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10 Signs He's Mansplaining to You

by Mackenzie Z. Kennedy 3 years ago in feminism

Want to point out that he's mansplaining to you? Hand him this article.

Every owner of a vagina has had this moment happen at least once in their lives: a guy who has absolutely no idea about anything deciding that he knows more than you, and talks down to you. Sad, but true.

It's a phenomenon that goes to show you how deep toxic masculinity can go. In the eyes of a person infected with a toxic masculinity-heavy mindset, women are inferior to men.

Men who have this issue are doubly convinced that women cannot be as smart as men—and that they know what it's like to be a woman more than actual women do. So, when they see a woman trying to exert an opinion, they'll talk down to them in a condescending way.

This is an action called mansplaining, and it's way more common than it should be. It's also not a good look for guys who are trying to impress girls with their knowledge. It occurs when a man is totally clueless about how bad he looks.

If you have a guy who's clueless about how his actions are being perceived, maybe it's time to show this list of signs he's mansplaining to you and other women around him.

He's telling you things you clearly already know, just based on your qualifications alone.

Picture this scenario for a moment. You are talking with a man you work with. You have a Ph.D. in linguistics. He watched a show on The History Channel about Latin languages.

You explained to him that French is a romance language. He replies, "Yes, but did you know it has nothing to do with it sounding sexy? It's actually about having Latin roots."

In this situation, there's no doubt that he's mansplaining to you if he knows you have a doctorate. The same can be said about a man who talks down to women who are equal to him in his field by saying things like "good girl," or assuming things about her.

He's interrupting you.

Fun fact! Did you know that men are far more likely to interrupt women than they are men? It's true. Women are also far more likely to deal with being interrupted as a whole than men are.

Interrupting is a pretty clear sign that a person doesn't respect what you have to say—or just believes that you are not important enough to listen to. It's also how most mansplaining sessions happen.

Even if you're five years old, you can tell when people are trying to be condescending towards you. It's that saccarhine, chiding tone people take on. It's a tone that's both sarcastic and unmistakably derision-filled. Oh, and it's also infuriating.

Mansplaining has a way of getting under peoples' skin because it's clear that the guy in question doesn't take you seriously. If you're feeling patronized and are clearly having valid opinions ignored, chances are the guy is mansplaining to you.

He calls you "crazy" when you have a valid point.

One of the most common ways men silence women, especially over feminist topics, is to call them crazy. Though the jury is still out on whether or not this counts as mansplaining, I've noticed that this defense tends to go hand in hand with it.

If you notice that his only real defense is name-calling and an insinuation about your mental health, chances are high that he's mansplaining to you—or just being a dick. Even with a lot of people musing on what next wave feminism will be like, we're still getting called crazy left and right.

Regular explanations can be useful, and given by confident men. Those aren't examples of mansplaining. It's possible (and shocking, common!) for men to offer very awesome bits of advice or clarification to women.

The difference between regularly explaining and mansplaining is how the guy behaves about it. Writer Rebecca Solnit, who's credited with creating the term, says it's the "intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness" that makes mansplaining so aggravating.

In other words, he'll act a little pompous about his explanation—almost boasting that he knows more than you, even if he doesn't. Good clues to this include using larger words than necessary and using infantilizing words towards you.

If you're interesting in reading more about Solnit's essay, "Men Explain Things to Me," which strives to explain mansplaining.

He's getting in your physical space or getting "bigger."

Mansplaining is a power play, and that means that a guy's body language will reflect that when he does this to someone. He may make himself look larger, get in your personal space, or do classic "power positions" to show himself as a "big guy."

This is his way of trying to signal that he's an "Alpha Male" using his body language. If he's suddenly taking up more space or doing similar things, he most likely is mansplaining.

Even if mansplainers claim they respect women, the truth is that this behavior is a clear indicator that they really don't. Mansplaining is a sign that a guy is either too insecure to treat women as equals, or is harboring a lot of misogyny that comes out in subtle ways. There's a lot of debate about men versus women, who has it easier, and so on, but we're supposed to be concentrating on equality. And if he doesn't respect women, he doesn't really believe in equality.

Do you notice a lot of little clues that he doesn't really like women? Do you get the overall feeling that he wishes it was 1950 again? Yeah, he probably is mansplaining to you—and no, it's not your imagination.

He's always trying to start arguments for no reason, complains about everything, and always insists on being right.

Believe it or not, the phenomenon known as mansplaining is a pretty good indicator that there may be some narcissistic personality traits in the guy who's talking. This means that there are other comorbid behaviors that are often apparent with guys who behave this way.

Most of the time, they need to flaunt the fact that they're the boss, even when they are not. This means that they will insist on being right and do whatever they can to position themselves in a dominating manner around women.

A lot of people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder do this by putting down things that the women enjoy, picking arguments with people just to be told they're correct, and refusing to listen to evidence. Sounds familiar? Then the guy you're talking to probably mansplains.

In the vast majority of cases, when a guy mansplains, the information he offers up isn't even correct. The victim who he's mansplaining to is often well-aware that what he's saying is offered up, and may even have a job in the field related to it.

Guys who mansplain may write off qualifications or just steamroll over the women who are trying to correct them. The reason why is simple: they don't think women can be intellectually equal to them, or they don't want to give up their perceived control.

If you accuse him of mansplaining, he immediately balks and mutters something about women.

A guy who mansplains is not a guy who wants to be called out on his shit, even if he needs to be. Most of the time, men who are guilty of this will immediately jump down the woman's throat and talk about how "men can't explain anything to women" or similar.

Don't fall for it. He's mansplaining. You're not wrong for wanting to have a guy respect your qualifications, and you're also not wrong for not wanting to hear men explain incorrect facts.

Mackenzie Z. Kennedy
Mackenzie Z. Kennedy
Read next: The State
Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

Socialite and dating guru Mackenzie Kennedy knows all about the inner workings of people and society as a whole. It's not only her lifestyle - it's her passion. She lives in Hoboken with her pet dogs, Cassie and Callie.

See all posts by Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

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