Academic Men Explain Things to Me

Great new tumblr, here.

“Are you a female academic, researcher, or graduate student? Has a man tried to explain your field or topic to you, on the assumption that he must inevitably know more about it than you do? Share your experiences as a mansplainee here.”

Thanks to Inside Higher Ed for Calling Out Academic ‘Mansplaining’.

12 thoughts on “Academic Men Explain Things to Me

  1. For generous examples of mansplaining, see the –warning: depressing– comments below the article on Mansplaining in Inside Higher Ed!

  2. Wow, that thread sucked.

    I was surprised (though why? who knows) at the number of people who couldn’t acknowledge that academia could be full full of bragging and condescension and misexplaining while also having a significant mansplaining phenomenon.

    I mean, you could think they are the same basic phenomena and just acknowledge the higher prevalence! Wacky.

  3. I enjoyed the comments; I love seeing people mansplain about how there’s no such thing as mansplaining.

  4. wow, that thread is hilarious. my favorite: “The word “mansplaining” is sexist and then they use it to complain about sexism? What if someone defined “womanplaining” to be when a female academic suffering from mental issues made false complaints of sexism?” that’s like a mansplaining bingo right there.

  5. I have the strangest reaction to meeting women academics – I ASK THEM QUESTIONS RELATED TO THEIR WORK THAT I’VE ALWAYS BEEN CURIOUS ABOUT. ’cause, you know, expert. Right there. In front of me. Weird, I know.

  6. Although, as a follow-up, I need to add: while the vast majority of these examples are almost assuredly the result of sexist attitudes, there’s going to be overlap between this kind of behavior as spurred by sexism and this kind of behavior as spurred by the insecurity of non-academics around experts. I say this because I’ve had some experiences that could be almost word-for-word copies of some of the ones I saw on this blog, despite being a white male. An acquaintance once spent hours explaining my field (philosophy of art) to me, basing his conclusions on the fact that he “goes to the museum a lot.” Of course, sexism is unfortunately prevalent enough that it’s safe to assume that as a reason for most of this nonsense…

  7. There there, Landon. As the Tumblr clearly shows, you’ve been doing it wrong all along! Remember they may be “expert” in some degenerate sense of having knowledge, expertise, and fancy pants degrees, BUT…do they have testicles?

    I think not!

    “Now you know…as well as you can”

    (I just had someone “explain” to me and a colleague, over the top incorrectly, some stuff which is totally based on our work (among others) and of which we are internationally well known experts. Amazingly insufferable. But I don’t get that all the time.)

  8. Mansplaining aside, a number of these have a rather authoritarian tone which I find quite distasteful.

    I mean, it is certainly possible for someone to correct someone else, even when the corrected party has far superior credentials, and even knowledge. (Students do, on occasion, correct their teachers, even though the teachers know more.) Some of these posts mock the very possibility of that.

    That is, even if the other person is wrong — even comically ignorant — your reaction should not ever be, “And who are you to disagree with me!?”

  9. [mansplain] Is it so surprising that many professors don’t actually want their students/laypeople/other professors to correct them (contrary to their claim that they do, obviously), and consider any attempt to do so an irreverent slight? Of course, if you exist in a sexist society, and assume (justifiably) that the person you are looking down on is representative of that society, then that is not going to help out the problem. [/mansplain]

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