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Animal Testing Essays. Black Lives Matter Essays. Urbanization in China Essays. Haven't found the right essay? Get an expert to write your essay! Get your paper now. Professional writers and researchers. A few comments suggest that Solnit believes men should not be allowed to question women, and that men are doubted just as much as women. But this is not the point being made. Men are doubted in stereo-typically feminine arenas such as child care.
Women receive less backlash for preforming roles outside of their gender norms. However, there are inherent negative stereotypes against women in stereo-typically masculine roles, which creates volatile stereotype-threat. Women are doubted firstly on sex alone, in addition to other available stereotypes, until they are able often at the permission of men in power to prove their worth.
While women suffer harsher restrictions in their prescribed roles, men suffer greater backlash for violating masculine gender-roles. Such a case would be detrimental to both sexes, and is a symptom of gender-roles in society. The really troubling thing to me is, in spite of a solid belief in gender equality and at times being a good listener, I suspect that I may be completely unaware of the times when I become a Man Who Explains Things. Hard to believe that gender does not enter into that equation. I think I will ask my wife to read this article too.
It may prove to be illuminating and I hope not too painful. This was an interesting read, but I think she beats her drum a little too loudly here, thereby unwittingly giving credence to the very thing she is protesting. Look what happened to the sleezebag mayor of San Diego. That is a good thing. This woman keeps referring to her many authored books, as though those define her worth to be heard.
Simply by virtue of her having a voice, any voice, she has a right to be heard, gender notwithstanding. The following link by Bozo Biden also infers that women are somehow weak and in need of separate legislation. The Constitution affords ALL of us equal protection. Some men are certainly jerks, but so are some women. The real blessing is ridding our lives of all who are anything but lovely. We need to stop all this divisiveness and become unified. We are all humans. We are all Americans. We all love, feel pain, laugh, cry, eat, sleep, drink, mourn, and on and on. We should emphasize our vectors where we intersect and build on that.
I liked this essay very much. Therefore I want the following to be taken in its proper context. Notwithstanding the offensive tone of the man with whom Ms. I suspect that Mr. Very Important II , like many people vaguely familiar with American politics, assumed that this is the period of activity to which Ms. Solnit referred, and I think that his assumption was not idiosyncratic. But its downfall — in any interesting sense — occurred before What Ms. Solnit it cannot know, because she is not a man, is that even in a group of only men, the same men who mansplain to women tend to mansplain to other men.
We quietly sigh to ourselves about it, maybe crack jokes behind the back of the worst offenders. It is mostly a non-sexist personality flaw that is rampant in men. It happens because men are socialized to desire to seen as authoritative, wise. The solution here is to teach women confidence in the same way men are taught it, but also to teach men humility in the same way women are taught it. This is the reason Gen-X women date younger men. This article reminds me of a recent conversation with my dad, who is definitely guilty of mansplaining. I know the difference! I have a masters degree in climate change!
My only question is why did you write this piece? It comes across to me as if you are angry about something that while it matters — matters little. You should just be proud of your accomplishments as a writer and realize the following: There will always be someone more knowledgeable and many less so. So why dwell on it? Congratulations on all your books! I have yet to write one! This was a great article. Everything you report I have witnessed and has made me ashamed of my gender.
After a life in broadcasting and journalism I know that women have a far greater ability to understand, analyse and explain. It is that uniquely feminine sensitivity that takes their thoughts and words far beyond the simplistic male.
Now I must immediately buy and read your work, which, for my sins, I have never come across before… and yes, I am British. Thank you to him. I only want to ADD to his comment that my brain screams that what women have comes from what they are assigned to be and do. It is WORK — that is concerted effort and time that women put into things so they can have the results. Work itself is framed in what men do. The results are seen globally. The results being that mothering itself is being driven by doctors with medications and statistics that does not translate into mothering. Like the loss of farming, the loss of the work of mothering is being turned over to big business and unless women can start getting respect for what they do know and that knowledge being valued as much as Bill Gates or Stephen Hawkings contributions to the world, there is and will be needless human suffering because of the lack of that knowledge.
I hope this makes sense. It is very destructive to have men dominate the world and conversations as if their work and knowledge is the superior and only valueable. More can be see at karendee Thank you Karen…we are all people and carry equal responsibility for our work and lives. Every gender brings unique qualities to solve every problem. We all deserve equal respect. Thanks for such an insightful article! It is so easy to criticize men as a group, and everyone knows they can get away with it. This article takes advantage of the fact that society tacitly approves of anti male sentiment, while harshly punishing any kind of criticism against women.
