amazon.com shows only 1 review, and it's only 3 stars. Not likely to become a best seller.

Levi Starks said...

And by the way, mansplaining something to a woman is clearly micro-agression.

EDH said...

Althouse needs a condition in her standard appearance contract: No open food between me and my audience.

Hagar said...

I am thinking that John Roberts miscalculated in thinking that the Republicans could not possibly lose the next election., and thus it was safe to throw the ACA back in the lap of Congress.

Brando said...

I always thought "mansplaining" meant "talking down to a woman because she's a woman and presumably can't understand complicated things that men understand."

How exactly was this person "mansplaining"? I don't think it's accurate to call something "mansplaining" simply because they're being condescending in general.

Anonymous said...

RE: "Well, at that point the panel began, so he didn't have to answer me, but I thought I had him cornered."

I don't think these people ever feel cornered. The response would probably have been along the lines of the 'educated politics' (politicians, the elite, media, etc) being superior to the 'uneducated politics' (voters of the great unwashed). Sidestep to Authority keeping us from Chaos. Then he would ask if you'd like to see his etchings and discuss this further over a bottle of wine. Meade then 'mansplains' to the 'mansplainer' in a more direct matter. Now chairs are thrown everywhere like in a Hollywood Western Saloon; since there is no bar in the room someone will have to be pushed along a desk knocking over coffees and plastic bottles of water. Randolph Scott.

Marshal said...

I thought I had him cornered.

You didn't. Your point that polls show the majority of Americans were against Obamacare only eliminates retail politics. But institutions are political also, and that's the pressure courts are responding to.

Ann Althouse said...

"Mansplaining" is a specific thing. You should know what it is so you can avoid it. You think you're impressing the woman, but it really backfires.

I'm trying to help.

You see a woman and you assume she doesn't know anything about something you think you know something about. You might be explaining constitutional law to a constitutional law professor. She could be thinking: You're assuming you know more than me because I'm a woman and you're a man.

Here you are trying to make a good impression and going to some strenuous effort and it's all counterproductive.

Ann Althouse said...

Even if the woman is wrong about what you're actually thinking, you should want to influence her to think well of you.

I'm just telling you how educated women these days feel.

MayBee said...

If mansplaining and gender-bullying are you going left, you can have it. That world is not for me.

chuck said...

Wow, is that room as sterile as it looks?

It seems to me that education, like libraries, used to have a touch of the sublime, as if there was something godly about study. Now it's just another commodity served up in an atmosphere not much different from a bus station.

MayBee said...

"I'm just telling you how educated women these days feel"

No you're not. You're fem-plaining.

(Complaining about men not thinking like women)

Anonymous said...

Mansplaining is better understood through Vaginalysis.

rhhardin said...

Mansplaining is how women learn interesting things about physics.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

"Mansplaining" is a specific thing. You should know what it is so you can avoid it.

Hold on there a second sweetie, I don't need you assuming I don't know what it is.

I was just womansplained. Oh my stars and bars. I think I going to faint!

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm just telling you how educated women these days feel.

If that's true then fuck 'em. Who needs that shit in their life?

rhhardin said...

You see a woman and you assume she doesn't know anything about something you think you know something about. You might be explaining constitutional law to a constitutional law professor. She could be thinking: You're assuming you know more than me because I'm a woman and you're a man.

They have women pilots because airplanes fly themselves these days.

How hard can it be.

rcommal said...

Folks around around here definitely should know what mansplaining is, along with manlecturing and manshouting and mancomplaining. God knows there's enough of all of that on a regular basis.

Henry said...

Levi Starks wrote: "And by the way, mansplaining something to a woman is clearly micro-agression."

Microsplaining is also mangression.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Ann: "You see a woman and you assume she doesn't know anything about something you think you know something about. You might be explaining constitutional law to a constitutional law professor. She could be thinking: You're assuming you know more than me because I'm a woman and you're a man."

That sounds an awful lot like feminists sneering at men, "You just don't get it, do you", as a way of NOT engaging them "on the merits".

