What Is Mansplaining?

Mansplaining (a blend of the word man and the informal form splaining of the verb explaining) means “(of a man) to comment on or explain something to a woman in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner.” Author Rebecca Solnit ascribes the phenomenon to a combination of “overconfidence and cluelessness.” Lily Rothman of The Atlantic defines it as “explaining without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer, often done by a man to a woman.” In its original use, mansplaining differed from other forms of condescension in that it is rooted in the sexist assumption that a man is likely to be more knowledgeable than a woman. However, it has come to be used more broadly, often applied when a man takes a condescending tone in an explanation to anyone, regardless of the age or gender of the intended recipients: a “man ‘splaining” can be delivered to any audience. In 2010 it was named by the New York Times as one of its “Words of the Year.” Credit: Wikipedia.

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