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69

Ironically, this occurred while I was reading this blog:

I work as a chemical engineer in a chemical plant, I started in the last six months. We were missing 3,000 KG (6,600 lbs) as 40,000 KG moved from a vessel to a tanker truck, which is *very* significant and a problem! I checked the warehouse, the computer data, did some rough calculations for how much would have had to spill out of the tanker truck to account for what happened. I spoke with over 15 people to see what had happened. Everything was perfect and in order, so nothing was resolved.  I reported at our main meeting that we had the missing material and that no one was at fault, but it was inappropriate to list in extensive detail my investigatory work.

After the meeting, this other new hire engineer (male) asked for specifics of my investigation. Before I could go on, he started to explain how to subtract the two weights, one from the vessel and one from the truck, to get my 3,000 KG figure… which I already had… And had referenced multiple times. He was ‘teaching’ me basic math in front of my other coworkers.

I had a sheet with the figures from my further investigation in my hand, so I just cut him off and tried to make him feel like the idiot that he was.

356

My ex boyfriend once grabbed a bottle of scented hand lotion and used it as lube during sex without me noticing.  As soon as I realized what he’d done I freaked out and told him that he couldn’t do that and that it was incredibly unhealthy for my vagina.  He told me I was overreacting and that it was fine and when I persisted he told me that he’d had way more contact with vaginas than I did (due to having sex with a number of cis women) and therefore knew more about vaginas than I did.

Apparently living my entire life with my vagina makes me less of an expert on my own body than him.  And then when I had a terrible reaction to the lotion and ended up with a vaginal infection because of it he said it must have been something else because it just couldn’t have been the lotion. 

44

I have a large frame that I wanted to hang, so I went to Home Depot to get wall anchors.  I just wasn’t sure which anchors to get.  The employee asked me if I needed help.  I told him that I had plaster walls and a 25 pound frame and I needed help figuring out the right anchors.  He then asked if I could find the studs in the wall.  I said yes, but it was irrelevant because the frame was too long to hang directly into the studs.  He then told me I needed anchors (precisely what I told him I was looking for at the start).  After picking the ones that I thought were the correct ones, I wanted to double-check that it had a high-enough weight capacity.  He then proceeded to explain that I needed anchors because of the downward weight (because I obviously don’t understand gravity) and that since I had two photo hooks, I needed to measure between the two so I put the anchors in the right place (because otherwise I would have just drilled holes into the wall all willy-nilly.)  Who knew hanging something on the wall so was difficult for my teeny-tiny little mind?

75

Last night two man friends were on my porch hanging with me. At some point I found myself telling them that the toilet in my bathroom is broken, and we are trying to get a hold of the landlord to fix it (house chatting!). At which point BOTH of the men start asking me what’s wrong with it, and then telling me how it’s fixable, and did I check the chain, and I told them it’s pretty much just that we need a plumber, that it’s just busted, and yes the chain is fine. 

But they insisted so ravenously that I was wrong, without even looking at the damn thing, that I said “Ohhh! So you’re offering to fix my toilet? That sounds GREAT! THANK YOU. My landlord will never get around to it!”  At which point one of them said, “Uh sure, I can fix it” and the other one said “Hm, getting late, I should probably leave soon.”

So after the one left, the other went to take a look and found out that the toilet was in fact, broken, and that he could not, in fact, fix it. 

Thanks guys!

43

I was recently at a monastery on a tour. I have two degrees in theology and I’m working on my doctorate. When the tour guide/monk mentioned the women’s community associated with their community, I cheekily asked why they too were named for a man and not for their foundress. He misunderstood and began to explain why the local women’s community (not the order itself) took the name they did. I started to restate my question and he interrupted with, “Shhh, just wait.” After he was done monksplaining, another person rephrased my question and he gave an arbitrary reason. I love this monastery but getting monksplained is a new low for this Catholic girl. 

22

So I’m a hostess at a waterfront restaurant and our ‘catch of the day’ is listed in the menu as market price. Every day they print out a specials sheet which has our specials, including the catch of the day which is the only special of which they never list the price. Two men were sitting at the bar and one asked me what the price of the catch of the day was and I told him to ask the bartender because I didn’t know. The bartender said “It’s $18. I don’t know why they never list the price, it’s always $18”. When I heard that I remarked that now I could tell people when they asked me that question instead of deferring to a server as I used to. At which point the other man at the bar says to me, “Well it’s listed as market price because the price of fish varies” and started listing types of fish. I just politely said, “Yes, I know what market price is but the bartender just said that it’s always one price” and went back to doing my job but… seriously? I work at a restaurant on the water in a town famous for our crabs and seafood. I KNOW WHAT MARKET PRICE IS.

