Because every time a dude mansplains, all he’s really doing is revealing his insecurities.
I was recently riding my motorcycle on the highway during rush hour, crawling at 20 mph or so in the left lane, and this guy pulls up next to me with his window rolled down and shouts, “your lane ends in a few miles!”
I literally laughed.
Because 1) I take this route almost daily. I know quite well that the lane ends. But 2) even if I didn’t, it’s a permanent lane merge on a major highway. There’s repeated, overly-conspicuous signage — massive yellow signs overhead and additional white block letter warnings painted on the asphalt. Meaning: you’d pretty much have to be an idiot to miss all of it. And yet this guy felt compelled to warn me. 😂
And hey, maybe it had nothing to do with gender. Maybe it was just because I was approachable on the bike — and maybe, if he’d had it his way, he would have happily gone car to car and warned them all. Maybe he was “just being nice.”
Though somehow I doubt that.
Mansplaining is insecurity
It’s not simply a matter of a dude knowing more (or thinking he does), because plenty of well-socialized individuals can know more about a subject than the person with whom they’re speaking and say nothing.
A mansplainer’s primary motivation is not to know more, but to talk over the other person — regardless of knowledge.
It’s about air space, not accuracy.
And yeah, it stems from feeling (or wanting to feel) superior, but it’s such a desperate grasp at demonstrating it that I can’t see it for anything other than what it obviously is, which is: true feelings of inferiority, and a compulsion to overcompensate accordingly.
Men don’t just do this with women. They do this with each other, too. Mansplaining is just another dick-measuring contest.
“My dick is bigger”
The “mansplaining” I get most often are all the guys, nearly every day, who approach me to talk about my motorcycle — with the sole purpose of telling me they ride or used to ride, and that, most importantly, their bike was bigger.
I can’t help but laugh afterwards each time, because the unstated insecurity and grab for masculine superiority is so obvious.
Being bothered by mansplaining is insecurity, too
I don’t get upset about mansplaining in the same way I don’t get upset about a child explaining something I know more about.
I might think the kid is a know-it-all little shit, but more likely I’d just laugh it off. I wouldn’t take it as a personal attack, or chalk it up to “ageism.” He’s just a kid, being a kid. And it’s just that some of us don’t ever outgrow that and develop self awareness.
It’s an 8-time divorcee might give relationship advice. Or an obese person might get preachy about what we should and should not be eating. Or mansplainers.
But it’s getting this diet or relationship advice when I am happy with my body image and love life — and knowledge.
If I am truly secure in something, the worst impact any “helpful advice” should have is make me laugh.
The only reason we would feel threatened by mansplaining is if our value systems are suffering — i.e., that we either assign too much of the value to men that they so desperately grasp… or, more likely, that we don’t assign enough of it to ourselves.