Snork!

Marshal said...

Ann Althouse said...
Even if the woman is wrong about what you're actually thinking, you should want to influence her to think well of you.

I'm just telling you how educated women these days feel.


It is true that many educated women assert boorish but common behavior is unique to men or is uniquely insulting from men to women. But others are not so sexist.

Ron said...

That room looks like you should running laps past your colleagues in hyper sleep until HAL wakes you up when you get near Jupiter....or pulls the plug, whateva!

Andy Freeman said...

> You think you're impressing the woman, but it really backfires.

So, it's about you, aka "the woman".

Howard said...

rhhardin: Post-War fixed wing aircraft fly themselves via dihedral dynamic stability so that geeks like you can fly them. If it makes you feel any better, women still can't fly helicopters well (I know you know they are inherently unstable).

Henry said...

Just curious: What did the 'splainer say to Meade?

Tank said...

The problem at Althouse is not mansplaining. It's Cracksplaining.

Howard said...

Althouse: The mansplainer was right about the politics of the SCOTUS ACA decision. Also, men don't do this to make impress women, they do it to show their dominance to other men. It's part of the macho posturing to establish pecking order in groups.

Luke Lea said...

I must say I occasional do some mansplaining with whatever male stranger I find myself in the presence of. Talking to myself as much as him.

Patrick O said...

"I'm trying to help."

galsplaining?

ladyplicating?

Bob Ellison said...

That's why I like both dogs and cats. They don't dogsplain or catplicate.

traditionalguy said...

Mansplaining is always done by a man, but it's done at other men too.

This Lt. Col ( Army-retired) I know does it with a written agenda he never goes by and challenged us to admit we do not know answers to his questions.

When we do know the answers, he changes the subject with a brief, "That's Wrong."

So mansplaining is a speaker asserting authority in place of real knowledge. I guess women are sensitive to that more than men are.

Meade said...

"Just curious: What did the 'splainer say to Meade?"

Nothing. I probably had a peeved look on my face that read: Try that condescending crap on me, pal, and the water in your glass could be on your shirt before you even finish saying "will of the people". :-)

Meade said...

Can't remember for sure but I think the 'splainer's name tag might've said "Hello, my name is
Howard."

Tank said...

I bet it's fun being Meade while someone is mansplaining something to Althouse. Particularly some legal thing.

Tbat's entertainment.

chickenlittle said...

rcommal said...
Folks around around here definitely should know what mansplaining is, along with manlecturing and manshouting and mancomplaining. God knows there's enough of all of that on a regular basis.

I think I first learned the term "manscaping" on Althouse if only because preferences were so strongly expressed.

chickenlittle said...

betamax3000 said...
Mansplaining is better understood through Vaginalysis.

You do understand that "vaginalysis" is Latin/Greek portmanteau for "vagina cleaving" don't you?

Well played, Sir!

Howard said...

Meade: Touche

Jay said...

"Mansplaining" is a specific thing. You should know what it is so you can avoid it.

The best part is, the guy doing this to you was a liberal in good standing.

Why do liberal men see women as both stupid and sex toys, anyway?

Danno said...

Howard, I've actually seen several very recent articles on how women are better chopper pilots in the armed forces!

Army Women: Better Chopper Pilots Than the Guys?

Read more: Female Army Helicopter Pilots Crash Less Often | TIME.com http://swampland.time.com/2014/02/16/army-women-helicopter-pilots/#ixzz2v7LvYk21

David said...

Perhaps it's consolation that women are not the only recipients of the mansplain. I've had it happen to me.

Consumption of alcohol seems to be a trigger.

David said...

Danno, isn't it obvious. Women get all the easy missions. You can look it up.

chickenlittle said...

Howard said...
Althouse: The mansplainer was right about the politics of the SCOTUS ACA decision. Also, men don't do this to make impress women, they do it to show their dominance to other men. It's part of the macho posturing to establish pecking order in groups.

