Please note for the purposes of this discussion, I am taking the username of the commenter at face value. Since this person presented in this space with a very stereotypical male name, I will assume that he is a man.
Mansplaining is a term that gets thrown around frequently in feminist spaces. That's not to imply that it is not a very real thing. In fact, I tend to believe the term is everywhere because men routinely feel entitled to making spaces all about their thoughts and concerns. But nevertheless, it's a term we use a lot and perhaps don't examine enough. So let's take a look!
First a caveat: Not all male participation in the feminist blogosphere is mansplaning, of course! Many male identified people meaningfully contribute to discussions by sharing their thoughts and opinions without invalidating the female voices. But this example, and many like it, are the opposite of that. The post in question was the one where I talk about how we unnecessarily gender our pets. And as a part of a much longer and more annoying comment (he compared women to infants, y'all...) the dude said...
This is ridiculous. Cats are associated with femininity because females are somewhat more inclined to have them as pets than males. Dogs are large, aggressive, and are the favored pets of males, and thus have been associated with males.This is mansplaining because I wrote (what I feel is) a very thoughtful and detailed analysis of how society associates pet with stereotypical gender traits, but this guy comes in and completely dismisses everything I just said. Instead of even considering my viewpoint, he posits HIS take on things as the facts and that's the end of the discussion. He refuses to even contemplate that maybe there's an underlying sociological reason that more women have cats and men have dogs
What gets me most about mansplaining in general and this guy in particular is that it's all about erasing the lived experience of women. We are not discussing a math problem that has a clear cut correct answer...it's all sociological, with a lot of gray. But the mansplainer's main objective is to totally ignore, invalidate, belittle and otherwise dismiss what the female voice is saying. They push to unilaterally set the rules/tone/"facts" of the discussion, all of which center on what he and he alone believes to be true. And he delivers all of this "valuable information" with such incredible condescension. He is the one with the information and all of us are the ones in need of receiving it. (Side note: As I've written before, I don't need a lesson on partiarchial views because society already told me all that!)
Beyond the complete dismissal of other people's experiences, mansplaining also entails feeling extremely entitled to the opportunity to air his concerns. Instead of arriving at a feminist space and thinking, "This isn't for me" and moving along, the mansplainer actually feels that his views are so important, so supreme, and so correct that they MUST be conveyed to other person.
It kinda makes me sick when I think about it too long. So, seriously, screw this guy. Screw mansplainers. And keep on calling them out. The feminist blogosphere certainly has no shortage of them.
Facebook Annoyance: The Mansplaining Edition!
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