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Semantee Chattopadhyay
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Mansplaining is a term used to describe a situation where a man talks condescendingly to someone, especially a woman, about something he has incomplete knowledge of with the mistake in examination that he knows more about it than the person is talking to. This term was popularised by Rebecca Solnit in her book “Men Explain Things to Me”. In this book, she mentions an incident at a party she meets a male writer who kept interrupting her while she was discussing her project. While talking over her he asked her if she had read the new book on the subject, only to realise that it was her book that he was referring to.
If you are a man and want to explain something to someone very eagerly then you should ask yourself some of these questions: Has the person I asked for an explanation? Are you making assumptions about their competence? How much do you know about the issue yourself? Unsolicited explanations may be fine (within reason) if you’re someone’s teacher or manager. Explaining after they have declined your help is almost always disrespectful. Too often women who are experts in their field have been mansplained by men who have no experience and possess only an inflated opinion of their knowledge. These communication habits are shaped by gender roles and norms of masculinity. Men owing to their patriarchal conditioning, try to “dominate” and “take control” of conversations, often talking in ways that are the meaning to the other person disregarding their capabilities and competence. The term also claims to call attention to the power differential between men and women and is an attempt to describe a shared experience among women. This generally makes women feel less confident about themselves. They fail to represent themselves in a fear that somebody will interrupt their space. It is also a reflection of society as women are often assumed to be ignorant and unintelligent, at least compared to men. Mansplaining only strengthens the gender divide.