The title says it all
26 July 2018
One of the less delightful things to pop up in my Twitter feed recently was a chart apparently designed to explain to men whether or not they are ‘mansplaining’ to women. Created by a professional designer and titled ‘Am I Mansplaining?’ the chart attempts to coherently portray the processes by which this form of gendered condescension takes place. And I have to say, the chart doesn’t make the idea of ‘mansplaining’ any less comprehensible or absurd.
If we are to truly take this chart as an accurate depiction of what progressives believe mansplaining to be, then we are all screwed. Studying it reveals that the only way to not be condescending towards a woman, is to either not speak at all or be absolutely sure that you have her permission to inform her—which is just ridiculous.
The chart ranks mansplaining in four tiers, from ‘not’ to ‘probably,’ ‘definitely,’ and ‘just stop talking now.’ As long as a woman has explicitly asked you to enlighten her on a topic, then you can sleep tight because it’s ‘not mansplaining.’ However, in pretty much every other situation a man and woman can be put in, you’re a patronising enforcer of the patriarchy…or something.
Do you have more experience than her but didn’t wait for her permission to educate? Mansplaining. Did you simply misjudge how much she knew about the topic beforehand? Mansplaining. Are in a position of authority (teacher, boss, etc.) and would like to teach someone how things are done regardless of whether they want to hear it? Mansplaining.
According to the chart’s designer, there is no sarcasm here. Just an attempt to provide a ‘helpful’ explanation on what exactly constitutes condescending behaviour from a man. Indeed, the graphic is very helpful. If anything, it succeeds in illustrating the twisted logic of a movement that has wholeheartedly accepted the idea of attaching the prefix, ‘man,’ to any behaviour they do not like.
What’s especially egregious about all of this is the complete lack of self-awareness on display. Modern feminists and the like are quick to lecture men about how they should act around women while completely overlooking their own patronising behaviour in doing so.
‘Mansplaining’ is a stupid term. It embodies our society’s obsession with identity politics as the progressives attempt to tie ideas and actions to the inalienable traits of a group of human beings.
We are no longer judged as individuals but as representatives of our tribe, and more often than not, the tribe is one we did not choose.