February 3, 2013
Super Bowl Sunday is the World Series, Stanley Cup, Final Four, and Indy 500 of "mansplaining."
What exactly is mansplaining?
When I first came across the term I assumed it had to do with a man trying to weasel out of something by loudly and confidently clouding the issue with tortured logic and strings of suspect facts all delivered in a run-on rant.
The online dictionary Wiktionary, however, defines mansplaining as: "The fact or action of explaining something in a condescending or self-justifying manner, originally and especially of a man to a woman."
While I have no quarrel with this definition, and have no doubt that men often behave that way toward women, I do question the assertion of exclusivity. It seems to me that mansplaining just represents the female wing of men being men.
What I'm saying is that men don't just act like overbearing dorks when talking at women, they act that way when talking at everyone, including I might add, the television.
You know why men talk at the television? Because they don't have to worry about the television talking back.
To a man, a conversation has two components: Talking, and waiting for your turn to talk again. If any listening occurs it is usually because the man has temporarily gone into oxygen debt.
Also, anything a man says during a conversation that has anything to do with what the person has just said can be attributed to only one thing — coincidence.
The reason this Sunday is the Super Bowl of mansplaining as far as women go is because a main topic will be football. And there is no conversation with a woman that a red-blooded manly mansplainer feels more entitled to dominate than one centering on sports in general and football in particular.
That the woman may be every bit as big a fan and can expound in depth on the differences between the "wildcat" and "pistol" offenses makes no difference.
To the women who will find themselves on the nodding end of a Super Bowl football conversation with a mansplainer Sunday, I offer this advice:
When you can't take it anymore, work in the term "female problem." Listening to a mansplainer 'splain female problems to a woman could be very entertaining.
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