By JO EARLY
Social media has been a vast echo chamber for the confidently incorrect for as long as Twitter has limited Tweets to 160 characters. Users need to get points out quickly and concisely, so being a part of the conversation can also mean leaving yourself open to misunderstandings and outright lies.
For instance, a clip from the Good Bro, Bad Bro podcast went viral recently due to a host claiming that lifting weight is easier for women than it is for men, because men must “resist Earth’s gravity.” This implies that women float daintily into the gym for the sole purpose of mocking the laws of physics. The internet is rife with hilarious examples of mansplaining, from the subreddits r/badwomensanatomy and r/nothowgirlswork to most of the TikToks that Drew Afualo stitches.
Unfortunately, the mansplaining and misogyny that non-cis men deal with in their offline lives is far from hilarious.
Historically, men have felt entitled to authority and knowledge, while everyone else has been taught to be polite and passive. We were told that submission will keep us safe, while men were told that the alpha must dominate for the good of the pack.
But we’re not dogs, nor are we in the Renaissance anymore. And we’re sick of the patronization.
Mansplaining is so frustrating for the recipient. In the workplace it raises tension and wastes time, sometimes causing self-doubt on either side. And when a professional or authority figure subjects someone to his misogynistic takes, it can cost their lives.
A judge mansplained rape and told victims they were mistaken about what they felt. Doctors often dismiss pain and delay diagnosis, even sending women home while they suffer a heart attack. We suffer through IUD insertions and cervical biopsies (aka getting a part of your cervix ripped out with forceps) all without anything stronger than an Advil. The bias towards white men in clinical trials leaves everyone else vulnerable to overdoses and unstudied side effects.
The world is frustrating enough. If you don’t want to be part of the problem, stop and ask yourself one question. Did they ask? And if you want to be helpful, flip the script and ask someone else for a change.