This actually makes sense. Here's an analogy: Many woman habitually if not slavishly follow fashion: watching shows for the dresses, "reading" magazines for ideas, etc. Yet for all this effort they would never think to ask a [straight] man's opinion -- mistakenly thinking that he'd just prefer slutty). And yet women expend all this effort and money on clothes and shoes.

It's really all women vs. women. Men just stand back and watch.

Rusty said...

rhhardin said...
Mansplaining is how women learn interesting things about physics.

Root Beer. All-over-the-damn-screen.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow, is that room as sterile as it looks?"

No. It's teeming with bacteria.

DanTheMan said...

The "mansplainer" is just a know-it-all. Your gender was likely irrelevant to him.
It isn't always about you.

paul a'barge said...

@mansplainer: ...the healthcare reform bill represents a big important political effort, and that's why it's going to be upheld in the courts.

And you know what? He was completely correct. It is a huge, important (bad) political effort and it was upheld in the courts ... when monkeys flew from SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts' butt and he hand-fabricated the Obamacare-as-tax justification for screwing America.

And you know what else? You voted for Barack Obama.

Mansplain that, Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

"That sounds an awful lot like feminists sneering at men, "You just don't get it, do you", as a way of NOT engaging them "on the merits". "

It sounds quite different to me.

The feminists you describe are openly expressing hostility and exasperation, as if the interlocutor should already have figured it out and is perhaps being willfully dumb and therefore doesn't deserve to hear it spelled out. Part of it is that she expects to be agreed with and any disagreement is getting characterized as failure to understand. It's a manipulation, of course.

The mansplainer isn't displaying hostility, but his need to be dominant. He performing in the theater of verbal expertise and he's overdoing the explanation, possibly concerned that he might otherwise seem dull or weak. He's failing to take into account that the woman might be knowledgable and missing a chance to connect as equals.

Note that I am not being the woman who says "You just don't get it" to the man. I'm trying to explain a dynamic that I have experienced many, many times in the last 4 decades. It used to be worse, and I used to get it even from students. It's bad etiquette.

Anonymous said...

Well, the sad state of affairs is...they really just don't get it, there it's been said. They cannot or will not believe this phenomenon is real, or that you've (and other women) encountered this for the past 4 decades.

Anonymous said...

Also, there are women out there that will enable men to continue this behavior, which seems sort of nutty.

Bob Ellison said...

I was talking to a black friend about this recently, and I unintentionally whitesplained it. He didn't get it at all. When I realized the error, I budsplained it, and all was well between us.

chickenlittle said...

MadisonMa'am said...
Well, the sad state of affairs is...they really just don't get it, there it's been said.

Ann Althouse said...
The feminists you describe are openly expressing hostility and exasperation, as if the interlocutor should already have figured it out and is perhaps being willfully dumb and therefore doesn't deserve to hear it spelled out.

LOL!

chuck said...

Mansplaining is a real phenomemon. The worst case I've run into was while browsing in a bookstore near Harvard Square and hearing a guy over in the next row of shelves mansplaining to the girl with him. I had suppress the urge to shout "STFU". It was *that* annoying. Of course, the Harvard attitude is pretty damn insufferable anyway. Maybe it was more Harvard than gender.

chickenlittle said...

@Chuck: You can always tell a Harvard man but you can't tell him much.

Anonymous said...

While I don't think much of the guy's opinion, I'm not seeing the part where he assumed that you don't know any law. It sounds like the sort of opinion one might offer even to a known law professor.

sean said...

It's funny, because of all the bloggers I know, Prof. Althouse strikes me as the least interested in genuine conversational interaction, and the most interested in displaying the brilliance of her own thoughts. Ask yourself, when was the last time Prof. Althouse acknowledged learning from, or having her mind changed by, a comment by someone who knew something she did not (about statistics, or economics, or any of the hundred things in which she is not particularly expert). That said, Prof. Althouse is indeed very clever and often offers interesting insights from unanticipated perspectives. That is why I read her blog, but never make a comment with the thought of having a genuine discussion.

Bob Ellison said...

