Are you guilty of mansplaining? No, of course not. Nobody is. Or at least nobody will ever admit to it. You’d sooner find a racist saying, “I sure do love being discriminatory” than a guy who’d cop to mansplaining. But some of us, at least, have doubts.
A little while ago, a Swedish trade union launched a mansplaining hotline, ostensibly for women to call in with complaints. But according to spokespeople for the campaign, the majority of calls came from men, either worrying that they’d been mansplaining or wanting more information on what exactly mansplaining is.
Let’s start with the dictionary definition.
Merriam-Webster describes mansplaining as “a man talk(ing) condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.”
This definition only helps if you’re self-aware enough to know when you’re being condescending. Ask anybody the last time they were willfully condescending, and most of them will be at a loss.
To help clarify, we created the flowchart below.
Not because you’re a mansplainer, but because you’re probably not. A mansplainer wouldn’t have read this far, assuming he already had all the answers. But you just want to be sure.