“Always remember, ask the waiter for a to-go box if you can’t finish your food.” These words weren’t uttered by a parent to their child, and not even by a man to a woman. They were said by me last month to my grandmother after she told me what she ate at a Mexican restaurant. As if I’ve earned my Ph D in doggie bags. As sad as it is to admit, mansplaining — the act of explaining something to a woman using a condescending tone — is something women do to other women, too. Worse of all, I mansplain. And the time has come for everyone - myself included - to resist the urge to mansplain and quite simply, shut our traps.
If I was to be told, “Melina, you’re such a mansplainer,” my first reaction wouldn’t be, “Oh, I should check myself.” My first reaction would be more along the lines of, “Exactly how man-like do I appear?” Honestly, the term wouldn’t really sink in. That’s why I prefer to use “smarmy know-it-all” instead of “mansplainer” for anyone who offers unsolicited advice, opinions, and explanations because EVERY gender does this. Think about it. You wouldn’t call a first grade girl a “mansplainer” when her Sunday School teacher asks the class, “Who here knows the story of Queen Esther?” then takes the reigns because she thinks she’s a 7-year-old Biblical scholar and recaps the entire story in under three minutes while plowing through every single spoiler alert, even though the teacher was asking a simple “yes/no” question. Someone should have shut me down.