Bonus: I later heard this guy complaining that businesses had to pay taxes to the city. So… I’m gonna go ahead and assume he’s a total right-wing misogynist.

54

I was introduced to “Professor Engineer” because he was in charge of diversity training for his program, and I was doing a study on how to do diversity training “right.” Done wrong, it can backfire, and make the atmosphere even worse for women.

Prof. Engineer talked enthusiastically for an hour before I was able to complete a sentence. I am highly assertive, so I tried to save the meeting by interjecting, “Well, actually, that’s my research area, and studies find…,” and “I know because we spend graduate school learning how to do that,” and “Yes, I teach a course on that,” and “My dissertation was about that.” But he waved his hand dismissively and proceeded to lecture me about:

- stereotypes (my research area)

- how to measure attitude change (what my field does)

- when it’s appropriate to complete IRB ethics paperwork (I have done hundreds of times)

- research designs that let you assess if change has occurred (I teach this)

- journals to choose (I publish in them)

At one point he digressed, and then seeing me raise my eyebrows, he said, “I know I’m going off on a tangent, but I can tell we have a connection and we’re going to work together. There’s no question.”  I’m not sure that by that point I’d said more than two words!

So why am I still going to work with him? He’s a decent guy who genuinely cares about student diversity. My gut says that his patronizing manner comes from ignorance and lack of social skills, not disrespect. And not only will he help me get my research done, he will provide lots of great entries for this tumblr.

97

As a woman pursuing an advanced degree in a fairly male-dominated science, I’ve definitely had some mansplaining experiences over the years. However, one incident from early on in my undergraduate career definitely surpasses all the others:

I was seeing a guy who planned on enrolling in accounting, a limited-enrollment major at our university which required a minimum GPA in a set of courses prior to official acceptance into the major program (basically, you had to do moderately well in some “weed-out” classes).  One of these courses was algebra.

He had been working on an assignment and was complaining about its level of difficulty, and I asked if I could take a look. He was initially reluctant to give me the paper, stating that there was no way I’d understand the problems. When I saw the question he’d been working on, I came up with the answer after, literally, 30 seconds (it was something on the order of X+2 = 4, find the value of X). Of course, there was no possible way I could have solved that in my head, so I wrote out how to solve the problem on the paper. He seemed truly aghast that I could understand this, as I hadn’t taken the course he was in, even after I explained to him that I’d taken AP calculus in high school, which requires a fairly robust understanding of algebra, and had placed out of the intro class he was in based on my SAT scores.

"Well, that’s stupid!" He replied.

I asked him why he thought that.

"You should have done what I did.  I failed all my classes in high school because I partied all the time and I was really popular.  Then I went to community college and did well, and transferred here.  You were dumb to have tried that hard in high school, my way was easy. Plus then you wouldn’t have been a loser in high school."  You read that right, my friends…he actually felt the need to state that he was "really popular".  

Yes, because simply doing well in my classes in the first place, thus ensuring I wouldn’t have to take them a *second* time in college, well, that makes no sense at all.

Epilogue: As you can probably surmise, I stopped hanging out with him shortly thereafter.  I’m not sure if he made it into the limited enrollment program or not, but last I heard from mutual friends he was definitely still a complete ass.  

45

Oh, readers I have a good one for you- mansplaining on a feminist listserve! An individual from an Ivy League college requested suggestions for an article on a certain topic. She obviously knew the literature well but was looking for a general, introductory article and asked for suggestions. The first response was from a male lecturer who told her that she was not in fact in search of an article. No no, young woman, an article “usually wouldn’t provide the level of synthesis you’re looking for simultaneous with the chronological scope that you’re looking for.” Silly girl! Does she even know what an article is? Rather than providing any specific suggestions for useful book chapters, he described the nature of the “correct” sources she should look for, and concluded that to find one she should consult a librarian. The original poster, who was obviously putting together an undergrad syllabus, would not understand the differences between an article or a textbook chapter, and certainly would have no idea what is best for her class. The best part is that he considered this acceptable behaviour on a listserve that is at least 90% women. 

PS- Two women so far have responded to the original inquiry. One asked for a clarification about the time period and another provided specific references.  

104

I’m an athletic woman, and also a physical activity researcher. I’ve run marathons, done fitness challenges, and am in the gym 4-5 days a week. During grad school, I was part of a competitive sailing team. My teammates were all men, and our coach was a man. With the exception of me and one other guy, the rest were unfit and overweight (Note: we had to make weight on this boat, and I was the only one asked to drop weight…at 5’2” and 115 lbs…last time I checked that was a BMI of 21)

Compared to the number of male sailors, there aren’t many women out there who jump at the chance to be on a boat all day, get soaked with saltwater, mess up their hair in the wind, and pee in a bucket. Therefore, I can only say that perhaps the man-sailors aren’t used to interacting with women outside the bar. This *might* explain the following interaction.