This could be a new genre in script dialog.

WHITE GUY

Don't you even try to understand how much I understand how much you've suffered?

WHITE WOMAN

Don't try your mansplaining on me. I see through your little tricks. I've been suffering for four decades. Four decades!

BLACK WOMAN

I need to get through this hallway. Do you mind just stopping your argument long enough for me to pass?

WHITE MAN

You're blackgalsplaining now. Don't even bring that around here. I can talk ghetto just like you.

DOG

Whistle!

DanTheMan said...

Unless you saw him deliver his explanation to a man, and then to you in a different manner, you are just assuming facts not in evidence.

Case dismissed.

Now, honey, don't worry your pretty little head about this sort of thing again, ok toots?

Dan

PS. THAT is man-splaining!!!

Anonymous said...

No, Dan. That is rank condescension and infantilization.

Anonymous said...

"My truth is that I want you to win, I really do."

Oprahsplainin'.

Birches said...

I think it's a generational difference for the most part. If I'd grown up in the same generation as Althouse, I'd probably attribute it to mansplaining too. But to me, he just seemed like a bloviator and I would not think it was related to my sex.

David said...

You don't get it! Of course it depends on what the meaning of it is. And what it is depends on what the meaning of is is and it is. If you can't agree what it is, it is confusing. Isn't it?

Perfect mansplain, Presidential style.

Pogo is Dead said...

You listen to that crap?

That's what iPhones and doodles are for.

David said...

"No. It's teeming with bacteria."

Ha!

Bob R said...

Before I heard the term "mansplain," I used to call it "slipping into lecture mode." I'm guilty far more often than I should be. I teach math. I have to fight myself to stop lecturing and be more Socratic. Lecturing is much faster. You can "cover" more material. Just not the best way to teach.

I admit that I slip into the mode on subjects other than math (where - at least on undergraduate level subjects - it is perhaps excusable for me to be authoritative and dominant.) I shouldn't do that and I've sometimes been caught talking that way when I'm flat-out wrong.

I know the term (which is quite funny) originated on female dominated message boards, but (while it may be more annoying when men do this to women) people (probably mostly men) do it all the time. I've been on boards that discussed math, acoustics, guitars, and recording. Never fails that some newb will come on and do a core dump of everything that he has half learned to a bunch of real experts.

Pogo is Dead said...

Hysteroscolding, ovarionagging, Medeamanipulation, and scornedfury.

Bob Ellison said...

Bob R, the very term, "mansplain", is misanthropic. Don't go all self-castrating. It's OK to think it's a term of hate.

Howard said...

Danno: Thanks! I'll check it out

Rusty said...

Looks like you got the mastaccioli all steaked out, Althouse.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Mansplaining" is a specific thing. You should know what it is so you can avoid it.

Women know men don't think like they do, but believe that men actually want to. It's isn't so.

Howard said...

Bob E

I have to agree. In my circle of white guy world, we grew up being man-splained all the time. That's how you learned the tricks of the trade to get shit done right expeditiously, how to avoid trouble and fatal mistakes. It's the essence of the apprentice-master evolution that most chicks have no fucking clue about. This is probably one of the sources of the *hostility* that females feel in the workplace. It's also one reason that men tend to leave fields that women can take over in droves. Thank god for mechanical, trash and danger work: No risk of feminization.

PatHMV said...

Professor, the reaction in the comments I think illustrates one of the common challenges in dealing with race and gender relations today.

As many have noted, some people (including some men) are just generally condescending. They condescend to both men and women. Others, however, and this is a fact that some folks refuse to acknowledge, condescend only to one particular gender. Your experiences over the years have helped you recognize when a man is "mansplaining" and when he is just reflecting his ordinary, rude-to-all, personality.

And you are probably right, at least most of the time. But sometimes you might be wrong, and in those cases, you may yourself be guilty of some prejudice in assuming that the man is only being rude to you because of your gender, rather than an equal-opportunity ass.

