The Oxford dictionary defines Mansplaining as (of a man) explaining (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing. I’d rather call it just another way by which a man satiates his egos and swallows his insecurity. Having worked in a male dominated industry for a good four years now, I have been at constantly at the receiving end of a man’s insecurity and I know what it feels like.
There was this pre-sales workshop which I was tasked to attend. There were just 3 participants, and I was the only female. The instructor made it a point to quote examples of cooking only and kept interrupting me every single time I was trying to convey a suggestion or some technical point. That was nothing short of blatant sexism. I decided to take matters in hand and had a little chat with him during the recess. I made it clear that I don’t like to be interrupted and can comprehend the subject just like my male colleagues. After all, I do have a degree and a medal in the subject in question. Things were much better after that. Today, after the US presidential debate, it was a happy consolation for me when Hilary Clinton faced the same situation yet kept her calm only to prove Trump wrong piece by piece. Obviously, politics is after all a male dominated field. She surely must have adapted herself to all that mansplaining.
It is a common notion and a rather foolish misconception that women are incapable of comprehending subjects like economics,engineering or developmental policies. If they had their way, men would even interrupt a woman and explain about childbirth in a supposedly correct manner and pretend they know better than women. It doesn’t really matter if the woman has a PhD in the subject of discussion, she is a woman therefore she can be interrupted and can be “schooled” or “educated” by a man.
What begins as a simple interruption eventually would lead to the ultimate act of domination – violence. What starts as harmless interruptions will one fine day transcend and morph into a mindset of not respecting a woman. Isn’t it wise to listen and then be the judge of one’s depth of knowledge? Silencing a woman or for that matter, even a man and preventing them from expressing themselves is a clear act of violation of fundamental human rights. In case of a man, silencing is the maximum that happens. Has there been any incident reported where a man beats up a person of his own gender because he didn’t listen? That is clearly not the case with women. Haven’t we read about women being abused for even talking?
It is imprudent to assume that women are dumb and cannot match a man’s assimilation skills when it comes to areas which are dominated by men. We are qualified just as a man of our level is. It is just that we aren’t the types to prove the depth of our knowledge and feed our insecurities by ‘womansplaining’.