This is a beginner’s guide to mansplaining on Facebook (image credit: Tim Gouw via Unsplash)
Mansplain (verb): “What occurs when a man talks 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.” -Merriam-Webster
Right now, on Facebook and Twitter and other social media platforms, thousands of women are freely sharing knowledge, opinions, and personal experiences. Chilling, isn’t it?
If you’re a man on the internet, your duty is to swiftly and decisively correct them.
If you’re new to the mansplaining game, Facebook is the perfect place to practice. Social media gives you a captive audience and myriad opportunities to inject yourself into other people’s conversations and forcefully share your expertise. Plus, if people roll their eyes at you, you don’t have to see it.
Never mansplained before? Here’s a handy guide to help you get started.
Choose your audience.
Your mansplaining efforts are wasted on other men. They will either ignore you or mansplain back, creating a mansplaining vortex. Instead, look for a group of women on your Facebook feed having a real, substantive, and vulnerable conversation about a topic that doesn’t affect you at all. That’s your cue. Burst into that comment thread like the Kool-Aid Man plowing through a brick wall and amaze them with your completely unnecessary perspective. Oooooohhh yeeeaaahhh!
Don’t worry if you’re not at all familiar with the subject you’re explaining.
You’re a man. You’re qualified.
Leave no joke unexplained.
People get offended by everything these days, am I right?! If you notice a woman getting worked up over a joke or satirical comment, just remember the old adage, “the funniest jokes are the ones that are explained in painstaking detail in a patronizing tone.” Tell them WHY it’s funny and let the hilarity ensue!
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Perfect the art of skimming.
Do not, under any circumstances, fully read or research the topic you’re attempting to mansplain. A brief skim of a Facebook status or a tweet will always suffice.
Practice typing the word “Actually.”
You’ll be using it a lot, so commit it to muscle memory now.
Check your tone.
Remember: you don’t want to come off as passionate or invested in the topic at hand. The best mansplainers project an air of annoyance that they are being required to step away from their busy lives to share their knowledge. What you’re going for is, “Siiiigh, I suppose I’ll wade into this plebeian discourse to set a few things straight.” Yes, you’re above this, but it’s a cross you must bear.
Watch the pros in action.
Remember a few months ago when Trump found out who Frederick Douglass was and gave America a present-tense book report about the “amazing job” he was doing? That was a presidential-level display of mansplanation in action. Watch. Learn.
Remember: it’s always about you.
You might look at someone’s statement, opinion, or raw personal experience and think, “this has nothing to do with me,” but alas, dear mansplainer, you’re missing the point. As the voice of reason, it’s always about you.