Because of my award-nominated, it-is-highly-unlikely-that-you-are-qualified-to-post-here moderation policy — “Old Iron-Fist” is what they call me down at Spinster HQ — readers of I Blame the Patriarchy aren’t always exposed to mansplaining at standard Internet concentrations. I sometimes wonder if this is really all to the good, since mansplaining can be so goddam hilarious, and who doesn’t enjoy a hearty guffaw after a hard day of gossiping or neurosurgery or trench-digging or whatever it is that you do all day?
But then I come to my senses.
Mansplaining — you know mansplaining, right? It’s that loud, annoying, repetitive alarm call that men emit whenever they perceive a lower-status person challenging their authority — isn’t really so goddam hilarious in and of itself. This is because it is a hallmark of domination culture, because it is comprised primarily of meaningless noise (whether taken in or out of context), and because it is obfuscatory, oppressive, denigrating, sexist, and rude. It can only achieve comic status when openly mocked. Preferably by an angry mob.
My thoughts turned briefly to mansplanation mockery this morning when I found myself deleting a something of a dilly. The author in question was, as is typical, correcting me on this point and that, explaining that my views (but not his) are “sexist,” yadda yadda, in a tone that suggested so deep a reverence for his own intellect that he’d expect the solar system to explode if he failed to execute this very important takedown on my blog. His brilliant denouement? The assertion that if I “honestly” disagree with him — apparently this contingency should be all but impossible — then “what [I] practice isn’t feminism.”
Aww yiah. It’s my very favorite species of mansplaining, the species where some dim bulb with a feeble and unsophisticated grasp of the principles — instead of kissing my ass and begging me brokenly for a few words of enlightenment that might ultimately prevent him from going through life known to the ladies as Chad, the Purulent Lump of Gonorrhea — purports to know — better than the actual feminist — what feminism is or isn’t.
How appropriate that veteran blamer Ron Sullivan should have chosen this point to alert me to an excellent mansplaining-mockery post at Zuska’s entitled “You May Be A Mansplainer If …”. This post is the greatest thing ever published on either this Internet or that one. Zuska invites readers to give examples of, and to ridicule, mansplaining. It’s the angry mob of which I spoke so yearningly just a moment ago! As of this writing there are over 200 comments. Like this one by Zuskateer mightydoll, a classic in the Men Literally Cannot Hear Women Speaking Division.
my ex used to do this:
ex: something’s wrong with my computer.
me: Oh, looks like there’s a phrenicle in the stubert zone
ex: something’s wrong with my computer
me: Why not check the stubert zone for phrenicles?
ex: something’s wrong with my computer – - I’ll ask Dick at work about it.
A WEEK PASSES IN WHICH I MENTION THE STUBERT PHRENICLES A FEW MORE TIMES
ex: Hey, I spoke to Dick at work about my computer. Turns out, (begins speaking really slowly) there are these things called phrenicles which SPEAK … TO… the molydimes. The molydimes can reside in the jiminy zone, or they can reside in the stubert zone, but WHEN they reside in the stubert zone, sometimes there’s a problem with them communicating with the loovarths, so it’s best to keep phrenicles out of the stubert zone. All I have to do is move these phrenicles back to the jiminy zone and it’s solved. Isn’t Dick at work a computer god?
Or this, from SKM:
You might be a mansplainer if you begin a sentence addressed to a woman whom you know holds a degree in neuroscience with “there are molecules in the brain called neurotransmitters”.
This You May Be A Mansplainer post is not without its bittersweet moments. For instance, there is the introduction into English of the exquisite and apparently Brazilian phrase “rule crapper” ( as in “There, he did it again, he just crapped a rule”), but tragically, the author of this revelatory comment simultaneously mansplains that mansplaining “is not necessarily sexist” because men crap rules at other men all the time.
Even if it happens to dudes, it can still be sexist, yo.
Poop, I just crapped a rule!
In fact, quite the buttload of Zuska’s mansplaining commenters are apparently authoritative experts on mansplaining. This is surprising and kind of meta, since it is a well-known fact that men who claim to know what the fuck mansplaining is cannot resist mansplaining that it doesn’t, at least for them, exist. More than a few of them mansplain that theirs is a truly lofty and nuanced apprehension of mansplaining, which is why when they do it they aren’t really doing it, so it isn’t the same as when actual mansplainers mansplain.
Then the outraged feminist shows up with the news that this awful manhating post has — get ready for a shock – made feminism the laughingstock of the whole internet. Oh no.
“Stop helping” is this outraged feminist’s refrain. Women should steer clear of critical analyses of male privilege because it makes us unpopular with the Chads of the world.
This is all outrageous and very maddening!
God, the whole thing is just swell.