“Every woman knows what I’m talking about,” wrote the author Rebecca Solnit in her hugely influential portion of the essay “Men Explain Things To Me” which first appeared in the 2008 Los Angeles Times. It’s when the concept of ‘mansplaining’ was born, and it refers to men explaining something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate manner without being asked to do so.

According to Solnit, men explaining things to women is not an innocent act, but rather it trains them into self-limitation and self-doubt, and further fuels men’s unsupported confidence.

Fast forward to today, and women around the world still find themselves being mansplained to like it was no big deal. So when Twitter user Priscilla tweeted a question “What’s the dumbest thing that’s ever been mansplained to you?” it immediately went viral with 340.2K likes.

It turned out she was far from the only one whose “husband let her know their home was 'up ahead on the left'” when she was driving. Many more women joined the thread to share their experiences of men lecturing them, and if it’s not illuminating, I don’t know what is.

Image credits: itsPKav

#1

Dumbest-Mansplaining

notyourleader Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
7 months ago

I think I would have had a conversation with the manager at that point.

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#2

Dumbest-Mansplaining

marleemarzipan Report

cassiushumanmother
Community Member
7 months ago

Ga (like lady gaga) Nash. GaNash, it's the god of chocolate!

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#3

Dumbest-Mansplaining

akmboer Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

wow. what do these idiots think women are? Aliens??

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Bored Panda reached out to the writer, designer, and content creator Priscilla Kavanaugh, who’s the person behind this viral Twitter thread. Priscilla, who runs the blog “Bonjouritchesblog.com,” believes that the reasons for mansplaining have to do with “boys and young men who are empowered in different ways than girls and young women.”

For example, “Girls are taught to 'be nice,' while boys are taught to be fearless.” “Of course,” she added, “it's not as black and white as that, but I think that's a big chunk. We have a lot of work to do!”

When asked what she thinks is the best reaction you can give if you're mansplained to, Priscilla said that her go-to in a sticky situation is “to make a joke, which surely isn't always the best route.” She also stressed that it’s really difficult to be prepared simply because “you never know when you'll find yourself being mansplained to.”

#4

Dumbest-Mansplaining

lajfun Report

troufaki13
Community Member
7 months ago

My bf once tried to explain to my DENTIST brother the difference between black and white fillings. He insisted that black ones are better because he "read an article online 10 years ago"

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#5

Dumbest-Mansplaining

sarrbehrr Report

cheezydinosaur
Community Member
7 months ago

Who in the right mind would think a SEIZURE disorder is a mental health condition!? Like seriously

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#6

Dumbest-Mansplaining

MelanieIStefan Report

Rissie
Community Member
7 months ago

Just because you speak it, doesn' t mean you... I got nothing, sorry.

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That doesn’t change the fact that mansplaining is indeed an inherently wrong practice. “Mansplaining is extremely demeaning. Being mansplained to makes one feel 'less than,' and as if one's knowledge isn't worth respecting. Over time, it creates patterns of silence—women simply stop advocating for themselves or sharing ideas because it's exhausting.”

And when it comes to her Twitter thread, Priscilla said that she truly realized that mansplainers “know no boundaries.” On the other hand, “I also learned that there are men out there that are open to learning and trying to put a stop to their own mansplaining; that was very encouraging.”

Thanks to her thread going viral, Priscilla has also interacted with a lot of women who had tons of interesting perspectives. “I asked many of them if I could share their stories in a book, and the response I got was overwhelmingly positive. I really hope I can get it published someday. I think it could be a fun, useful tool for shifting this behavior.”

#7

Dumbest-Mansplaining

em_was_here_ Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

are you joking? I'm a kid and I would've decked him too

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#8

Dumbest-Mansplaining

ace_under Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

the world is so messed up

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#9

Dumbest-Mansplaining

JeannieLudlow Report

littlesaresare
Community Member
7 months ago

And the speculum also clapped.

