Life

This viral photo of a woman in a nightclub is the very definition of mansplaining

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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We are all her, and she is all of us

There are only three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the fact that in any given city, at any given godforsaken hour on a Saturday night, a woman will be standing on the dancefloor at a nightclub while a man yells with beer-sodden breath directly into her ear.

I don’t make the rules, I am merely obliged to obey them. This image is as clear to me as my own hands, as much a part of the clubbing experience as sticky floors, waiting in an unceremonious queue for the loo and the DJ setting off J-Kwon’s ‘Tipsy’ like a cockroach bomb on the dance floor at 12:30AM in the morning.

You know this woman, you know what it feels like to be this woman. Perhaps, maybe, you are this woman. Which is why this image taken at an Edinburgh nightclub of this exact scene has gone viral this week. I don’t think any other nightclub promotional picture has ever been this relatable.

Of course, Twitter being Twitter, the image has quickly become a meme, with users suggesting what this over-eager fellow might be saying to his uninterested pal.

Could he be mansplaining the nuances of Russian politics? Could he be earnestly conveying his theory for season two of Bodyguard? The world, and this poor woman’s ear, is his oyster.

The reality, as is so often the case, is much simpler.

Patrick Ritchie and Lucia Gorman, the two people pictured in the image, are actually old school friends snapped together on a night out at Edinburgh’s Bourbon club this week.

“[Lucia] was one of my pals from school so she was probably fed up,” Patrick told Capital FM Scotland today. “She looks it as well. We get on, she’s good fun… I’m so surprised because it was just quite standard, what’s the big deal?” he added, noting that he had even seen the image doing the rounds on websites and social media as far flung as Australia.

Patrick is right, it is quite standard, which is why it has struck a chord. It is the pictorial definition of what it feels like to be mansplained. It is, as the kids say, a mood. 

As for Lucia? Well, her reaction to the image going viral just about sums it up. “I just wasn’t having it, I needed to go home,” she told Capital FM Scotland. “Patrick always talks rubbish anyway, so it could have been anything.”

Images: Unsplash