"I'm big and you're small, I'm right and you're wrong,
and there's nothing you can do about it!" ~Agatha Trunchbull
and there's nothing you can do about it!" ~Agatha Trunchbull
"Mansplaining" is a neologism coined to describe the phenomenon of men talking over and down to women, particularly in the case of a man pretending to explain to a woman what she already knows, in a manner that's condescending or patronizing, even if it's her field of expertise.
Like when a man tries to lecture a woman on how her own reproductive system works, or about the challenges she faces as a woman in the workplace, etc.
The phenomenon is real, it's a legit issue, and there needs to be a word to address it.
The problem, however, is that the term has become so overused in almost any situation to the point that it has lost its usefulness, as now it seems it has come to mean just any time a man tries to explain something and a woman is inconvenienced.
A cheap shut-down and attempt at dismissal.
If a person is explaining or stating something and a woman doesn't want to hear it, because she is actually wrong, and that person happens to be male, all a woman has to do is accuse the person of "mansplaining."
She wins by virtue of having a vagina.
The term can also be used by a male trying to assert his feminism, in order to dismiss any man daring to challenge a woman. (There may be ulterior motives for a man trying to come off as "feminist." Hugo Schwyzer comes to mind.)
Recently on twitter, one Dr. Jennifer Gunther roused the ire of intactivists by making idiotic statements about male circumcision.
I can't quote her on here now because I've been blocked myself.
Apparently she is in favor of it, citing all the usual tripe. (Prevents this and that, children don't remember it, men aren't adversely affected by it, blah blah blah...)
But when intactivists start challenging her on it, she starts blocking them.
Apparently she can't finish what she starts.
It's funny, because she recently wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times titled: "My Vagina is Terrific: Your Opinion of It Is Not" with the saucy subtitle: "I dared to discuss my anatomy. Men couldn't handle it."
While she feels men don't get to talk about her vagina, she certainly feels entitled to talk about men's penises.
And while men "couldn't handle" her discussing her anatomy, it sounds like she can't handle men talking about theirs.
I wasn't one to let an idiot doctor get away with spewing unmitigated bullshit, so I chimed in with this:
DrJenGunter. You are a Dr. You are supposed to diagnose and indicate treatment based on medical fact, not what you “think.” You might block Twitter users for some time, but you can’t block the truth forever. Those informed can’t claim ignorance. What kind of Dr. are you? #i2— Joseph Lewis (@Joseph4GI) April 4, 2018
Not to let the woman with the terrific vagina be outdone by the male intactivist (and possibly to score feminist brownie points), another male Twitter user attempts to dismiss me with the following:
You are mansplaining anatomy and surgery to an OB/GYN surgeon.— Michael Busch (@michael_w_busch) April 5, 2018
Do not do that.
And, no, Dr. Gunter is not obligated to give you any attention.
There are a few things wrong with this attempt at a dismissal.
First and foremost, the irony of having a woman explain male anatomy and circumcision to males seems to escape him.
Second, male anatomy is outside of the expertise of OB/GYNs, whose field of expertise is the female reproductive system.
And third, yes, doctors have a professional responsibility dispense factually correct information, preferably within the purview of their field of expertise.
If men pontificating on the female reproductive system, female genitals, and/or what a woman's experience is can be called "mansplaining," what is it called when a woman attempts to dictate to men about the male reproductive system, their penises, and what their experience will be?
What is it called when a woman who neither has a penis, nor is circumcised, attempts to dictate what the experience of either circumcised sex will be?
And what is it called when a doctor tries to sound informed on a topic outside the purview of her field of expertise?
An OB/GYN's field of expertise is the female reproductive system and has no business touching the genitals of male babies.
And yet, according to national surveys, OB/GYNs perform the bulk of male infant circumcisions.
It must be asked, how is it they're performing circumcisions on healthy, non-consenting male infants and legally getting away with it?
It was cute.
Real cute of Mr. Michael Busch to try and play the mansplaining card to try and silence and dismiss intactivists.
If Dr. Jen can talk about her vagina, then I can talk about my dick.
If men are the least people to be commenting on women's bodies, then Dr. Jen and other women need to shut up about men's dicks.
Circumcision concerns male genitals, something Dr. Gunter does not have and whose field of expertise does not concern.
I have a penis.
Of all people I am entitled to talk.
It's ironic to be accused of mansplaining for calling out an OB/GYN for womansplaining to males about their genitals.
Not a man, not even a medical expert on male genitalia.
Dr. Gunter should stick to vulvas and vaginas and leave children’s penises alone
I'm going to affix some definitions to the term "womansplaining":
When a woman lectures intact men about their uncircumcised penises, how "dirty" they are, how much more difficult it is for them to stay clean, prevent diseases etc., etc.
When a woman who isn’t circumcised and comes from a country where girls and women are legally protected from forced genital cutting lectures men about male organs and circumcision, and has the nerve to give men patronizing advice on how they should be grateful they’re circumcised because it’s "cleaner," "healthier," etc.
Here are other terms I think should make the English lexicon:
When a woman who isn't circumcised tries to lecture others about the horrors of female circumcision, as well as the "benefits" of male circumcision, even though she has a clitoris, doesn't know what it's like not to have one, much less what it feels like to be a circumcised male
Perhaps we also need the term "vulva appropriation" to describe a western woman who is not circumcised and claims to speak for all circumcised women, even though most circumcised women are quite happy with their status?
A circumcised African woman speaking for herself
Circumcised Malaysian woman speaking her mind
Having laws that protect only your sex from forced genital cutting, religious or not
Being able to say “My body, my choice” and “My child, my choice” regarding male infant circumcision in the same breath.
Decrying FGM, even while there is a federal law against it, while telling angry circumcised men that male circumcision is "harmless," that you prefer circumcised penises, that they should “get over it” and say they’re “mansplaining” when they don’t shut up.
Having entire organizations raising awareness of FGM, and then having the nerve to ask “Why is male circumcision becoming mainstream? Why does this have to be about penises?”
Being able to say female genital cutting is deserving of attention, but male genital cutting should be ignored.
When circumcised men, or women who think they speak for circumcised men, to lecture intact men about their uncircumcised penises, how "dirty" they are, how much more difficult it is for them to stay clean, prevent diseases etc., etc.
Male readers, whenever anyone, man or woman, accuses you of mansplaining for educating an ignorant woman about your own genitals, don't let it slide.
Instead, point out the shameless womansplaining and female privilege going on.
Calling you a "mansplainer" is an attempt to make you silent.
Instead, fire back:
"My Penis is Terrific: Your Opinion of It Is Not"
#mansplaning #womansplaining #malecircumcision #femaleprivilege #clitsplaining #vulvaappropriation #OBGYN #circumcision #i2