After a particularly grueling training session, I asked the coach what techniques he found most helpful for quickly and efficiently taking down a sail during a race. My teammate standing next to me also wanted the advice. The coach puffs out his chest and puts his foot up on the ledge of the bar, his beer gut protruding into our shared space, and the following conversation proceeds as follows:

Him: Well, being in shape is important.

Me: Yes, it is important.

Him: Going to the gym and lifting weights is necessary, not just that girly stuff on the stair machine.

Me: Yes, I do lift weights several times per week.

Him (in a voice meant for a misbehaving toddler): No, not those little ones you girls like. You need to do real weights, like in the weight room. It’s also important to be fit, you know, like running.

Me: Yes, I do chest presses, and-

Him: I run every day, and I lift weights. You should try that.

Me (exasperated): Yes, I do both those things.

Him: Then you should be faster.

My Teammate: Dude, she just ran a marathon and she’s getting a PhD in Exercise Physiology. She knows how important these things are.

I thought this would stop him, but no! He kept going!

Him: Oh, so you know how important is is not to be fat.

Me: That’s a whole different topic…

Him: I didn’t say that she was. You know, it’s too bad but women are just slower than men when it comes to physical work on a boat. They can’t help it. That’s why the other professional teams that I sail on don’t have any women, expect the owner’s wives, and they are really only good for cocktails.

Me: Wow, and scene.

67

I was at a coffee shop some time last year waiting for my latte when this kid I remembered from one of my freshman classes comes up to me and we talk a little. I ask what he’s been up to and he tells me he’s been writing for this campus magazine. I ask what kind of article he’s working on now and he explains that he’s writing about how women all stereotype men when they go to bars. Yes, that was what he said. The conversation went like this, “I mean, when I go to a bar, I always see these girls thinking they’re too hot to dance with me or thinking that all guys want to get into their pants when most of us are out for a good time. Not all of us want to get into your panties, so just loosen up a little!”. It was so hypocritical, I literally rolled my eyes at him. He just kept going on and on about how uptight some women can be at bars (not that they have any reason to be, right? I mean, it’s not like it’s common for women to be harassed or god forbid, drugged in bars by strange men they want nothing to do with! Women going out on the town by themselves?! Ridiculous! They want attention if they’re dressing the way they are or drinking as much as they are! But I digress.)

Instead, I pointed out to him the stereotyping women face when they step into the main street pub and then I walked away after basically telling him it was a stupid article. I wanted to look and see if anything like that ever got published in that magazine, but I didn’t, because I’d be way too pissed off if something like that got through several editors thinking it was a great article to share on a college campus. Yeah girls! You all need to calm down and give all these dudes the attention they deserve. It’s not like you’re out for yourself or anything.

46

I worked recently as a cashier at a busy retail store in a touristy part of New York City. One day, a man came to ring up his small purchase and asked if he could pay in coins. I agreed, as it was only a few dollars. He reached into his pocket and started sorting out his coins, but then stopped, picked up a coin a showed it to me, “This is a Canadian coin, I don’t know if you knew this, but they have different money there, and this is one of their dollar coins.”

I was so outraged and baffled that I couldn’t say anything at all while he continued to explain that while they still called their money “dollars” in Canada, it was in fact not the same as the American dollar. Finally I just took the (American) money he had stopped counting (so he could better mansplain) off the counter and sent him on his way.

27

Sir Blaise resumed with gentle arrogance,
As if he had dropped his alms into a hat,
And had the right to counsel…

***

Lord Howe came up. ‘What, talking poetry
So near the image of the unfavouring Muse?
That’s you, Miss Leigh: I’ve watched you half an hour,
Precisely as I watched the statue called
A Pallas in the Vatican;–you mind
The face, Sir Blaise?–intensely calm and sad,
As wisdom cut it off from fellowship,–
But that spoke louder. Not a word from you!
And these two gentlemen were bold, I marked,
And unabashed by even your silence.’

(5.647-9 and 5.795-804)

41

My (thankfully now ex-) flatmate was a real gem of a mansplainer, especially about household/DIY stuff. The highlight was probably a text message exchange about our leaking bathroom…

Him: “I’ll get a carpenter out.”

Me: “It’ll take more than a carpenter - the leak is now affecting next door flat as well as the walkway to flat 7&8. It needs to be properly fixed, not just patched up.”

Him: “That’s what carpenters do.”

BECAUSE WOOD AND WATER ARE THE SAME THING.