On mansplaining

Members of either sex can explain or talk about things in a way that’s not interesting to others. Gauging another person’s level of interest and understanding has always been an important conversational skill.

The whole idea of mansplaining barely deserves credit. Put simply, it says: “when men speak it is objectionable and should be ignored; when women speak they should be listened to.” In each case, at its worst this way of thinking ignores the content of what each person has to say.

One thing I’ve found is that proponents of the idea “mansplaining is a thing” tend to assume that a man’s attempt to describe an idea to a woman is an effort to make her agree with him, or to control how she thinks. But any person may simply wish to begin a conversation about an idea that excites them, particularly to explore the way they think about it through dialogue. It is always (and has always been) possible to politely decline a conversation, to non-verbally show a lack of interest, or to steer a conversation elsewhere.

Author: Ben Hourigan

Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.