Mansplaining: 20 Ways to Spot a Dick When You’re Talking to One

Mansplaining

Mansplaining is the way that a man intentionally talks down to a woman who threatens him. Speaking condescendingly, don’t be sucked into his nonsense.

Explaining means for someone to make something clear by describing it in specific detail providing the necessary ideas or facts. Typically, an explanation comes without any intonation, just matter of, and mere, fact.

But mansplaining is something different. It is a term used to describe the way that a man explains something that is said in a way to be condescending and patronizing.

What is mansplaining?

Mansplaining is a way that a man shows his supposed “superiority” through the use of a patronizing tone. Used in any social situation, it is unmistakable to anyone within earshot that a man is trying to put a woman in her “place,” either by the words he is saying or the way that he is saying them.

The tone and what is said can differ, but its intention is to make a woman feel subordinate, and in some instances, stupid. Don’t internalize mansplaining or think it has anything to do with you. It isn’t about you, it is about your gender, that is why you have to either call it out or just let it go.

20 signs of mansplaining you can’t miss

Here are some signs of mansplaining.

#1 They talk very slowly like you are going to miss something. A guy who is mansplaining will often talk really slowly on purpose. Looking at you after every word, they give the appearance that they want to make sure that you can “keep up” with the complexity of what they are saying.

Since you are so simple-minded, they don’t want to leave you in the lurch with their very complex explanation about how to make coffee or do simple math. [Read: Male privilege – What it is and what it looks like in real life]

#2 It feels more like he is talking to a kindergartener. The point behind someone mansplaining is to make you feel stupid and ignorant.

Much like explaining something to a kindergartener because they just don’t have the maturity or intellectual knowledge to understand what is so obviously above their head, a guy who is trying to mansplain you will over-explain and bore you to tears telling you things you’ve known since kindergarten. [Bustle.com: 8 ways men don’t realize they’re subtly shaming women]

#3 They use remedial words as if the big ones will go right over your head. Instead of using all the highfaluting words that you won’t get anyway because you have a very limited vocabulary, they feel the need to “dumb it down.” It is their duty to simplify it so that you aren’t left scratching your heads with all the verbiage that is way over your intelligence level.

#4 You aren’t sure why, but you feel embarrassed and belittled as they are talking to you. The way that they say what they say makes you feel embarrassed and belittled, but sometimes you aren’t even sure why.

Being nice enough, the tone makes you feel like you are stupid, but it also threatens you enough not to say anything because you feel the hostility that lies beneath the surface. [Read: Should a girl ever dump it down to impress a guy?]

#5 Other people around you become uncomfortable by the exchange. You will notice that when a man is mansplaining to a woman, whether in a workplace or social atmosphere, those around will become very uncomfortable.

Most people know that talking down to someone or showing dominance through intimidation isn’t cool, but not a mansplainer. Take heart, if anyone is listening, they are thinking “man what a dick.”

#6 They talk really loudly like you are hard of hearing. Another tactic, speaking loudly like you aren’t only dumb but deaf, mansplaining typically comes with a loudness that isn’t necessary.

#7 They keep saying the same thing over and over as if you won’t get it the first time. Over-explaining is one of the cornerstones of mansplaining.

Since they want to make it seem like you can’t hold a concept in that silly brain of yours for more than a couple of seconds, it is their duty to say it so many times that it sticks. Mansplaining is not only irritating, it can go on and on forever. [Read: 16 clear signs you’re in a narcissistic relationship]

#8 They have a tone like their breath is wasted because you are going to screw it up anyway. Since they know that you aren’t capable of doing anything right, they make it very obvious that no amount of explaining is going to result in what they want. Saying things like “just do the best you can” really means, “I know that you aren’t capable, so just do what you are limited to.”

#9 They make sure to tell you in front of a crowd because otherwise their sarcasm would be wasted. Mansplaining is not only meant to make you feel stupid but to show off a man’s intelligence. If it were just about you, then he wouldn’t feel the need to make sure to talk to you such a way with a crowd watching.

#10 You feel angry after it is explained, but can’t really put your finger on why. Although sometimes never saying anything overtly mean, you walk away with a session of mansplaining wishing that you had stepped in and said something to defend yourself. But, you aren’t quite sure against what. [Read: How to quickly spot narcissistic traits in a relationship]

#11 It makes you question your abilities. Mansplaining is meant to make you feel insubordinate and to put you in a submissive position. If you take it to heart, it can make you question if you have done something in the past to make people question your abilities. Try to remember that it has nothing to do with you; it is about your gender and nothing else.

#12 It sounds hostile… even if they are saying it nicely. Just like Southern women can tell you to screw yourself and make it sound kind, mansplaining can come off as, “I am just trying to make sure that I am helping you by explaining it completely” *and to death*. Hostility is one of the underlying emotions behind mansplaining, not niceties.

#13 Words like sweetheart or darling aren’t out of the question. Sometimes the condescending isn’t just implied, but flat in your face. Using slurs and put downs under the guise of being lighthearted, there are times when calling you something other than your name is the biggest put down of all.

#14 Looking you up and down like they are sizing you up is not uncommon. A way to make you feel more insecure, when mansplaining, it isn’t uncommon for a man to give you the up down and once over glance. Making you wonder what it is that they are staring at, it is just another tactic to knock you off your balance. [Read: 25 signs of covert narcissism – a different kind of mind game]

#15 They invade your personal zone buffer to catch you off guard. To add a little more threat to their patronizing tone, they will often get too close and invade your personal space. Just more inward hostility, take a step back and try not to be intimidated.

#16 They use an authoritative tone even if they hold no authority over you. Mansplaining isn’t about having any actual power over you, it is about gaining power they need to feel good about themselves. They feel as if they can treat you in a patronizing manner because you are a female, and therefore, merely less than. [Read: How your own self respect affects you and your relationships]

#17 They use really big words that aren’t necessary. Showing off their ten dollar words, they will use big words *sometimes inappropriately* or try to get all technical to prove they know something. If they were secure with themselves, they wouldn’t spend so much time trying to convince everyone how awesome they are. [Read: Selfish people – 15 ways to spot and stop them from hurting you]

#18 You feel like you should defend yourself but you aren’t sure why, because they didn’t say anything derogatory. It’s all in the way they say it sometimes, and not anything that is actually said. Very manipulative, they put you in your place and then pretend they didn’t mean anything by it.

#19 They physically bring you from place to place like you need a “visual” for the explanation. As if you need a diagram to get from one place to the next, mansplaining involves dragging you around to show you physically everything that they are talking about. After all, you aren’t capable of abstract thought in that silly little head of yours.

#20 You know there was something more behind the conversation than merely explaining something. They make it very apparent that there was something more to the conversation and explanation then just telling you how to do something or explaining what something means.

A tactic that some men use to put women in their “place,” mansplaining is a way that a man talks to a woman in a condescending and patronizing way. Typically done out of being threatened, if someone is mansplaining something, take it as a compliment, because it means they see you as a threat.

It is an intentional act to make you feel less than and shamed. So, no matter who heard the conversation, hold your head high and shrug it off.

[Read: 21 big signs of emotional abuse you may be overlooking]

Anyone who watches the exchange of mansplaining isn’t embarrassed for your sake, but for his. His obvious lack of character and self-esteem shines through.

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Julie Keating
Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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