Despite the fact that we are in the 21st century and that the struggles against machismo have been moving the balance towards a much more balanced point in the search for equality, many of us continue to encounter a type of sexist behavior which, precisely because it is more subtle that, precisely because it is more subtle, goes unnoticed: we are referring to mansplaining.
Do you want to know what it is and find out if it has ever happened to you? We tell you about it.
Mansplaining, another form of machismo
Surely if you are a woman, on more than one occasion you have felt treated in an unnecessarily paternalistic way by a man who insists on explaining certain things to you, as if your who insists on explaining certain things to you, as if your capacity for understanding were that of a little girl, while his wisdom is incomprehensible.
Another peculiarity to be added is that this “gentleman” has taken the liberty of doing so without anyone asking him to do so. Nobody. And more specifically, you have not asked him to show his supremacy before you because it is absolutely unnecessary for you.
Does this situation sound familiar to you? If your answer is yes, you can say that you know what mansplaining is first hand.
How would you define it?
It is a neologism from the English language combining the words “man” and “explain”.
Mansplaining is used to define that type of propensity of some men to propensity of some men when it comes to explaining certain subjects to them. women, doing so in such a condescending way as if they were people with little capacity for understanding, even in aspects in which his interlocutor might have superior knowledge to him.
To make it clear, here is an example
Let’s take a perfectly feasible case of mansplaining:
There is a young woman, with a degree in Industrial Technical Engineering in the specialty of Chemistry, who has been selected among other candidates for her personal profile, training and experience of several years in a similar position, to work in a quality control laboratory and lead a team of four men, older than her, with qualified training but inferior to hers. Shall we situate ourselves?
Well, now imagine that every time she tries to comment on an issue related to the results obtained by them, she has to put up with them explaining their arguments to her in the same way as if they were receiving a visit from a group of elementary school children who want to know what their work consists of.
That is mansplaining and yes, unfortunately it is commonplace in everyday life, in many jobs and quite systematic in professional fields. systematic in professional fields which until recently were exclusively male.
How does the term appear?
The first time this word is used is in 2014, with the publication of the book Men explain things to me by Rebecca Solnit. Since then the term has become popular with astonishing speed, probably because of how common it is to recognize this behavior in the daily lives of many women..
In her book, this well-known writer and activist in the struggle for women’s rights, was inspired by her own personal experience where, ironically, a man tried to explain to her a book that she had written (a fact he did not know). That’s the last straw.
What is not considered mansplaining: let’s be clear about this
Just because this macho attitude is commonplace does not mean that we are now beginning to perceive mansplaining where there really is none. Something that is sensible is to have the to apply good judgment in the detection of this attitude to avoid unnecessary susceptibilities to avoid unnecessary susceptibilities and unfair judgments.
The peculiarity of mansplaining is not that a man deals with or gives an opinion on certain topics related to feminism or women.
Neither is it that in certain work or social contexts a man (or several men) offer certain explanations to a woman on a certain topic, of whatever nature, with which they broaden the vision and knowledge that she may have on that topic.
The problem is when this happens systematically, when it is erroneously assumed that because she is a woman she is more inexperienced or incompetentWhen the condescension is so marked that it is demeaning, because in all of this you perceive that the man grants himself a superiority over her that does not really exist.
Then, when a competent woman is treated as a child who does not know what she could be an expert in, we can say that it is a case of mansplaining.
To understand each other…
The issue of mansplaining is a complex issue both because of its subtlety, and because of how it can blur the margins of treatment between equals and how easy it can be to detect this form of machismo when it may not actually exist.
In any case, in those situations where mansplaining is clearly in evidence, perhaps unconsciously and due to the cultural prevalence of patriarchy, it may be easier to detect this form of machismo when it may not actually exist. cultural prevalence of patriarchywhat is certain is that it pursues the purpose of undervaluing, invisibilizing and even annulling women, as if it were a task of “normalization”.
But what is unquestionable in this case is the power of words, because thanks to the popularization of this term, many women have found a way to draw attention to something that they suffered and unnoticed by society..
Now that we have a name for this silent disparagement, let’s hope we move to the next level soon; that mansplaining will no longer be tolerated by men and women until it becomes a thing of the past.