The following is a translation of an article from Eldiario entitled Men Who Explain Things To You: Top 7 Mansplainers by El Ratel. His translation comments are in bold brackets, whereas my responses to the article will be outlined in italics.
You will always, always hear the same excuses and explanations for why things are the way they are.
Barbijaputa, January 21st
In every article and conversation on feminism, the same male chauvinist [or sexist, or misogynist; “machista” can mean whatever you prefer] slogans; it doesn’t matter whether the debate is taking place on the web, among a group of friends, in Almería or in Cuenca. You will always, always hear the same excuses and explanations for why things are the way they are. They are the mansplainers.
Does this not sound similar in tone to the opening scrawl for a sci-fi story about nefarious aliens who are invading an otherwise peaceful realm?
Mansplaining (and here we are directly copying Wikipedia’s definition, so the mansplainer doesn’t need to explain it to you) is:
The word mansplaining is a neologism based on the composition of the words “man” and “explain”, which could be defined as “explaining something to someone, generally from a man to a woman, in a condescending or paternalistic manner.
Today we’re giving you a selection of the most common ones:
1: The Biologist
It doesn’t matter what the debate is about: glass ceiling, aggression, domestic chores… this kind of mansplainer will justify anything with biology. If we are sexually assaulted, that is because male sexual impulse (which seems to be tattooed on his DNA) is stronger than him. They usually add that it’s better to cover yourself and not dress like a slut. Of course, they immediately get themselves out of the equation; come on, they weren’t talking about themselves, just everyone else.
If you are debating why women are not promoted as higher as men at work, the mansplainer will tell you that is because we, biologically, are more prepared for having children and raising them. It’s like our own uterus was to blame for the glass ceiling. End of the conversation: it’s biological. What can you reply to that? Nothing. Admit your defeat and go breastfeed something or someone.
I think a more proper title for this article would Top 7 Scarecrows, because all I can see is men made of straw here. What man is claiming that male innate biological sexual impulses cause sexual assaults? Where did they say this? Do you have any examples of actual comments made by people of this nature? This isn’t very difficult. Surely, somewhere, on some forum, subreddit you can find something to cite. Trawl around for a Twitter comment, in a YouTube comments thread, on a Facebook page, somewhere on the Internet or off it. You can provide examples for the people you’re talking about, right? Otherwise your Biologist Mansplainer sounds an awful lot like a work of science fiction.
What makes this tactic interesting is that this person seems to have taken socially reprehensible behaviors like slut shaming a woman after she’s been raped and combined it with bizarre logical conclusions I have never encountered in all my time reading about gender politics. That women’s lowered earnings are partially due to them putting their family’s first is an argument I’ve heard, but I’ve never came across somebody actually saying that it’s because they are biologically “more prepared” for it. By linking a very closely related discussion (whether women are biologically disposed to prefer nurturing roles and thus childcare, which is a very different argument and does not presuppose that the one arguing it is saying they deserve to earn less if they are espousing it) to other negative portrayals of men, our crazy feminist has concocted a mythical Biological Mansplainer out of whole cloth and with not a single shred of evidence that people like this exist, let alone in any great numbers.
When we point out harmful stereotypes feminists spread about men, we can actually link it to dozens upon dozens of examples to prove we’re not generating the image of their views from our overactive imaginations.
2: The Negationist/Denier
With this kind of mansplainer, you need to assume that male chauvinism/machismo [considering women inferior] doesn’t matter. At least not in Spain. Machismo is something that happens in other countries like Brazil or Iran, and he’ll politely send you there to protest, to show your level of commitment to gender equality. He’ll probably tell you that he also wants equality (but not so much as to accompany you to Iran). Don’t tell him about rape or femicide: they are not as numerous as in other countries, so you can’t complain. In fact, you should be thankful, because it could be worse.
Notice how the mythical mansplainer is actually just somebody who is just taking up a certain argument? Apparently, it’s no longer about condescending tone and arrogant assumption. It’s about the wrongthink of having the wrong opinions. Notice how it doesn’t have anything to do with how the term mansplaining developed, which was about men explaining to women concepts they already know, mostly in the context of the work place with co-workers? Notice how again the tricksy feminist equates multiple different widely varying viewpoints under one monolithic mansplainer stereotype? It’s unlikely that the viewpoints that male chauvinism doesn’t matter and that it’s far more prevalent in other cultures, where it should be fought with more vigor, are from the same type of person. Obviously, one viewpoint espouses that male chauvinism isn’t a thing and another asserts that it is, but not as much in the area they’re living in.
Notice also how the tricksy feminist characterizes this mansplainer as someone who is morally deficient, because they are not concerned about femicide? Isn’t that interesting? It’s a near universal truth that looking through the crime statistics of many countries will tell you that men get assaulted and killed more often than women and yet, it is termed denial to refuse to phrase the problem of violent crime as something committed toward women. I feel sorry for this lady. Obviously she’s been the victim of violent crime: she’s stuck an ideological stick so far up her ass that any argument about the wider context of crime beyond its impact on women is mansplaining.