For anyone who thinks this article is fair and reasonable, I ask you this: would you be just as comfortable with an article on how women can be such nags? Thank you, Ms. Solnit, and please continue to also fight the battle on behalf of women older than you. Since my hair has turned gray, I find myself increasingly interrupted and marginalized, to the point of invisibility.
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My experience is considered irrelevant and dated. Second that, Katy. Besides, they were mansplained so much while young, it all make them glad to associate with others of like gender and age and leave the younger women to deal with mansplaining. Now we are living longer and I look forward to Ms. Reading articles like this I am struck by how much of the behaviour described could easily be an Alpha male talking down to a Beta male. It seems like there is a hierarchy of alpha, then beta, and women get to slot into their default position underneath both.
It would then logically seem that equality would mean that women have as much of an opportunity to become an alpha or beta themselves. Would we really want to perpetuate this system, though? So you have condescension at Alpha, resentment and bitterness at beta, and women get to be held on a pedestal that has no actual power or respect. They are the trophy and the currency, but have no agency in this system. I feel like they are all parts of the same problem. Like there is this system and we are all stuck in it and encouraged to play our roles.
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Like the whole house needs to be demolished. If we all keep pecking we are just changing our position in that system, not stepping out of it. Not breaking it. Am I mansplaining here? I would be interested in feminist perspective of my man-theories. Women commenting here would not have to ask that. A man lacks the experience so he has nothing to contribute. Just worked a lifetime to articulate this mess in hopes of creating a harmonious world and good relationships.
Question to provoke thought: Does this phenomena, arrogant men who explain things, tie in to the innocently ignorant conversationalist who asks for things to be explained while a discussion above their pay-grade is going on? The other day I met with a man about 65 years old. He kept reminding me how young I was. But then I mentioned my parents, and mentioned my father would disagree with what he just said. Now I should mention this meeting was a professional meeting, this man knows nothing about my family or my father.
I should also mention my father is 70…. For men to comment on this subject is a daunting no-win situation. Nevertheless — I think it is important to call out several issue from a male point of view. The Wildlife profession was one of the worst offenders in terms of lack of female representation. However the last 15 years shows an interesting and positive development: the growing majority of wildlife graduate students and new professionals are female…. I find articles like this extremely discomforting. One of the biggest pitfalls of humanity is to make nonsensical correlations between two things with no cause and effect relationship.
Like equating a mass shooting episode with a generalized misogynistic male culture, as opposed to a specific case of mental illness recent news. Or connecting the struggles of college educated female Americans with the life or death plight of a woman in a specific third world nation with zero cultural linkage to our homeland. The bottom line is that there is a growing number of normal men and women leading normal lives that find harmony with the opposite sex in the workplace and at home, but find the surrounding culture of gender awareness to be an increasing pain in the ass:.
One of the surprising outcomes of equality in the workplace is the opportunity for men and women to share in the frustration having bosses, feeling under-appreciated, spending too much time away from your children, and feeling stressed out all the time. One of the worst parts of equality is that it produces a partnership with two work-stressed people who still have to be a family.
I reserve the right to explain myself:. As so the war rages on. Because usually women with crazy exes are dead. Who is explaining it to you? A man? So… men think they know better than women, AND other men. I had to explain the term mansplaining to my husband.
Wait, do I do that? On a different note, Andye brings up a useful point. I think perhaps we can make long-term change by simply pecking away at the problem, and we may have to settle for long-term pecking, actually, because to address mansplaining and the whole alpha-beta construct simultaneously would make our goals all too clear to the invested alphas, who have nothing to gain. That might bring more violent backlash than is safe for those of us at the wrong end of a gun during an armed tantrum.
I want to be alive when it happens ;. The idea seems to be that men are trying to prove their superiority to everyone. This article is the epitome of gender arrogance and hypocrisy. Congratulations Rebecca Solnit. Sexism at its finest. I live with four women — a wife and three daughters. During my grad school tenure, my mother-in-law twice informed me that my dissertation topic involving evolutionary biology was ridiculous. I guess my point is: People are rectal orifices, in general. A good percentage of people are dismissive, overconfident pains-in-the-ass.
