After a hiatus of more than a month, my Genderal Interest column returns at Jezebel. Here’s Five Tips for the Mansplainers in Your Life. Excerpt:
As I learned teaching workshops on sexual harassment to all-male audiences, most guys don’t want to do or say offensive things. Their misunderstanding of what sexual harassment entails led some to fear that even their most well-intentioned gestures or remarks would be misconstrued as harassment. The bulk of my job was making it clear that sexual harassment was less of a vast catch-all than they imagined. Harassing women, in other words, was less difficult to avoid than they imagined.
The same is true for mansplaining. Despite the fears of many fellas like my student, mansplaining isn’t a term for any time a guy tries to explain himself. Mansplaining is about a very specific instance of “privilege and ignorance… when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate ‘facts’ about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.”
But that description may still be too vague for some guys. So to help them out, here are five ways the fellas can check to see if they’re mansplaining –- or just men, talking like human beings.