Similarly, many black people have experiences, such as being complimented for being "articulate," that they can identify some prejudice underlying the person's comment because they have heard it so many times, with a certain tone or hint (if the comment is a compliment, it's usually a hint of surprise or shock, as if they did not expect to find the quality of articulateness in the black person).

Take the case of that black professor who got so upset because the white police officer asked him to prove that he was the owner of the home he was breaking into. The professor has, growing up in the U.S., experienced his share of racism, and his share of being held to rules and policies that white people were not subject to. Thus, he understandably experiences the request as racism even though the police officer may well have asked the same question the same way of a white person.

Of course, this is bigotry itself on the professor's part, because he assumes, without any direct evidence, that the white police officer's question was motivated by the same prejudice as that displayed to the professor by other white people in the past.

This complicated issue is further complicated by the large "victim" and "oppressed" constituencies that have arisen over the past 2 or 3 decades, manufacturing and fomenting racial and gender strife and finding racism or sexism in even the most innocuous of comments and actions. This causes a reflexive denial that there is any problem, and makes it harder to identify and criticize the remaining actual instances of prejudice and bigotry.

Bob R said...

Howard, Bob E, Sure, people get lectured too all the time. But out in meatspace, the lecturer usually knows more than the lecturee. On the web, people with little knowledge wander into discussions all the time and bloviate in the presence of experts. A bunch of feminists got pissed off by this when men did it and instead of doing what a man would do and ripping the newby a new one, they came up with the hilarious term "mansplain." It's one of the few good and enduring feminist jokes and you are giving them crap for it. Lighten up.

Titus said...

Obama's convoy just drove by my office. People everywhere waving.

He is home in the peoples republic.

Pogo is Dead said...

Was Althouse boobshaming the mansplainer?

Titus said...

Straight men natch do not mansplain.

But for god sakey wakey shave your fucking hairy balls...at least.

Otherwise no sucky sucky on the balls for u.

Do straight women even suck balls?

Pogo is Dead said...

Gaysplaining is gay.

mtrobertsattorney said...

What about the "explainer" who salts his explanation with technical jargon, $10 words and all kinds of references to obscure philosophers and writers? This guy is "talking up" to the women with the intention that she won't have a clue as to what he is talking about. (And therefore will think him to be brilliant.) Whereas the other guy (who "talking down" to the women)at least has the good intention that she will understand him.

Titus said...

And Pig is a splooge stooge and sadist.

Howard said...

BobR Don't know if you have any blue collar life experience or not. These aren't "lectures". Also, blog commenting is usually dominated by giving crap because that is the essence of blue collar man-splaining. Getting crap from a man-splainer in a real-life blue collar situation means you are catching on. Being treated *nice* is a sure-fire clue they think you are a bitch.

Have a nice Day :^)

jazzizhep said...

"She could be thinking: You're assuming you know more than me because I'm a woman and you're a man."

She could, but wouldn't she be exhibiting the same gender bias you attribute as the cause of "mansplaining"?

If the same man acted in the same fashion towards me, I might well think him a pretentious jerk or a show-off. I, of course, would have difficulty contributing his manner to sexism--considering I am a man.

You later state he could be exhibiting "his need to be dominant." I'll let you in on a secret, men do that whether they are interacting with men or women. Another little secret, women do the same thing (I thought you would have been aware).

So perhaps, mansplaining is a sexists misnomer issued by feminists and it should correctly be called "humansplaining".

Pogo is Dead said...

That's why you fit in here and I do not, Titus.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

So .. the mansplainer's point was that Courts decide issues on the basis of politics, not Law.

Bob R said...

Howard - I'd say that's not what "mansplaining" is. It's the way knowledge is passed down in blue collar situations. What the feminists are complaining about is being spoke to the way a lot of white collar knowledge is passed down: by teachers in classrooms in a didactic and/or arrogant and/or condescending way. They especially complain about being talked to that way by people who know less than they do (e.g. when some wet-behind-the ears lawyer explains what the SCOTUS is going to do to a constitutional lawprof.) (BTW, it's even more annoying when they are right.)