3: The Victim
This kind of mansplainer will explain to you why your complaints are not fair, and why you also have double standards when standing up for the issue. Be aware: they have tears for any subject. If you talk about rape, he will tell you that the ones who are raped in prison are always men, and that you don’t seem to throw your arms up in horror. Of course, he doesn’t tell you that the rapists are other men, and if you tell him yourself, he’ll reply that it doesn’t matter who is the aggressor; what matters is who is the victim, and that you don’t care because they are men. The one who doesn’t really care too much is him, as he only complains about these cases when he bumps into a feminist. But that’s not important: you are the one with the double standard.
If the debate revolves around social pressure on our physical appearance, the victim mansplainer will tell you that you don’t know what pressure is, that even anti-wrinkle products for men have been already invented, and that the pressure is, at the most, the same. If you talk about sexual assault, he’ll tell you that in 1998 someone grabbed his ass in a bar, and that during last Christmas business dinner, a female colleague asked him to give her a kiss, and that he felt tremendously uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter what you tell him, or the official statistics you show this mansplainer: he always has it worse.
Projection, thy name is feminism. Who is the group that always claims they have it worse despite reaping the rewards of decades of law reform in their favor and enjoying an era of privilege unbeknownst to any other group of women throughout history?
I absolutely love how a feminist can use an anecdote about somebody grabbing their ass in a bar, make that personal into the political, write an article about it and then complain if not everybody takes her completely seriously, and it’s perfectly fine, but when a man does it? He’s a mansplainer. Nope, no double standards there.
Come on, who on Earth mentions the still relatively low-key market of cosmetics marketed toward men as proof of societal pressure for physical appearance? Whenever this double standard argument comes up, you’re a thousand times more likely to hear people mention cases of men getting hit on by women, the high standards women have for potential partners, the amount of male sexuality in media and other such things, but cosmetics? If it wasn’t 100% apparent before that Dorothy is imagining Scarecrows for her own enjoyment, this is proof.
Look, people whine on either side of the gender politics. That’s a given. Whining is not proof of an ideological deficiency in the conversation. Even if the high-pitched squeal and whine about abortion is deafening, feminists in the US have had some legitimate complaints about lawmakers trying to take away abortion clinics in certain states and this leading to women who opt for unsafe abortion methods. The fact that a great deal of arguments about this resort to ridiculous “they’re trying to bring the wimminz down/ it’s a war on women” rhetoric, the point will still exist that when legal abortion isn’t available it can lead to uninformed women making bad choices. Similarly, even if there are some guys out there who make ridiculous arguments about prison rape, it doesn’t in any way, shape, or form take away from the truth of the matter: that prison rape is not taken seriously and not enough is being done to curtail it.
This is simply a ridiculous form of reductionism. The sun is nothing but a big lamp in the sky. All men’s rights issues are nothing but mansplaining.
4: The #TheyExist
It’s very complicated to debate with the #TheyExist mansplainer. He doesn’t deny the existence of gender violence or femicides. He doesn’t deny anything, or explain anything, or is interested in anything you are telling him; he is here to tell you his truth. And his truth is that the Government is silencing the incredible statistics of men murdered by their wives. Depending on the mansplainer, the figure goes from 30 to 300 violent deaths per year. There are even associations and platforms of men claiming to be victims of the Gender Violence Act, and who defend the existence of the #TheyExist (If you have the time and you feel like, look for that hashtag on Twitter. But you really need to have the time and to really feel like it).
[#Existen is the hashtag used by the advocates of shared custody, victims of false domestic violence reports and male victims of domestic violence. Although policemen and Justice workers have revealed the high number of false claims, the official statistics only offer less than a 1% of false claims, and feminists cling to that number. That number, as you may imagine, is the number of false claims that were prosecuted and proved to be false claims; it doesn’t take into account dismissed claims, absolved men, etc. Nothing new under the sun, although Spanish feminists insist on treating the issue as if it were exclusive and rampant in our country.]
Let me get this straight. It’s important to speak up. It’s important to listen and believe victims. However, it is only important to do so when they have penis caves. When it is a man, it is important for them to be spoken down to. It’s important to ignore and deny. Good to know. Men, lend your ears to the feminine gods. Thus it has been written, thus shall it be known: male victims do not exist. (If they did, it would make things “complicated to debate with” and we can’t have that.)
5: The Lecturer
The Lecturer mansplainer tells you how to perform the feminist fight. Come on, he doesn’t really matter, he’s doing it for you, because he sees you a bit overwhelmed, and don’t tell him “What can you possibly know about feminism”; he’ll just leave, you seem to be too upset.
He’ll tell you that what women need to do is not to be such whiners and such victims, constantly talking about gender violence, for fuck’s sake, no one has ever touched you, what’s all the fuss about? He’ll tell you that the best thing you can do is to stay away from bad company, and that the moment some crazy man does something to any of us (because yes, they are crazy men), go report it to the police and that’s the end of it, there are lots of fish in the sea. The Lecturer will explain to you that you have to be disturbed yourself if you stay with an abusive partner, and that you, as a feminist, can’t dedicate your life to defend crazy women from crazy men, because feminism is much more than that (If you reached this point on the conversation with a Lecturer mansplainer, you deserve my admiration).
