In response to my article yesterday about offices where sexism is a low-grade fever -- and let's be clear, this definitely happens in progressive and journalistic organizations as well as in finance, manufacturing, and all the rest -- Amanda Marcotte tweeted at me that the word "mansplaining" can sometimes help counter the problem. Aha! Yes -- naming things can help get rid of them! But this new coinage I had not yet heard, so I asked her for examples. Herewith:
It's when a man condescendingly explains something to a woman who usually knows more about the subject than he. A good example: I had a guy in Twitter trying to explain to me how Mindy Kaling doesn't really understand screenwriting.
Or here is a slightly edited version of an Urban Dictionary definition:
To delight in condescending, inaccurate explanations delivered with rock-solid confidence and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation.
Even though he knew she had an advanced degree in neuroscience, he felt the need to mansplain that there are molecules in the brain called neurotransmitters.
Oh, lordy. Can we get this into wider circulation? Try using it in your line of work -- or at home -- or anywhere, really -- this week. And please, please, e-mail me to tell me how it went. I'll post the best ones here.
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(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)