Sunday, February 13, 2011

Are You A Mansplainer?

This woman is royally upset at men to whom she is invisible because she is a woman. (I think that’s what she is saying; I couldn’t quite follow her argument. I’ll wait until a man re-writes it and then I will be able to fully understand it.)

Because I am a woman, I am invisible around men.

My voice isn’t heard, my advice isn’t heeded, and my knowledge is dismissed. I’m a woman, what can I possibly tell men about climbing, about skiing, about riding motorcycles? What do I know about cars, about anchor systems, about search and rescue? What can I possibly have to contribute about gear? Nothing, if one goes by the behavior of some men. I’ll try hard to make this article something more than just endless examples of being shunted to the side simply because I’m female, but after a few days around climbers, I’m seething.”

She calls this tendency of men to be an expert in everything “mansplaining,.” And defines it like this:

“[Mansplaining] refers to the habit of some men of pontificating on any given topic as if the person, usually female, in front of him has no knowledge or expertise of her own.”

There are two three things I resent about this:

  1. I am an equal opportunity mansplainer. I don’t care if you’re wearing pink or blue, I will pontificate to everyone.
  2. Women do the same thing to me; I try to describe the pain of childbirth and they just won’t listen to me. They won’t validate my experience.
  3. I ignore men as well as women.

Are you a mansplainer? Do you ignore women who are outdoors because you know they really belong inside?

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