Aspen-guy seems like a self-important tool who was shocked that a woman would have authored an important book. He sounds a lot like my female gender psychology professor, a woman who made it abundantly clear on a daily basis that no male had anything of worth to say about gender issues, least of all an undergraduate. As a matter of fact, in my research consulting practice, I am routinely challenged by clients about the necessity of value of certain procedures. Some ask questions about the reasoning or expected results. However, it has been almost uniformly the female clients in leadership positions who make unequivocal yet utterly ignorant declarations dismissing the value of what are in fact routine industry practices.
The project gets derailed and time is lost in explaining fundamental practices and reversing their positions and eventually starting over. And, in response to a post above, I am interrupted in meetings by women far more often than by men. I went with the definition that means persuasive but with little or no meaning. Then I said, oh, yes, it can also be a general term for that, as in, for instance, the traditional educational trivium, where you study grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
People, especially people like the author of this condescending and highly generalizing article, would get upset and sound the feminist clarion. Do women want equality?
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Or do they want special privileges whereby they can say whatever they want, while all men have to walk on eggshells to avoid saying anything slightly politically incorrect? I think they want special privileges. Has the author of this article never met any arrogant women? I certainly have. Loads of them. There are lots of rude, arrogant, and condescending people—male and female. The author of this article is obviously one of those people. In all of the examples you provided, you have had leaps of logic.
I find this article to be hurtful to any feminist agenda as it promotes Misandry. If you actually stand for equal rights, then attack the behavior. If Women Ruled the World: we would all be geared towards communication and connection rather than competition and dominance. There is like a lapse in understanding who can have an opinion. Many of these comments actually are a continuation of the very subject of the article.. Especially if I am a man, I can claim reality about women. And men can somehow keep responding to women who describe being a woman as if they are women.
We all grow up surrounded by what all the fathers did to create our world and women fall off the radar screen. Men who are not women or do not have the experience have no basis to comment. And comparing men and women as if there is no sex segregation is actually delusional. Thank you, this was a great essay and has made me want to check out your books.
No way being a contrarian, know-it-all asshole is simply male behavior aimed at females, but it really seems we get it in mind-boggling ways. Once an ex-boyfriend mentioned the deal he got on a newly-bought fishing reel. There is also no way they would actually explain these things to other men. I would explain what I mean by that, but… I feel rather silenced at the moment. So the men in this comment section who are detailing why the author is wrong are basically proving her point.
Do men mansplain to other men, or just women? Do they do it more frequently or in a different fashion when speaking to a woman? I had not. Debate is silenced, people are muted or blocked or banned. The alpha male continues on regardless, as she would do were he not there. I look forward to hearing her article about the first time she is accused online of mansplaining. Congratulations, now you know exactly what women have been experiencing for thousands of years. First, I want to say that I generally applaud your empowering message to women.
It is important that all human beings, regardless of gender, have the right to speak up. I do feel, however, that over-feminizing the topic strongly detracts from your message.
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Even in some of your most potent anecdotes, you seem to be making many assumptions. So the old man was imposing, and he had made a lot of money. Clearly, he was arrogant and patronizing. But about what? Sure he cut you off when you mentioned your latest New York Times Bestseller. Perhaps he was merely bragging about being well-read or well-informed of the latest novels.
Indeed, if the old man was truly familiar with the New York Times review of your book, he would have known that the book was written by a female author. Where is your evidence that he was so blinded by his feelings of masculine superiority that he completely overlooked that fact and assumed that Rebecca was a male name? Up to this point, the unwarranted assumptions fall short of being harmful. The Aspen idiot was arrogant, ignorant, and deserved to be put in his place.
But at some point, the feminist assumptions potentially cross the line and become dangerous. Your Iraq anecdote is a perfect example of this.
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I have no doubt Coleen Rowley made invaluable contributions in making those early warnings about al-Qaeda, but your critique implies that the Bush administration went to war out of smugness. But what smugness? How, then, is it possible that the supposed masculine smugness of the Bush administration could not be countered by male experts? We do live in a world where many young women are crushed into silence, and this is a major problem. I applaud your act of giving a voice to those who have no voice. But when feminism is without adequate justification used to explain unrelated societal problems, it loses its potency and even hurts the very causes you stand for.
Not smugness, methinks. I wondered, myself, if perhaps the people promoting the invasion of Iraq might not be right in their judgment. But no time was given to hash this out, if the warmongers would have even discussed it with the opposition. Thank you so much for this article. I am considering leaving a carreer I have loved for a long time because the men are just too insecure and over compensate by being complete pricks.
