I have a confession to make. I’ve been recently diagnosed with a critical, yet common condition among men known as mansplaining.
So, what is mansplaining? Well, it’s a condition that affects many men who believe it is our natural born right to talk over, interrupt, and especially explain things to women on topics that affect women, are predominately about women, and that they’re probably experts on in the first place, and that’s condescending.
A recent example of this was Matt Damon who interrupted a women of color by the name of Effie Brown, who is a black woman filmmaker. To explain diversity to her. [crickets] Right, Matt Damon explained diversity and how it works to the only black woman of color filmmaker in a room full of white filmmakers, and that’s condescending.
See, so Matt Damon wasn’t only mansplaining, in this case he was also whitesplaining which is very similar to mansplaining in that you take the gender in one, and replace it for the race in the other. Whitesplaining is when a white person tries to interrupt and lecture a person of color on a topic that specifically affects people of color.
Anyhow, returning to mansplaining, men with this condition feel that our opinions matter so much that they have to be heard, even if it’s on subjects that we don’t have a damn clue what we’re talking about or on life experiences that we as guys could never really experience.
Now I know what you must be thinking, how does someone even develop this condition? Well odds are if you were born a guy, you probably have traces of this condition in your system and that’s a result of social conditioning. Social conditioning is a process of training people in society to respond in a manner that is generally approved by the society at large.
Think about a toddler that is crying and eventually gets what he or she wants, if this behavior is always rewarded well, now the toddler knows and is conditioned to cry whenever he or she wants something. Those same rules apply to society at large. We, as humans, are rewarded or punished depending on our behavior.
Basically, men are the toddlers in this situation, and unfortunately based on historical context men are more often rewarded in society and encouraged to continue our behavior of taking up space, interrupting, and explaining things to women.
Writer Soraya Chemaly has a simple explanation for this. She said, and I quote, “This is good old-fashioned sexism expressed in genderized socialization and a default cultural preference for institutionalized male domination of public life.” Which is why guys feel entitled to take over a conversation and start talking about a subject that we have no damn clue what we’re talking about or on topics that we as men could never even experience.
Now I know what you must be thinking, “Okay, okay, okay, but is there a cure to this condition?” The good news is if you’re still watching this video, you now know what mansplaining is, and once you know something you can’t unknow it. It’s just the way the brain works.
Basically, as guys, we have to dig deep and really think to ourselves, do we know what we’re talking about, because if we don’t, shut up simple as that. I’ve been prescribed a medication known as check yourself. I take my daily dose, and I suggest you do the same.
Just to let you know, side effects may include salty feelings towards women, but you’ll get over it. You’ll live.