on mansplaining and manologues


The manologue takes many forms, but is characterized by the proffering of words not asked for, of views not solicited and of arguments unsought. It is underwritten by the doubtful assumption that the audience will naturally be interested, and that this interest will not flag. And that when it comes to speeches or commentary, longer is better.

The prevalence of the manologue is deeply rooted in the fact that men take, and are allocated, more time to talk in almost every professional setting. Women self-censor, edit, apologize for speaking. Men expound.

I’m not even sure where to begin with this. I guess I’ll begin with what I concede:

– I concede that it is probably the case that there is a phenomenon where some men (because not all men), under specific circumstances (because not all circumstances), talk more often than some women (because not all women)
– I concede that I cannot fully appreciate what it’s like to experience mansplaining as a woman (because I am a man)
– I concede that it may be difficult for some women (because not all) to speak up in certain kinds of situations where there may be a historical bias that favors men (but not all men), and that this phenomenon exists based on an average (because not all)
– I concede that this may be legitimately frustrating to some women (because not all), especially those who have been formally trained to identify this specific type of behavior (ie. there are so many yellow cars, and yellow cars are bad, so be on the lookout for yellow cars)
– I concede that culture may have some, though not all, to do with why this phenomenon exists
– I concede that this phenomenon is worth talking about, because we may be able to change SOME average group behaviors, even if it’s only slightly, through national conversations

I do not concede the following:

– I do not concede that culture has everything to do with all group differences that can be identified through social science
– I do not concede that all average group differences can or should be fixed through non-authoritarian measures
– I do not concede to any authoritarian measures to regulate those everyday “verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” This includes mansplaining, manologing, manspreading, etc..
– I do not concede that this is one of the great challenges of our times

Feel free to opine. I’m open to being wrong. But state clearly on which points above where I am wrong and why, or where I have missed the point and why. If you convince me that I an wrong or have missed the point I will update my post to reflect my new position and give you credit.