Mansplaining. Even the word itself is infuriating, never mind being subjected to it daily at work and in social settings. It’s likely that you’ve you have experienced mansplaining at some point in your life, even if you didn’t realize it had a name. Dealing with this behavior can be difficult, especially if it is coming from a friend or loved one.
What Is Mansplaining?
Mansplaining is when a man explains something that is usually frustratingly obvious to someone else (usually a woman) in a patronizing, condescending, and oversimplified way. It can also happen to other men, but it is predominantly used as a way to assert control over women, especially in the workplace or politics. Here’s how to deal with it.
Recognize How You Feel and Process it Internally
When someone mansplains to you, although it may feel natural to bite back and react with anger or frustration, try to process what is being said. Think about how it makes you feel. Notice and observe this, but pause and deal with it internally.
Address the Issue
Instead of acting in anger, try to label the experience and make it clear you’re not happy with how they are communicating. Try saying, “I am familiar with the subject. This feels condescending.” Or “Thank you for your concern, but I actually have a degree in X/ten year’s experience in X.” You could also ask questions like, “Is this something we need to discuss more?” Be calm but direct. Make sure they’re aware that their behavior is not acceptable or appreciated. They may be acting unintentionally, especially if they are a partner or friend.
Have you experienced mansplaining before? How did you address it? Let us know in the comments.