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28

Firstly, I should preface this by saying that a while ago in the UK, two major phone providers (Orange and T-Mobile) merged together to form a new network called EE. Previous to this, they made a big deal over how they “shared signals” with each other and so there was a big build up. This story takes places a couple months after the switchover.

I can’t remember how, but I was sitting in class at Uni and we got on the topic of phones and so I’d casually mentioned something about still getting used to the fact that my phone now said EE when it turned on, and was then given a little lecture about how EE was a new network and that it used to be 3 but that it was now EE. I tried to politely correct them as after all, it was my phone and my network and so I think I’d know which I was using. They refused to believe me, even when I mentioned the fact that “Orange Wednesdays” had changed to “EE Wednesdays” and that’s when they pulled their trump card. 

"Oh, those aren’t the same thing. I work at a cinema and they have a different code".

Of course they aren’t the same thing, EE is replacing it not to mention that people still use Orange, just under the EE name. 

Unfortunately the professor came in and so I was unable to finally prove them wrong as I only realised later I could have shown my texts from Orange and my screen that now says EE where the provider name is.

Because clearly, I’m just a silly girl that doesn’t know what provider I use for my phone. It’s not like I’ve been with the same network for years.

152

I’m a third-year sociology student, having recently completed a criminology class led by a female professor who has done much work in the field (both academically and as an employee), and so her lectures and examples often entail female perspectives and experiences (specifically poor women, sex workers, and Aboriginal women). This should not be unusual; rather, it is expected that instructors incorporate their research and work into their teaching. However, her lectures included many discussions around men’s experiences, and were definitely not saturated with examples of women, despite what one guy in class thought.

He was a first-year undergrad in his first SOC class and was likely not expecting feminist theory (one of the many perspectives used in class) to be taken so seriously. He derailed the discussion at every turn, providing alternate “explanations” for women’s experience in the criminal justice system. For example, he once went on a seemingly endless rant for how the stats were “wrong” and women seriously abused men more than the other way around. In a conversation with other students over sex workers, he said they must have been “entitled princesses” as children and their subsequent disappointment led to drug use. Yep. Every time she would use the word “gender” he huffed loudly, crossed his arms, and would make a noticeable disturbance.

The professor is very competent, professional, respectful, and treats this dude with infinite patience. However, she is also very petite with a voice that sounds a bit like a Disney princess (not intentionally or in a cutesy, infantile way, it’s just her voice), and I think those elements makes this guy feel like he can dominate the discussion and try to supersede her authority. He’s a very sturdily-build individual, with a deep, authoritative voice and a slightly aggressive (and overbearing) demeanour, and took every opportunity he could to disrespect the prof; i.e. interrupting her, talking to others during her lecture, never taking notes and looking bored, eating loudly, and sighing, etc.

I laughed when I found out that this guy is going to major in Sociology. Every Soc prof I’ve had at this school, male and female, have been pretty outspoken feminists and often include gendered perspectives/themes in their lectures. This guy’s in for a treat.

154

I am an ESL tutor for a six-year-old girl whose parents are working in the US for a few years. Most of my tutoring involves reading books to her, both ones that she picks out and ones that I pick out. Frequently she picks books that are about pink sparkly princesses, so I try to balance out the load with some books about girls having outdoor adventures or factual books about animals (I’m a biologist).

One day we were reading a “Fancy Nancy” book about a ballet performance. She noticed in the background of the picture of the ballet recital there was a boy dancing along with the girls. My student pointed to it and said “Look a boy!  There are no boys allowed in ballet!” I told her no, actually there are lots of boys who like to do ballet, but she repeated herself and looked confused. I had to look up pictures of male ballet dancers on my phone before she would believe me.

On another occasion we were reading a book about insects and there was a picture of a child picking up a large beetle of some kind. The book said something like, “You can hunt for insects too!”  When my student read that she said “Well, my baby brother is a boy but I don’t think he can pick up bugs yet!”  I told her that there are lots of girls who like insects too and who pick up insects, and that there are even some who grow up to work with insects as a job (thinking of my female entomologist friends) and she looked shocked.  She said “No!” firmly and told me that only boys can pick up insects.  And thus, her mansplaining was complete.

79

I met my husband’s great-uncle for the first time at a family wedding. He is very interested in his family’s history and proud of all their achievements.  He started telling me about how brainy my husband’s father is: he has a First Class degree from Oxford, “and that’s the best kind of degree you can get”, he helpfully explained. I have a First Class degree from Oxford.

615

I am a second-year undergraduate medical student at a well respected university. In an anatomy tutorial about the urethra and catheterisation (putting a tube connected to a bag in people’s peehole when they can’t pee adequately) a male acquaintance exclaimed that men were so unlucky because it would be so painful for them (the process is usually done with only an anaesthetic lube). I said that it would be painful for women also, even though our urethra is shorter, it’s still hard to get a tube up there! To this he replied; ‘um no, the hole is huge, I mean, you can fit a dick in there!’ When I tried to explain that he was confusing the urethra with the vagina he wouldn’t believe me. So I told him that as a woman, I thought I had some knowledge of my own anatomy. Plus how did he think women could pee with a tampon in? When he actually looked it up he just stared at me blankly while simply saying ‘Oh. You’re right.’ As if because I am a woman (with both a vagina and a urethra) he was surprised that I could possibly KNOW HOW I PEE.

