Ah, Twitter. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I posted links to the most excellent Mansplained Tumblr, but this one is just so perfect.
Because @otherdavidsmith, after seeing a retweet on this post – which involves an individual telling a personal story of a single incident which happened to them – just had to explain something to myself and the retweeter:
So, just to be clear, that’s (a) dismissing women’s stated experiences because it just doesn’t sound right to him, and (b) explaining what “anecdotal” means … although he doesn’t actually understand that anecdotes can, in fact, be truthful.
I mean, hello, entire concept of mansplaining with side order of dismissing the power of talking about our experience openly. It’s 2nd Wave / internet feminism fusion cuisine night tonight!
This was, ahem, pointed out to him, which of course he took with good grace, taking some time to think about how he might have presented himself and whether in a social context of male privilege he might rethink his approach to inserting himself into feminist conversation in future.
I really have a deep and abiding love for this argument: the idea that I (as a silly little woman who doesn’t know how things work, obviously) just don’t understand that tweets are public, and that people have the capacity to reply to them.
Thank fuck for the mansplainers of Twitter or I might have gone on blissfully unaware of these complex 21st century interaction concepts.
The thing is, though … this always comes up after the guy in question has inserted himself into a conversation with no actual regard for the conversation. With nothing to actually add, merely to make it clear that He Has Important Views On Something which We Must Listen To.
And to top it all off, he insists that it’s his OPINION and he’s ENTITLED TO IT … after dismissing a post on a Tumblr with literally hundreds of similar stories because OMG it’s too anecdotal.
Treating a neckbeard’s opinion as sovereign while denigrating the testimony of women: not mansplaining at all there.
I swear, the only thing that gets me through the complete lack of self awareness from these guys is the fact that, instead of making me question my feminist rage, they just reinforce it.
And because – did you realise? – Twitter is public, they do it for the whole world to see.
ETA: after writing up this post, the saga continued, with @otherdavidsmith insisting that he wasn’t implying that the original poster was untrustworthy, it’s just that the post sounded anecdotal to him. (Which, you know, he already said, but being a man it strengthens his position to just repeat himself). Like a script. Which might have something to do with the fact it’s in script format, like many of these kinds of social-network relay-your-experience platforms.
He then links to a freedictionary definition of “anecdotal” to back himself up … which makes no sense in the context, because the specific Tumblr post is an anecdote but not anecdotal in the sense of containing multiple anecdotes, but men don’t need no stinking context when they’re undermining women’s experiences.
And then … then he asks me about a local sports team.
Did I just get mansplain-negged?