Dorothy clicks her heels together, squeezes her eyes shut and repeats loudly, putting her fingers in her ears, “There’s no excuse like Patriarchy. There’s no excuse like Patriarchy. There’s no excuse like Patriarchy.”
If you thought this one sounded familiar, it’s because it’s almost exactly the logic of tone policing, that feminist invention that they can’t be criticized for any way they decide to talk or act about their ideas, otherwise it’s policing the tone of a woman, which is not allowed. You will of course notice that men are expected to act and speak under ever increasing burdens of politically correct language that will be dictated by the feminist police force, but disapproval or suggestion in the opposite direction is an automatic foul.
Lovely how so far we’ve got justifications for how there can never be any explanations based on facts (the Victim) or biological realities (the Biologist). You cannot speak from personal experience (#TheyExist), nor can you as a man, offer your opinion on what your own gender’s chauvinism can be like (the Negationist). The coup de grace is no criticism is allowed against any of these tactics either (the Lecturer). Notice how if we combine all of the five previous mansplainers together, there is no possible way to make any argument that disagrees with feminism?
6: The troll
This mansplainer can only be found in social networks or forums. There’s no debate, they’ll just contribute with the occasional “feminazi”, “fat”, “bitter”… Some of them will give you a bonus track, in the form of a picture of their genitals.
Well, isn’t this lovely and convenient? Now all insincere communication and negative interactions on the Internet are simply mansplaining. Immature twelve-year-olds commenting on some lady’s YouTube channel with “Show yer tits hur hur”? Mansplaining. Somebody shutting down a Tinder hookup because their match is too heavy for them? Mansplaining. Somebody saying Hillary Clinton is bitter because she lost to Barack Obama? Mansplaining. Hell, even non-verbal communication, such as a dick pick, is mansplaining. Pretty soon, the act of having a penis will constitute mansplaining, even if you’re deaf and mute. Notice how there isn’t any actual explanation of how this constitutes a supposed male chauvinist condescending explanation to a woman? Yeah, I noticed that too.
Great, now every time a woman makes a comment about dick size, I can call it womansplaining. Every time a girl calls me a name for no reason, womansplaining. It must be because of her gender, right? After all, there are no other explanations for bad behavior, except for gender-related ones.
7: The psychoanalyst
When you present your point of view, he’ll just diagnose things or explain why you think the way you do. The most frequent are:
A) A boyfriend broke your heart and now you hate men.
B) You are a lesbian and you know it. Or, you are a lesbian but don’t know it yet. Pick one.
C) You are planning a vaginocracy in order to get your revenge on men.
D) You are too fat.
Because there are examples of people who develop really strange ideological expressions after bad experiences, it’s not unreasonable to see speculation about why someone may have developed their views.
I’ve got news for you, Dorothy. A lot of MRAs either have had something bad happen to them at the hands of a woman or has had somebody close to them face such an ordeal. People are the result of their experiences on both sides of the gender politics debate. How many men have to deal with gay stereotypes for the choices they’ve made? How many times do you see feminists claim that there is a white male power structure created to bring women down? How many times have gamers’ opinions been ignored by telling them they’re fat neckbeards who live in their mother’s basement? How are these not psychological explanations for the views they’ve come to hold?
Sometimes in the vast amount of poop flinging that occurs across hot debates, you get ridiculous justifications for anything. Just look at some of the atheist vs. theist discussions. You’ll see otherwise reasonable atheists assert that the only reason theists exist is because they haven’t truly looked at the evidence for their beliefs or because their parents brainwashed them. You’ll see otherwise reasonable theists assert that the only reason atheists believe so is because they want a morality get out of jail free card. That sometimes these assumptions are based on the experiences real people go through does not necessarily make for a fair generalization, but as long as people have the power to analyze their own and others’ situations, this back and forth will exist.
There never has been, nor will there likely ever be a hotly contested debate wherein both sides didn’t have simultaneously good arguments for how the other side came to be and bad ones as well. Denying that this is a phenomenon that spans across all debate, making it one-sided, it’s simply a way to make women out as the only possible victims once again. It’s very similar to claiming that the problem of internet fuckery only affects women.
It’s interesting that, although some of the premises of these mansplainers are incompatible, you’ll never see them fight. That is, a Denier will never oppose a Biologist, neither will a #TheyExist tell a troll off.
That’s what gender solidarity is like.
Oh, look Dorothy is psychic and all-knowing. She can see all the conversations across all time and space that have ever happened or ever will happen. Segments of #GamerGate have never argued over the validity of certain arguments and MRAs who are victims of sexual violence have never advocated against trollish language. Silly me, I couldn’t see the entire planet of eight billion people’s conversations all at once like Dorothy can. What was I thinking? Guess I should just give up, stuff myself full of straw and follow Dorothy down the yellow take-the-piss road.
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