71

When I was in college, I used to go the gym and lift weights with a male friend of mine on a regular basis. Usually these sessions went by uneventfully, but once I got the most ridiculous mansplaining experience of my life. 

First, a little background about myself: I used to row competitively in high school, and my boat went to the national championships two years in a row. Thus, while I am somewhat petite (it was a light-weight boat), I am very athletic and at that point had just finished three years of weightlifting supervised by a coach who had an masters degree in sports medicine and kinesiology.

I was in the middle of bench-pressing a 3 x 12 set of 85 pounds (not bad for a 120 pound woman) when a older gentleman came up and began talking to my male friend who was spotting for me, something to the effect of: “Congratulations on getting your woman to the gym. I remember when I first started dating my wife - I used to bring her to the gym with me sometimes, try to teach her how to lift weights and stuff. Of course, she never comes anymore, but it was always so much fun. Anyway, good job.” He patted my friend on the shoulder and then walked out of the room. 

It was so ridiculous, I wasn’t even angry. My friend and I both pretty much burst out laughing as soon as he was gone. 

106

I once went on a vacation to the tropics with my then-boyfriend.  We were on daily anti-malaria pills, Doxycycline. I had gotten my prescription from a Travel Clinic staffed primarily by female nurses. He had gotten his prescription from his male primary-care doctor.  

The guidelines for the pills said to take them “1-2 days before traveling to an area where malaria transmission occurs.” We were traveling to Peru and spending the first week in the mountains, where malaria does not occur. He started taking his pills 2 days before entering the country; I started mine two days before entering the region where mosquitoes live—the Amazon basin.  He repeatedly questioned my choice to wait to take my pills: “Don’t you want to start taking it now?  We’re about to enter the country!  You might get malaria” “We’re entering the country, but we’re staying in the mountains. We’re not entering the Amazon for seven days!  According to these instructions, I don’t need to start taking the pill for five days.” This devolved into an argument (obviously) which finally ended abruptly when he said, “Well, my doctor said that we have to start taking the pill two days before entering the country.  Don’t you think a male doctor knows more about this stuff than a female nurse?! Anyway, you are probably reading the bottle wrong!”  
 
Never mind that I was reading the directions ON THE ACTUAL BOTTLE OF MEDICATION.  Never mind that I had gotten the instructions from a travel clinic that dealt primarily with tropical disease. Never mind that malaria does not care about political borders (like, duh.) Never mind that either way, we were probably not going to get malaria. Nope. It all comes down to men knowing more than women.    
97

So, I’m hanging out, minding my own business, when suddenly I feel em - the sharp pangs in my belly that signal to me that once again I’ve conspired against myself and given myself food poisoning. From my own damn cooking. At least, this is what it feels like - for what else could these sharp, pointed, acute sensations right in my tummy be, if not the grumblings of a digestive SOS?

Against my better judgment, I drop by my university’s (busted, apparently) health services, looking for respite in this time of gastrointestinal distress. Crawling into the office of one of the (male) doctors currently on hand, I explain the problem, then address a seemingly routine, diagnostically innocuous set of questions regarding, say, my blood pressure, my smoking habits, the start of my last period…

"Today," I say.

SLAM! Who knew such a frail file folder could slap itself shut with so much insult and injury. “Well that must be it,” he snaps, turning towards his computer and away from the silly girl bothering him with what are obviously her “women’s troubles.”

But, but…I stuttered as I mentioned the Tylenol I had taken that morning, the fact that my cramps so often (read: only ever) take the form of a dull, dying-from-the-inside-out, all-over-the-belly ache that seemed so different from the pointed jabs of my current distress -

M.D. Fancypants wouldn’t hear it. Clearly I was, in my hysteria, mistaking the cramps that have been my cheerful companions since puberty for an acute, isolated ailment actual worthy of medical attention. I slunk out of there without hearing so much as a “take two and call me in the morning,” praying the headlines would read the next day: Salmonella claims another victim! (If only something could have been done!!)

Hey. Dr Dick. I don’t need you mansplaining me my menstrual cramps. I’ve had em once a month, every month, for the past FOURTEEN YEARS.

How many have you had, @$$****?

56

My supervisor was talking about a colleague, who, like me, is Italian. My supervisor doesn’t speak Italian (except for maybe a few basic words).

My supervisor kept on stressing the wrong syllable in the first name of the colleague. Nothing wrong with that, although it’s a very common name that is not so hard to pronounce correctly.

I told my supervisor the correct stress of the name.

He stared at me, then went on with his version. To this day (four years later) he still cannot accept that I speak my native language better than he does.

82

Many years ago, my grandfather decided to tell me, my sister, aunt, mother, and my grandmother how to shave our legs because of his vast experience in shaving two square inches of his chest for a medical procedure.

