An episode on Twitter this week brings mansplaining to a whole new and farcical level. Read on, if you can bear it…
Any woman who’s fallen prey to the patronising art of mansplaining will know that it’s an experience akin to banging your head against a concrete wall.
It’s painful and pointless, yet that doesn’t stop certain men – and yes, in this case it is always men – feeling moved to explain things to us that a) we already know, or b) has no benefit or relevance to the situation at hand.
The latest example of this timeless conversational spasm comes from Twitter, and has created something of an online storm as one woman’s tale of mansplaining was promptly, well, mansplained back to her by several users.
London-based writer Maud Dromgoole works in a pub, where she recently encountered an instance of mansplaining so farcical, she couldn’t help but share it:
Man in pub who has been mansplaining sexual harassment to me. Tells me me necklace gives me a certain Je ne sais quoi— Maud Dromgoole (@mauddromgoole) November 18, 2017
Him:Do you know what je ne sais quoi means?
Me:I don’t know what.
Him:I’ll tell you. It’s a certain extra special something. I don’t know the literal translation
Dromgoole was spot on with her assessment (if your GCSE French fails you, a quick Google translate confirms that “je ne sais quoi” does indeed mean “I don’t know what”).
But sadly for both of them, the man in question failed to grasp this simple fact. Instead, he launched right into a classic mansplaining gaffe. His admission that, “I don’t know the literal translation”, is mere icing on the foot-in-mouth cake.
Cue, a collective eye-roll from anyone who’s experienced this sexist and artless phenomenon: so perfectly captured in just one Tweet.
Amazingly, though, some men still saw fit to mansplain away the mansplaining incident - in a move Twitter users quickly dubbed as “meta-mansplaining”:
And there’s more.
The absurdity of the situation was not lost on the Twitter masses.
Still, many men remained in denial about the concept of mansplaining in general.
Sure I will catch shit for this. I am all for calling men out on their patriarchy, oppressive behavior, discounting, ignorance,misogyny, and sexism. However, the term mansplaining is degrading, dehumanizing, and discounts the voice of another based on gender.— Rich Furman (@WriteNThrive) November 19, 2017
Dromgoole herself is still reeling from the irony of the entire episode.
“This particular man had taken it upon himself to ‘educate’ me on a whole host of topics that he didn’t know anything about before we had this exchange,” she tells Indy100.
Talking about her viral tweet, she adds: “The comments section is a perfect mess… Many people have taken issue with the fact I’ve used the term mansplain. But in my experience I do find it an exclusively male behaviour.”
Well, yes. And if this saga is anything to go by, it shows little sign of extinction. Can a man just explain to us why that is, please?