|Tule Elk at Pt. Reyes, CA|
In her article, Oakes refers to an earlier essay entitled "Men Explain Things to Me" written by Rebecca Solnit in 2008. Mansplaining as described is that propensity, exercised more often by men, Solnit and others believe, that leads them to pontificate to women. It's especially galling when this happens to a woman who knows more about the topic than the man. This "presumption...makes it hard, at time, for any women in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard...." (Solnit)
I try to avoid pigeonholing people, but some make it very difficult to not fall back on stereotypes: men do this/women do that.... Like I think most people do, I accept the fact that most people--whether men or women--have some irritating personality traits (I know I do, too). I try to ignore these petty annoyances and focus on the positive aspects of our friendships.
Having recently read about mansplaining, however, I am finding it increasingly galling when a man tries to "educate" or inform me about something I already know. I see it happening everywhere (like when you buy a new car and then realize how many other people around you are driving the same kind). I find myself wondering how often I have seen it happen in the past, but not put a name to it. Or am I seeing it where it doesn't exist? Am I now super-sensitive to it? Maybe. I have been told that this is "just making conversation," but I am tired of just letting it go.
Couldn't people just ascertain if their "audience" already knows something before they begin to lecture?
Feel free to register your opinion below.
Website: Cal Shakes Theater (California Shakespeare Theater, Orinda, CA