Mansplaining; A Name for the Last Male Frontier of Marginalization

Mansplaining – the perfect name for obnoxious behavior. One delicious benefit of arriving at a certain age is to have a woman give a name to a practice that women put up with for years.

On the Lucy Show, when her adventures backfired, Ricky huffed and growled, “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.” I waited for Lucy to ‘splain to Ricky where to stuff it, but she never did.

Mansplaining rachets up the ‘splaining to give the male a platform to pontificate to the female on unsolicited subjects.

I hoped men might progress and outgrow this practice, but they did not. Women united, and named it and devised a clever name to call it out.

In the land before time, if a man called you “little lady”, you knew an unwarranted homily, was forthcoming; like when the builder who was building our new home tried to put sub-grade shelving in all the closets.

The contractor explained the pine rosin and knot holes would not be discernable once the closets were filled. Juggling three kids who did not want to go to a building site, may have caused me to be a bit impatient. I went ballistic, the oldest child covered the youngest child’s ears as they scurried to the safety of our car. The good news was the contractor never called me “little lady” again and our closet shelves were rosin and knot free.

This was not my first encounter with mansplaining. Years prior, a male interviewer mansplained that I would want a third child, and pregnancy would create a major inconvenience for this position.

Then there was the time I went to the HR director to ask for help with a delicate matter.

My boss’s body odor was so horrible he could have distilled it and marketed it as bear repellent. A few minutes spent in his office drove the aroma into my nostrils where it lodged itself for the remainder of the day. I couldn’t say anything to him, but I thought perhaps another man might could. Nope, nuh uh, he mansplained in four words, “He is an executive.”

I am waiting for eldersplain to become a word. Eldersplain is the practice of younger folks assuming the mature set require unsolicited instruction ranging from the use of electronic devices or how to “google it.”

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