When Is It Okay to Mansplain? Check This Chart

When Is It Okay to Mansplain? Check This Chart
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

We've all witnessed or experienced "mansplaining," or as Salon defines it, "when a man condescendingly lectures a woman on the basics of a topic about which he knows very little, under the mistaken assumption that she knows even less." The concept may have been formally exposed by writer Rebecca Solnit in 2008, but it's still alive and well seven years later. One blogger, Elle Armageddon, recently experienced firsthand.

A day after a man explained the concept of ascending and descending street numbers to her, a friend told Armageddon she also experienced an "unsolicited and uninformed explanation being foisted upon her," the writer told the Daily Dot on Monday. These experiences inspired the writer to create a flowchart she titled "Should You Explain the Thing to the Lady?"

The intent was a quick laugh, she said, but Armageddon soon had to field tweets from those who failed to see the humor. Some Twitter users, in fact, saw no irony in mansplaining the chart and implications of her choice to share it, asserting that it was unnecessary and sexist.

Users made these claims despite Armageddon's personal experience with mansplaining, the support evident in the hundreds of retweets and favorites her message received — and the fact that she doesn't even include gender in her chart or her explanation of it. 

"The way it has been interpreted repeatedly to be an attack on men, or specific to men, without making any mention of men is actually really interesting to me," Armageddon told the Daily Dot.

This is certainly not the first time a woman's own personal experience has been mansplained back to her online. For example, when one Reddit user posted her post-sex FitBit results on Reddit in August, other users began to disparagingly explain the experience to her and the Reddit community.

But the persistence of individuals like Armageddon to push back on this condescending treatment is crucial. As Solnit herself explained in a 2012 update to her original essay, "Having the right to show up and speak," whether online or in war-torn nations, "are basic to survival, to dignity and to liberty."

h/t The Daily Dot

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Julie Zeilinger

Julie Zeilinger is a staff writer at Mic as well as the founder and editor of The FBomb (thefbomb.org), a feminist blog partnered with the Women’s Media Center. She is also the author of "A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word" and "College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year."

MORE FROM

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.