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22 January 2017 @ 12:04 pm
I have a fundamental issue with the word "mansplaining", and it's probably not what you think.  
This journal appears to have become a place for me to put things I want to reference later, so I'm posting here.

I have, from time to time in my life, been an asshole. I've been called on it, and while it may not have been fun in the moment, I appreciate those who did.

I have, from time to time, been sexist. Same thing - call me on it, it hurts, I generally appreciate it later.

Likewise with condescending, or pandering, or any number of other things. Realistically, I'm not built for self reflection in the moment the way many others are, so if you notice I'm being one of these (or a million other) things, please tell me so I know to stop. I'll be upset for a while. It's OK. Discomfort is how growth happens.

Similarly, people around me have been these and many other things. I try to be good about pointing it out but I recognize that I'm not great at it.

Whatever. The point is I'm fully aware that I can be a condescending sexist asshole. And you can call me on it. In fact, please do.

Do not, however, tell me that I'm being a condescending sexist asshole in a way that ONLY people of my gender are capable of. I'm not. There's no such thing. Women are just as capable of being condescending sexist assholes as men are. So are nonbinary people. I've seen it. So have you.

In fact, we see it every time someone uses the word "mansplaining". Because when you accuse someone of doing something that ONLY their gender is capable of (positive or negative), you are being a condescending sexist asshole.

So call me on being a condescending sexist asshole if you see me being one. But if you do it with the word "mansplain", don't be surprised if you're pointed to this journal entry. And if you do it a second time, don't be surprised if you're unfriended. I don't need condescending sexist assholes on my friends list any more than you do.