It is important for women like you to speak out for all of us — I cannot wait for my 26 year old daughter to read this! She asks me questions all the time about situations like this and I have told her my experiences but it will mean a lot coming from someone else like you. Let me just start mansplanning for a minute. I, for example, am a proud Iranian. Each demographic has its own view on gender, some of which correlates with your arguements and others which disprove them.
The point is it is careless and ignorant to generalize, which is funny cause you accuse that of men. Hallelejuah for this article! However, am I the only one who, unfortunately, read moments of internalized misogyny in here? Specifically, in the way that Solnit feels the need to justify any points of contention with Mr Very Important I and II by sourcing research from fellow male academics who agree.
As if her expertise and thorough research on a topic is not fully valid without the blessing of a male academic counterpart. This happens twice in the article, i. Could be coincidental the only two academics who agreed were men? And god, can I ever relate. As a female attractive, something psychology student working in research, every day is a fight for me to be taken seriously. Thankfully my mentors those whose labs I work in, effectively my bosses are a black female feminist and a white male feminist so I never deal with anything negative from them.
That somebody else was me. He was referencing my work. You know, the study I ran. Outlined in the paper I wrote. With my name all over it. The one he read about. The one I wrote about. I try to read as many articles as I can about feminist topics. While I find it difficult to put myself in the shoes of a woman, I feel I get intellectually, if not emotionally, a little closer each time I complete one and think on it.
This article reminded me of a joke my wife and I share, which came from a greeting card we found in a store one day. We use this with each other as a BS detector.
Is that a stickout? Or not. And I do the same with her. With this article however, I got an icky feeling by the levels of condescension coming from a woman who is much smarter than I am, and is tickled to point it out. The argument she makes that Mansplaining a snide and belittling term in itself if ever I saw one is inherent in the male gender is ironically weakened in her derisively triumphal attitude towards unsuspecting male fools.
What should be read into in her essay as frustration comes across more as hostility and an all-too eager predisposition to ascribe negative traits as inherent to men. The old man is Aspen? Sounds like my dad talking to me. And my grandma talking to him. But Ms. Solnit, in her story seemed ready to pounce on him or any man, perhaps? This article shows me that arrogance is alive and well in both sexes. Thanks, Rebecca.
And probably to a few men, as well. I agree with and support this article. Thanks and apparently — apologies — to Rebecca for explaining the endless faults of us men to the world, and rightly so. We are a lot of half- baked loafs with barely a right to breathe evidently, and guilty beyond belief of disrespecting the fairer sex. For my part, I hold you in high regard, and as such, I will restrain any and all attempts to explain anything to you, in the knowledge that any such altruistic mention would undoutably get mocked or shoeboxed as the lout that I am.
May you find peace with mankind, and I hope that deep down inside you learn to love us as we are, fearfully and wonderfully made. Faults and all. Stop crying about how your helpfulness is unappreciated. This is the same thing that white people do to people who are not white. In fact, try spending a month on the internet commenting with a feminine-sounding screen name and see how it goes. Try a gender neutral screen name, and a masculine-sounding screen name. Anyone actually interested in the experiment might be interested to know that a neutral name works very well for ensuring more measured responses, but… you will always find jerks on the internet, of every gender, color, and creed.
Trolls are everywhere, and their arrogance makes them particularly immune to information. YOU need to read this article or see this video that has already been thoroughly debunked. I have seen it directed at both males and females, but I can also see how it would be more easily directed at females for a variety of reasons.
I am still ashamed of those times. Remember that movie Magnolia where the old man on his death bed is talking about regret, and how you can never regret too much when you have a lot of regretting to do? I feel the same way about being ashamed.
It is honorable to be ashamed of shameful actions. So yes! You nailed it! This was a beautifully written essay. I want to add too that this is the kind of feminist article that I can get behind. Thank you for taking the time, at a very crucial point in this article, to appreciate the huge population of men who are on your team, or at least doing their best to be there. I mean really? I spent 5 years getting a degree in this along with all the personal sacrifices, and you want to act like you know the same amount about this as I do? So… I sort of agree with the sentiment that guys who tend to do this to women, also are also doing it to everyone else.
There is another side to this too, which is that many men are natural teachers, irregardless of their actual knowledge level. My father was always teaching me things and now I enjoy teaching people things too, but we have to be careful about only doing it where it is warranted. The downside of pseudo intellectualism is that it can become cruel, and that will especially translate to gender inequality. Unless you were there at the Aspen party or interviewed the old man afterward, you do not get to reinterpret her story for your own purposes well, not if you want to be taken seriously.
