By Quip Johnson
I was minding my own business when a man saw my movie poster t-shirt, sat down at my table uninvited and began to explain the plot of the film on my shirt.
The movie in question was “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
I helped work on the film last summer during my internship at Lucasfilm and certainly didn’t need his mansplaining to help me understand the plot.
Mansplaining, a term coined by writer Rebecca Solnit, describes the phenomenon of men explaining concepts to women who already know the information being shared. It differs from a regular explanation when he considers his own words to be of more import than hers, typically to the point of ignoring her cues telling him to stop speaking.
“Honestly it just sounds disgusting,” business major Jose Santos said after hearing about mansplaining. “All my friends are into social justice. So we avoid that I hope.”
Strangely the prevalent social perception is women speak more than men however studies prove otherwise.
In 1994, Myra and David Sadker found that boys in elementary school are eight times more likely than girls to speak up in class. By the time they reach college, a 2004 study at Harvard Law found men were 50 percent more likely to speak up than female students. In workplaces men are 75 percent more vocal.
When females do speak, women are more likely to be interrupted.
George Washington University conducted a study of 20 men and 20 women conversing and found in the course of a three minute conversation men interrupted their female partners 2.6 times, while women only interrupted them once.
Women grow accustomed to this treatment often finding ways to ignore mansplaining altogether.
“Some girls think they’re being talked down but I just play dumb because I already know what they’re talking about,” business major Allie Phipps said. “I grew up with brothers, so I know how guys work.”
Beyond being annoying and perpetuating sexism, mansplaining can have real life consequences for women.
The trend of men who don’t have uteruses explaining their functions to women who do is not only comical but a major problem for reproductive rights movements.
In 2012, Todd Akin cast blame onto rape victims saying: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Apart from being completely idiotic and anatomically incorrect this comment continues to haunt women’s rights campaigns, which have to deal with falsely educated men who genuinely believe things similar to Akin’s remark- even five years later.