Yes, five women between the ages of 15 and 70 did not have sufficient experience in leg shaving.  Thank god a 70+ year-old man was around to tell us what to do.

51

A couple of days ago, a male coworker and I were in a discussion on how we can’t get to sleep. We went briefly into the different ways we try remedy the situation.

During this discussion, a customer was browsing the aisle listening to our conversation. (Yes, retail workers can tell when you are listening to our conversations.)

After my male coworker left the customer then came up to me to tell me how to sleep. His tired rhetoric started out with “Sleeping well is just a pattern. You just have to develop good sleep patterns”. After telling him I already new that he grunted and said, “Well, you shouldn’t read or watch TV in bed either”. 

Again I said that I didn’t do either. Then he left.

It’s funny how he assumed that I needed to be taught how to sleep but my male coworker could go without his not-so insightful knowledge. 

54

I’m a release engineer at a large software company. Recently a whole bunch of us were re-orged to start work on a brand-new product, and whereas previously myteam consisted of at least a few women developers, dev leads, and program managers, this new team has only me and one woman who is a manager.  The difference was striking at our first organizational meeting in which the lead architects (of which there are too many, frankly. We have a bit of a ‘big swinging dick’ syndrome going on) did their powerpoint presentations on how they wish to proceed with the new project.

The most egregious was one of the code architects who gave a lecture on what he considers to be best practices for code development. He went on and on about how every compiler warning should immediately be treated as an error; that he expected unit tests to be developed for 100% code coverage, yadda yadda - not entirely reasonable expectations, in other words, especially if we’re supposed to get out the door with the product by January as stated.  

I un-muted the call to ask him if we would also be creating source templates for the developers to import into their IDEs so that our company’s standard licensing disclaimer and copyright would automatically be inserted into the top of every source file - this is a requirement of our Legal department for any production code that gets released to the customers. 

He responded with a dismissive, “Oh, I’m sure that might matter to someone, but I’m not going to enforce it with my developers.”  

Jaw-drop.  Yeah, since it’s a company-wide requirement, I think it might be important to someone - and when the Legal Dept. comes at you with a patent infringement lawsuit seven years down the line and hands you a subpoena, you’d better believe it will be important to you, you jerk.  Code hygiene isn’t just making sure you all use the same tabstops.  It’s making sure we can protect the company from frivolous lawsuits.

It was obvious this guy hasn’t written production code in years. It was also obvious he’s been working in a boys-and-their-toys environment too long to listen to the voice of a woman who’d caught him out on something basic he’d missed.

After the meeting, I went to our Jama requirements interface and added the “copyright IDE source templates” as a new project requirement.   

35

So, my dad is overall a pretty cool guy—he’s usually really nice, and I’d call our relationship ‘good’ even though I don’t think we’re really close, but he has a bad habit of not listening to people when they try and explain things to him, etc. And the instance below isn’t the first time he’s done this to me, but it’s the one that sticks out most in my memory because, wow. Really?

We were watching the news, I think, and I made a comment about how women don’t have as much political and social power as men, and he asked, ‘Well why is that’?

I tried to explain it to him, and the entire time he was speaking over me and directing the conversation away from how important women’s representation is, to what he thought was important, and when I tried to explain how gender, race, and class all contribute to who has privilege and who doesn’t, he came back with something along the lines of, “I’m unemployed and you expect me to believe that I have privilege?”

Now, my dad is in his 60’s, has been unemployed for over a year, and hasn’t had any luck in getting a job. Which is a tough situation, since he has me and my sister to help take care of. So, yeah, it sucks. But, oh, I didn’t know that you didn’t have privilege, and that all of my experiences and the experiences of other women, and that the facts and evidence presented to you every single day in what women and now a number of men and studies are saying, are suddenly invalid because an elderly white man is unemployed and can’t find a job.

Excuse me, I was clearly wrong, my experiences are invalid. You’re right. You don’t have privilege over women and PoC and queer people because you’re unemployed. Got it.

214

I’m a guy, and at the time of this story I was just beginning to discover feminism and, uh, still had a ways to go. A female friend and I were attending a fellow writer’s play reading, and I started talking about the Bechdel test and the lack of well-written female characters. She chimed in with what seemed like passing familiarity with these ideas, so I said something to the effect of, “Oh cool, how did you become acquainted with this problem?”

"Oh, you know, being a woman while consuming media for my whole life."

Oh, right.

40

I went to lunch with a guy friend and the meal went well. We got separate tabs and as I totalled mine up he said, “Always leave a 15 percent tip!” I usually guesstimate while tipping and just leave what I think is appropriate, but I thought that maybe he saw what I wrote and that I might have tipped under. So I used the calculator on my phone and it turns out I had actually tipped well over 15 percent! It was completely unnecessary of him to say that! I’ve worked with food for almost a year now, I KNOW FIRSTHAND what it’s like to get shitty tips, or no tips at all. Do you think I’ve never been to a restaurant before?