Yeah, the feminists have tried to put a gender specific spin on a pretty universal set of actions. But to hell with em. We can all use the word. For instance, every word that Paul Krugman says is didactic, condescending, and arrogant. He probably tells his wife that he lovers her in a didactic, condescending, and arrogant manner. Any time he speaks on a subject other than international trade he is mansplaining. I'll never see him talk without thinking of the word.

(And yes, I did the farm laborer, fry cook, furniture mover, and construction worker thing, so I've had to have a lot of things explained to me. One of which is that I should study hard so I could sit behind a desk.)

Bob R said...

Alhouse - I think the best answer that the lawyer could have given was that the SCOTUS decision would be about DC institutional politics - the balance of power between the three branches - rather than populist, electoral politics. One can certainly argue that was what happened. I'd probably agree that it was a contributing factor.

Leit Bart said...

Obama is the biggest 'splainer of all. But I wouldn't call him a mansplainer; his contempt is towards both genders, the transgendered, and the pangendered. So I guess he's a 'pansplainer.

James said...

The mansplainer isn't displaying hostility, but his need to be dominant. He performing in the theater of verbal expertise and he's overdoing the explanation, possibly concerned that he might otherwise seem dull or weak. He's failing to take into account that the woman might be knowledgable and missing a chance to connect as equals.

Knowledge is power. Don't women do this too: assume that they're the smartest person in the room, and that others need things explained to them, or alternatively that they feel the need to be seen as a smart, knowledgeable person?

Isn't that just called "being an asshole"? Or alternatively, "being an academic"? How is this a particularly male activity, as though a woman who engages in such behavior is contradicting her sex?

How is this different than calling it "womansplaining" when a person explains something quite poorly? Or is this a case of "minorities can't be racist/sexist/etc."?

James said...

Or perhaps we should call it "Blacksplaining" when someone explains something really angrily and in a "stereotypically black" way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This is probably one of the sources of the *hostility* that females feel in the workplace.

This. Having to pussy foot around the topics when talking to the women that I have worked with, instead of just explaining the subject and letting them know what I wanted them to do.....so frustrating. Working with women. You can't just come out an explain or even ask. You have to be devious and manipulative in your conversations, use lots of small talk and time wasting sidelines, try not to hurt their feelings and give them the illusion that the conversation is actually a two way thing. It isn't. I'm telling you what it is, how to do it, and when I need it done.

Gah. Too much work working with women.

What would be the term for a woman who 'mansplains' to other women. Bitch probably. Oh well. I'm the boss. I can live with it.

:-)

Sigivald said...

If a person who happens to be male
"explains" something like that to a male stranger, is he still "mansplaining", or just being a jerk?

And what is it if the person doing it is female?

(Well, to take your own heuristic for media reporting, "it's good, somehow"...)

cubanbob said...

"Hagar said...
I am thinking that John Roberts miscalculated in thinking that the Republicans could not possibly lose the next election., and thus it was safe to throw the ACA back in the lap of Congress.
3/5/14, 10:31 AM "

Who knows? More than likely he figured once the public got it good and hard they would force it's repeal. Funny about the ACA, according to it's proponents it's so wonderful that it has to be ever extended from taking full effect especially before an election.

MikeDC said...

Mansplaining. It's when men talk to women the way they talk to other men.

ken in sc said...

My wife is an M.D. My daughter is a Big Law tax lawyer. I only do mansplaining about airplanes and beer, and sometimes history.

Howard said...

Some Mansplaining on Helicopters from a 65yo Combat vet who is still flying high-risk helo missions in the civilian world:

Well, I’m not really an expert on female pilots. I have not been all that impressed by the few I’ve met, but that’s a pretty small sampling.

