Mansplaining: (of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing. Recently, I had a subliminal mansplaining experience. The conversation in particular was with two relatively aware males, who were not even aware that they were doing it. The funny thing was that the topic at hand was actually a life experience, yet somehow they felt the need to explain a basic inherent struggle that women face and how it should be addressed to me. I was a little shocked at how blatant it was, the mansplaining that is. This isn’t something just found amongst men who are “asleep”, “woke” men have these tendencies as well. They shouldn’t be excused from this behavior, and they should not be policing women’s opinions or input.
I am a young, Somali, Muslim, African-American woman. I have faced a lot, and therefore I am more than capable of speaking on my own behalf, and my disenfranchisement and age do not invalidate my opinions. The way I choose to discuss topics, and issues shouldn’t be invalidated because I approach things differently. I think that abortion is something so intimate, I think our bodies are so personal and that’s such a hard decision to make that no one man/person/society should dictate to you what you can, or cannot do. However, I think that the fact that women are treated as moral patients in this country when it comes to their sex, and that their personhood (*thanks Bernard) is not being addressed is a moral issue. All I ask is that as men you take a moment to recognize your privilege, realize your actions and words do hold weight, and address me respectfully while allowing me my two cents. There’s no need to question my capabilities, or cut me short of my opinions.
I don’t believe most men consciously mean harm. However, in a male dominated and patriarchal society that isn’t something that’s always conscious, but it is something that men should make the effort to combat. Check the privilege, not everything is against you, and yes sometimes your input isn’t needed. Allow people space to have opinions, and never belittle even jokingly…..that’s still super condescending. Again, just my two cents as a woman.