Every single one of the men in her story made fools of themselves by initiating their condescension to an expert in the field. Why not just absorb the story as one of many common experiences shared by many professional women, instead of getting immediately defensive? I am embarrassed to say that I had not read this. Thank you, Rebecca Solnit, for your thinking and your writing. What are your thoughts on the somewhat paradoxical nature of the article, since explaining mansplaining does assume a naivete among interested readers? Just a thought: Whenever someone other than the person whose story it is attempts to author that life or work …finish their sentence, change their story, tell them their own story, I consider it a pragmatic linguistic act a speech act , more nonverbal than anything, since I assume it to be an attempt to position themselves socially the speaker — by elevated themselves in knowledge above the other, and also concurrently, the other as lower in the social hierarchy …I think that regardless of gender I ran into this as a young man abroad a lot the article touches upon how social power is maintained, asserted — and I would have really liked to have seen how the conversation the discourse would probably have illustrated this as well.
Jesus wept. One fails to recognize the conditions of existence. Consider the position in any current major philosophy department of a Comte or Carnap. It gives me solace. Now I just recommend they read this. My own example: I was introduced to a man, a lawyer, as an artist named Anne Harris, which I am. You should look her up. When he finally registered what she was saying, he seemed disappointed rather than embarrassed. There are men who are much more interested in giving me answers than asking me questions.
I notice, as I grow older, this gets worse. They are blowhards and blowhard on women and men, alike. They love listening to themselves talk. My dad is a captain. It is just super difficult to back a trailer into his driveway off the narrow street ironically due the the barriers the dr put up along his property. Thank you for your brilliant, magnificently crafted commentary. One of my areas of concern I work in a medically-related field is the survival of the histrionic stereotype which results female patients first being patronized, then marginalized and often dismissed and undertreated.
I work in an Art university more or less as an technical sound person, helping students to record audio, speech or show them how to do it themselves. This had one major cause, I found out after a few years. I usually ask the students about their frame of knowledge on audio production. This is not a formal test, I just ask them if they have any experience in the field and based on the answer I guess their experience level. Male students tell me about their knowledge in a more straightforward way, while you nearly have to pressure female students to tell you what they can do.
I was baffled, because I explained it the same way I did to everybody else and I usually get very good feedback from females and males alike. But after that I started to think about — what if she had had experience, because when she got angry that was totally a possibility for me. However, it also shows the problem with the therm mansplaining. Probably not. It would definitly be mansplaining if everything hints she has knowledge in the field and I still explain it to her as if she were a child.
It also cannot be mansplaining if there is a discussion and a man adds arguments and facts that question the statment made by a female — this is something that happens in every discussion and is not bound to gender. As a feminist I think we need to be very careful in focusing on our goals, defining what kind of gender relations we wanna have and then working towards that. This sometimes means, we have to guard the therms and words we use. If mensplaining is to be used for a overly broad range of phenomena, of which many are not gender based — it will no longer point to a injustice, but will be used as a countersexist pidgeonhole, in which silly people put every man into who is not in their liking.
They are written by women for women and they do exactly what they should — make other women feel at least a little more understood. Thank you so much for posting! Sounds about right. I suspect I am guilty of mansplaining — as recently as last weekend. The piece has really got me thinking. Although I have several thoughts and some explanations, this is really not the appropriate time for that. Instead, I will simply apologize. I am sorry to all the women and men that I have mansplained. Changes will be made. If a male and female have the same work experience and same qualifications, then they should have the same pay.
In this article, they were arguing that is it because women choose lower paying jobs or is it because women only work part time jobs. They get all worked up about that because they like to be in charge and on a higher power. The reason men make more money than women are not right and unjust. It was letting people in society know the truths behind the pay gaps we have here in America. This book also gave women suggestions on what they could do to fix the problem and make it where they are equal as men and making the same amount of money men were making.
In the Washington post it talked about how even over the years nothing has changed. Women do not make the same amount of money as men even though they are doing the same job. Women should be paid the same amount of money as men are especially if they are doing the same jobs as them. These sources help to justify in my point that it is not fair for men to make more money than women especially if it is the same job and they both met the same qualifications.
The gap is worse for women of color. They have it bad because the gap is higher than other women in different races Miller,1. Men get all worked up when women are higher or equal to them in these areas. They feel like they must be the dominant one and the provider of the family.