“Social media are to mansplainers what dogs are to fleas”

Jessica Valenti interviews Rebecca Solnit at the Guardian, and it’s great:

How do you feel about being considered the creator of the concept of “mansplaining”? Your now-famous essay– which really gave women language to talk about the condescending interactions they’ve had with men — certainly gave birth to the term, but you write in the book that you didn’t actually make up the word.

A really smart young woman changed my mind about it. I used to be ambivalent, worrying primarily about typecasting men with the term. (I have spent most of my life tiptoeing around the delicate sensibilities of men, though of course the book Men Explain Things to Me is what happens when I set that exhausting, doomed project aside.) Then in March a PhD candidate said to me, No, you need to look at how much we needed this word, how this word let us describe an experience every woman has but we didn’t have language for. […]

Do men still explain things to you?

Do they ever! Social media are to mansplainers what dogs are to fleas, and this recent feminist conversation has brought them out in droves. I mean, guys explain ridiculous things to me like that the Louisiana Purchase gave the United States a Pacific Coast. But more than anything since I wrote Men Explain Things to Me, they’ve explained women’s experience to me and other women. With this explosive new conversation since the Isla Vista murders, there’s been a dramatic uptick in guys mansplaining feminism and women’s experience or just denying that we need feminism and we actually had those experiences.

Read more real talk (“I think we need to make blatant misogyny widely regarded as gross and despicable and ignorant the way we have racism”) here.

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