Yes, we’re talking about mansplaining.Think about all the coherent explanations that you have gotten in your life, whether from teachers, textbooks, colleagues, friends, or whatever. How many were from men? 90%? 99%? Men have been authorities of knowledge since the beginning of civilization.
The portmanteau describes the act of a man’s unsolicited explaining, generally to a woman, something he thinks he knows more about than she does — occasionally at anesthetizing length — whether he knows anything or not. ...
Kate Manne, an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University, explores the issue in a chapter of her new book, “Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women.” On a recent call from her home in upstate New York, where she lives with her husband, their 8-month-old and a corgi, she unpacked the problem.
How did we arrive at the idea that men are the authorities of knowledge?
Mansplaining may be recently named, but it’s most likely a phenomenon as old as time. Inherent in patriarchy is men’s entitlement to all valuable human goods: things like love, care, adoration, sex, power — and knowledge. When it comes to knowledge, especially of a prestigious sort, the idea that men have a prior claim to it is as venerable as the patriarchy itself. Sometimes it’s connected to the idea that women are incapable of being authority figures. In “Politics,” for example, Aristotle wrote: “The slave is wholly lacking the deliberative element; the female has it but it lacks authority.”
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Manplaining is as venerable as the Patriarchy
A NY Times op-ed complains: