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Mansplaining term (when used wrong)

Discussion in 'Feminist Only' started by Meow Mix, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Does it bug anyone else when mansplaining is called out incorrectly?

    For instance, consider a situation where a topic comes up, a man states something on the topic, for one (legitimate) reason or another explains what they mean, and someone, somewhere, calls it mansplaining just because a) he's a man and b) he's explaining something.

    On top of the fact that this is effectively just a way to silence somebody for no reason, the real part about this that bothers me is that it leads people to believe mansplaining as a concept is only a way to silence people; when they see examples of this they might form the mistaken belief that there are never legitimate examples of mansplaining.
     
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  2. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Mildly.
    Also bugs me when people use 'OK Boomer' to do the same.

    But ultimately I feel able to make my voice heard. Not everyone can say that, so I don't get too caught up in it.
     
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  3. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I also hate the co-opting of the term "virtue signaling" by the right. There are times where it would be a useful term; but the right slings it around so much just to describe literally anyone that is even mildly conscious of social justice.
     
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  4. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    I tend to strictly think of ''mansplaining'' when it involved condescension, when a guy is explaining something very rudimentary to me. (and I haven't asked) lol But, it's used sometimes by women who as you say, want to silence someone else, and the guy isn't being condescending at all.
     
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  5. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    Right? I feel like when it's used incorrectly, it diminishes the power of the term to call out toxic behavior. I want the term to mean something when I use it.
     
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  6. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    Yep, I feel the same thing with the term ''misogyny.'' It's often misused to mean sexism, and misogyny and sexism,while align on a similar path, mean different behaviors.
     
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  7. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I recall a quote from somebody, I don't remember who:

    "Misogyny goes on witch hunts, sexism wears a lab coat."
     
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  8. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    lol That's a good one.

    Misogyny as I've come to understand it, is a disdain for women...when a man treats women as common enemies. He may date them ...have relationships with them...but deep down, he loathes them and will strive to ridicule, manipulate and abuse them in some way. Sexists are problematic too, but they don't loathe women, they just believe that women aren't equal to them, don't deserve the same pay, etc.

    I've always viewed it as not all sexists are misogynists, but all misogynists are sexists.
     
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  9. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I think that's a great explanation. I have often used the terms interchangeably (despite being fond of the quote I posted), but I agree that the demarcation is a meaningful one. Good add to the discussion ^.^
     
  10. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    I just dislike the term because women do it as well (like one cis-woman trying to explain gender dysphoria to me, a transwoman with a professional background in mental health, or one who doesn't know the area trying to tell me what lane I need to be in to get her where she needs to be at the airport, something I've done dozens of times as a rideshare driver). And it's also being used a lot like "Islamaphobe" as something to silence and stifle rather than giving a legit challenge to a grievance.
    The word overall bugs me.
     
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  11. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I can understand the grievance. People do overexplain and make assumptions. I think the word is still useful, though, because it is frequently based on sexist assumptions. Overexplaining isn't always based on sexist assumptions, but it feels useful to me to have a term for when it is. There is research that shows women are interrupted more often, spoken over more often, over-explained to more often on the basis of sex. While perhaps we could just use the word "overexplain" to describe the behavior, I argue it's beneficial to highlight the sexism because awareness is the first step toward changing behavior.

    I do not think most people that engage in sexism are explicitly sexist; I think there are a lot of implicit biases at play. Highlighting the role of sexism in some of the behavior that they may not even be aware they're doing is more helpful than harmful I think (when not abused or used incorrectly).
     
  12. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    True mansplaining is something I come across extremely rarely. And almost always within the nerd/geek culture. Where they think I'm a novice *specifically* because I'm a woman and explain something, like D&D (even tho I've been a D&D public game coordinator for years) to me as if I only know the acronym because of my husband.
     
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  13. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    The term itself doesn't seem to be the problem...I've certainly seen enough instances of it happening. But overuse of it (as with other terms) does cause it to simply lose it's true meaning to a degree.
     
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  14. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I am involved in nerd/geek culture too (have friends in a board game/pen 'n paper group that meets at a bar I join sometimes). Occasionally new people (friends of friends of friends or random folks that were invited to the group based on conversations) do the same thing.

    Sometimes I get this as a woman in STEM too, at conferences and the like. However it can be hard to tell. I am only a year in to my MS and haven't published yet, and some people know that I'm not as far as they are in the scheme of things. I'm also aphonic so it's really easy to talk to me (and then keep talking to me, and then keep talking to me...). So lots of factors make it hard to tell. There have been times where, for whatever reason, I have had the suspicion it has been sex-based though.
     
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  15. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Can I give my hot-take on this topic? I work in software, and whilst not a bona-fide geek, I'm close enough in some ways, with a few jock traits.

    There are a lot of people within geek culture, and within IT generally who have pretty poor interpersonal skills. Certainly, it's quite noticeable compared to my last career (teaching - although they have their own traits...lol)

    There is an over-representation of guys who haven't had varied, long and healthy relationships with women. There is also a fairly overt 'guarding of the gate', generally. If I wandered into a games shop (like, a hardcore geek den type, not a pop cuture one) with basketball gear on, I might get treated more suspiciously than if I turned up dressed more 'in style' and with a neckbeard. And if I proved harmless enough, I might get condescended to as well.

    I'm obviously over-generalising, and I think it will dissipate over time, but you get the point, I hope.

    'Women' is just not a group that some of these guys have positive experiences with, or feel comfortable around. So there is a tendency to establish dominance in a more intellectual sense, so as to control the interaction, and ensure it is on comfortable ground for them.

    The more 'normal' it is for geeks to be rounded individuals, and the more women insert themselves into gamer culture of all types, the more this will breakdown. I've seen it happen in sports to a degree. But it's epically slow generally, and they're coming from a long-way back.

    Some of these people just aren't well-rounded (like jocks, ironically) and the group they DO feel a part of becomes more important to their self-identity and self-worth. They lose a balanced perspective, and latent issues they have with other sub-groups surface in negative ways.
     
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  16. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Chatte Féministe

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    I see what you're saying, and interesting takeaway. I hope that you're right about things improving. This is anecdotal but I notice a lot of women in this game group; and it's always newcomers that do the mansplaining.

    As I've said above, I do not think most people that do things like mansplaining are explicitly sexist; I think (as you note) it is often probably an implicit bias that is something they can become aware of and sort of self-resolve as their comfort and experience grows. We can hope, anyway.
     
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