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'Academic Men Explain Things To Me' Tumblr Goes Viral

Oct 19, 2012
Alamy

Are you a woman? Have you ever been an expert in something? Then you are probably familiar with the concept of mansplaining, even if you're not aware of that term currently used to describe the phenomenon.

That's where Academic Men Explain Things To Me comes in. The Tumblr blog recounts the travails of female academics and experts who are constantly being subjected to men explaining their own field to them.

Thus, mansplaining: The act of telling a female expert you think you know more than she does, just because you are a man.

A good example is this instance of a classic mansplain:

I, a PhD student, had an intro lecture on gender and post-colonial theory for our bachelor students. During the break a young, male student came forward and explained to me that all women are average intellectually while men are both the dumbest and the smartest in a population. His source: A graph he had seen on the Internet. He even drew it on the white board for me.

And yeah, he was studying to become a librarian.

Good luck with that!

The Mansplaining concept is having quite a moment. Jezebel has written several pieces about mansplanation in today's society, and the Atlantic has tackled the issue as well.

Yet some confusion still seems to surround the term. Sam Wilkinson recently wrote on the blog The League Of Ordinary Gentlemen that he was confused by the term, especially in its application to himself and his behavior. He asked: "Aren’t the people accused of mansplaining just being dickheads? And isn’t dickheadery something that both genders are capable of doing to one another or to each other?"

A pertinent question. We say there is a certain ineffable quality to a mansplanation that is, well, particular to men. So does Rebecca Solint, the originator of the term. It's just something that women are experts in. But maybe a man would like to explain it to us.

Read more mansplaining examples at Academic Men Explain Things To Me.

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