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American writer Rebecca Solnit, whose 2008 essay “Men Explain Things to Me” helped to give birth to the term “mansplaining,” helped to define the phenomenon with which too many women could relate. Translated into multiple languages, the text inspired many memes, parodies, and ongoing discussions on whether the term has actually done more harm than good.

When asked about what Solnit thinks of the term today, the writer told The Washington Post recently that “I used to focus on its negatives: It does get used too broadly at times, and it can imply that anything men hold forth on is mansplaining.”

#10

Dumbest-Mansplaining

TheKimTillman Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
7 months ago

Act completely dumb. Let him tune it. Play something horrible. Retune it correctly. Then play something nice and see his face change!

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#11

Dumbest-Mansplaining

Madita_Hofmann Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
7 months ago

I recommend to use the heaviest frying pan but she most likely would do this anyway.

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#12

Dumbest-Mansplaining

MariekeBierhoff Report

Marc
Community Member
7 months ago

That's a kind of logic I can't get my head around.

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Having said that, the author added that women have been pointing out the incredible value in the term, which helped to describe “an experience most women have but didn’t have terminology for, beyond generics like patronizing, presumptuous, and so forth.”

“I often talk about the importance of calling things by their true name, of the value of precise description, so I’m pleased to have inspired a word that is now in many languages, including, recently, Icelandic,” Solnit commented.

#13

Dumbest-Mansplaining

alison_shrake Report

Meike H
Community Member
7 months ago

I always want to know if they say sorry afterwards

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#14

Dumbest-Mansplaining

ChelseaCristene Report

Agfox
Community Member
7 months ago

Well, that's once instance where you'd have to think really hard about whether it would be worth losing a dose or stabbing him with your epipen

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#15

Dumbest-Mansplaining

NYCRose84 Report

Rebel
Community Member
7 months ago

I've had the same, the guy told me at the end of the night: "thanks for helping me!" And mansplaining like 10 things to me. I literally worked there for 2 nights a week for a full year, he had worked there a couple of times and did one shift with me..

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In 2018, another author and design executive Kim Goodwin went viral with a chart she created to help to show men if they were mansplaining or not. Her “Am I Mansplaining?” chart has amassed 124.5k likes and 58.9k retweets on Twitter.

While drawing the chart, Kim realized “the '-splaining' part comes down to three factors.” First, it’s all about whether “they want the explanation?” She proceeds to explain further: “If someone asks you a question, explain away! Unsolicited explanations may be fine (within reason) if you’re someone’s teacher or manager. Explaining after they’ve declined your help is almost always disrespectful.”

#16

Dumbest-Mansplaining

eebie4 Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

she's probably filing the divorce papers as we speak

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#17

Dumbest-Mansplaining

PantsFlossy Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
7 months ago

Is this mansplaining though?

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#18

Dumbest-Mansplaining

EosinY Report

Random Person
Community Member
7 months ago

*Former boyfriend

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Secondly, you should ask yourself if you “Are you making bad assumptions about competence?” According to Kim, “explaining things to knowledgeable people isn’t just wasting everyone’s time, and you may, regardless of your intent, undermine them by implying you don’t trust their competence or intelligence.” Moreover, “You also run the risk of undermining yourself by looking like you have an inflated opinion of your own knowledge.”

And thirdly, Kim asks “How does bias affect your interpretation of the above?” since “both questions are complicated by sexism and other kinds of bias.” According to her, we’re all taught gender bias from an early age, “with boys and girls being criticized and praised for different behaviors in school.”

Even though we like to think that we treat people in a fair manner, it’s not often the case. “Men often assume women are less competent, and white people are likely to assume darker skin equals lower intelligence,” Kim concluded.

#19

Dumbest-Mansplaining

_janedthegame Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

ah, I see. tell me more about the things I've lived with for my whole life.

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#20

Dumbest-Mansplaining

NickyPaint Report

Rissie
Community Member
7 months ago

Just say "Thank you deary, now shush shush and move along, tut tut". And make those hand movements kindergarten teachers make when they are interrupted and send kids along.