Fewer accidents is only one metric, but you have to admit it’s got a good ring to it. The report mentioned that other considerations such as mission accomplishment were not measured. Native intelligence would seem to be pretty gender neutral. Many types of helicopter operations require being an aggressive, independent, vacuum-filler with a sense of spatial orientation and macro hand-eye coordination, all of which I think have some gender differences. But the Army and the military as a whole has devolved into something other than a mano a mano warrior ethic. Now the military kills at a stand off distance with almost no enemy risk. So maybe accidents are the most important metric in the modern Army’s risk-averse bureaucracy. And I think women generally show good sense when it comes to attack without risk of consequence. I think many male pilots feel like they have been cheated out of being a warrior and perhaps push it where it’s not really necessary.

Some of us think surviving an accident or two early on accelerates the wisdom necessary to survive a lifetime of low-level, tactical and utility flying. When I hear about somebody with 25k accident-free helicopter hours, I think of some LA cop having 25,000 one hour experiences—probably pretty good at holding that Nite-Sun dead-on the kids being rousted. Then I remember "Donald Duck" who had 30k hours nearly all of which was mountain time including maybe 15k on the longline when he was killed on his motorcycle. He took it in hard a few times—lost his right eye in Peru. So in my personal opinion do I think anyone with 1000 accident-free hours killing ‘hajis’ at 12000 meters with a Hellfire from a four-axis autopilot stabilized hover is a better pilot. That’s rhetorical.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, since you're a woman who has been on the receiving end of "mansplaining," you assume that there's something sexist about it.

Actually it happens all the time to both genders. I've been on the receiving end myself. It's thoughtless and annoying, but some guys just are that way.

Fen said...

You see a woman and you assume she doesn't know anything about something you think you know something about. You might be explaining constitutional law to a constitutional law professor. She could be thinking: You're assuming you know more than me because I'm a woman and you're a man.

As others have already pointed out - you are assuming the man is assuming you are ignorant because you are a women.

And "man-splaining" accusations do not go down the way you claim. What happens is, just like the "privilige" card, the woman is trying to shut the man out of the conversation - she pretend he is browbeating her so she can dismiss his opinion. Its a debate tactic. A cheap one.

And if you can't recognize that, its because you're clinging to your white feminist privilige.

[see what I did there?]

Anonymous said...

Yeah Fen was man-splaining man-splaining.

KLDAVIS said...

I'm tired of women accusing men of taking a superior tone because they have the gall to be a man speaking authoritatively to a woman. Maybe I'm taking a superior tone because I believe that I am right, and your sex doesn't enter into it. Crying 'mansplaining' is essentially playing the race card for gender, and just another way invented to win an argument without clash on the merits.

Freeman Hunt said...

In my early twenties I looked quite a bit younger than my age. One Sunday I visited a church, and the woman next to me kept handing me pieces of candy throughout the service. "Oh, I think I have something here. Here you go." Momsplaining? Momcandying? What would you call that? I didn't mind so much because, hey, candy.

rcommal said...

I call bullshit, Freeman.

rcommal said...

Like as if she thought you were 8 or 9 or younger? And you, harkening/heartening back to 14 or 15, just went along because: candy? Christ, even if what she thought and you were thinking were reversed in terms of the ages thought of, it's hinky.

I can believe your story in a particular context, but certainly not in any other. That context is certainly not what you just proffered.

rcommal said...

OK, there is another context: so, two.

You didn't present that one, either.

rcommal said...

KLDAVIS: I'm tired of being treated as if I, individually, don't have a really good damn decent even way above average IQ, not to mention that I read widely, appreciate workmanship, love tools and those who can make and use them, and so forth and so on.

Here at Althouse comments and "other places" it's been and it is a damn field day for every sort of stupid, reckless, malign yet confident, buddy-buddy bullshitter who actually believes that he or she should not be held accountable in the same way or to the same degree as she or he is convinced others ought be.

rcommal said...

Disgusting.

Freeman Hunt said...

Rcommal, it really did happen. She didn't think I was eight or nine! Probably more like thirteen or fourteen. I thought it seemed odd even to offer a young teenager candy, but whatever. Maybe she liked handing out candy. Who knows?

KLDAVIS said...

MikeDC has it exactly right at 6:16.

Rusty said...

Althouse is such a feminist dweeb.