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[personal profile] pen_grunt
The term "mansplain" gets thrown around a lot. (It's the tendency of men to explain something in detail to a woman who knows that subject, sometimes even interrupting her to do so. The offensiveness is in the assumption that the woman must be ignorant of any given topic, that the guy has a responsibility to explain it to her, and that his voice is more important than hers.)

Unsurprisingly, a lot of guys take umbrage with this term. "I'm not a mansplainer! I just want to be clear/I do this regardless of sex/how am I supposed to know what you do or don't know."

It seems like the objection comes from the same vein of being called "creepy"--the power of the label comes from the person assigning it to you. They bristle. It's not like someone calling you a "pussy"--which is demonstrably untrue, in your mind--creepy and mansplaining come from how you make a person feel. 

The other night, D and I were doing joint crafts. I was so pleased that he wanted to do it too. It was incredibly nice to be working on it together. 
But I have a lot more experience in doing this than he does. Not because I'm smarter, but because I've had more practice. I started to explain how I usually do things and then stopped myself because I felt like I was being condescending. Not that I was speaking in a condescending way, but I had no idea what his expertise level was, truly. And how tedious is it to have to listen to someone explain something that you already know?

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to craft-splain or woman-splain to you--how much do you want me to help and how much do you know or want to figure out on your own?"

And the thing is--he totally wanted me to show him (and I did)--but the prospect of explaining something to someone who already knew about it felt *gross* to me. Like I was being totally disrespectful in the moment and I truly hadn't assessed the situation or asked him about his knowledge level. I just assumed incompetence.

How does it not feel gross to him when some guy tries to explain to me how to write a script? 


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