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#21

Dumbest-Mansplaining

Apple_heart7 Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

ok. what. the. actual. hell.

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#22

Dumbest-Mansplaining

Froschauer_AF Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
7 months ago

Ehem.. Pardon?

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#23

Dumbest-Mansplaining

bi_swamp_thing Report

lenka
Community Member
7 months ago

They could start the conversation by asking a question about why she's wearing bees? Maybe asking if she really likes bees or asking why she likes bees? There are lots of ways to start a conversation that dont assume the person you are speaking to is completely ignorant of [insert any] topic.

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#24

Dumbest-Mansplaining

boulderscribe Report

Iggy
Community Member
7 months ago

That's just standard sexism.

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#25

Dumbest-Mansplaining

nightshade_kg Report

N G
Community Member
7 months ago

Don't get me started on the Brexiteer crowd who insist that Britain isn't geographically part of Europe. Not politically - that point has already been addressed. These morons insist that the physical island itself (including NI, which I just overlook because my brain hurts at this point) is not part of the collection of countries, including those outside the EU, known as Europe. So... which of the seven continents does it belong in then?

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#26

Dumbest-Mansplaining

ThePotatoWitch Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
7 months ago

yeah the wetness of the grass has nothing to do with it. Though if you fixed the lawnmower like my dad used to ( with much swearing and occassional flying objects) Mr. mansplain will stay away

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#27

Dumbest-Mansplaining

Galalalee Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
7 months ago

I am at a loss for words with people.

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#28

Dumbest-Mansplaining

DemonMouseMex Report

Charlotte
Community Member
7 months ago

They're only one letter different and both did art - basically the same person, right?

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#29

Dumbest-Mansplaining

thevanillabean1 Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
7 months ago

Wanna bet the mansplainer was white too, just for another extra layer of irony?

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#30

Dumbest-Mansplaining

TheoNicole Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
7 months ago

Worshipped.. Let's start a cult, ladies.

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#31

Dumbest-Mansplaining

ladiesandlions Report

Carol Emory
Community Member
7 months ago

You wonder sometimes if they Mansplain because they are verbally reminding THEMSELVES on how to do something, but don't want to seem like idiots for talking to no one.

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#32

Dumbest-Mansplaining

CanadianBeave13 Report

Stille20
Community Member
7 months ago

So the comment that is causing a ruckus is "he was trying to help". It misses the point. It was a parent, jumping in from the sidelines to comment on something they had never done. Regardless of gender it is not helpful

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#33

Dumbest-Mansplaining

rjpickens Report

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
7 months ago

He was trying to steal it

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#34

Dumbest-Mansplaining

cathashalflife Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

because they know SOOOOO much more about it. (that was sarcasm by the way.)

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#35

Dumbest-Mansplaining

AnnUHleigh Report

Joey Marlin
Community Member
7 months ago

Worse than mansplaining as there was no explanation. This is high level patronisation.

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#36

Dumbest-Mansplaining

Wonder_Writer Report

Sarcastic Panda
Community Member
7 months ago

um... I'm lost for words

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#37

Dumbest-Mansplaining

AndaAnder Report

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
7 months ago

This is not mansplaining or toxic masculinity, this is just a husband trying to help when his wife is struggling.

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#38

Dumbest-Mansplaining

KamiWinell Report

Charlotte
Community Member
7 months ago

TIL "coozie" is the name for those insulating can holder sleeve things. But I thought the main aim was to stop the can becoming warm and your hand not getting cold was just a side perk?

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#39

Dumbest-Mansplaining

numberlessed Report

troufaki13
Community Member
7 months ago

What do you mean? You just.. push a button! Is this for real?

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#40

Dumbest-Mansplaining

ObsessedPolitic Report

Periwinkle
Community Member
7 months ago

For gods sake! What's the point? What is the point???

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