The Public Eye

printed 06/07/2019

Whoever came up with the term “mansplain,” to describe a man’s molecularly detailed explanation to a woman who, at that moment, would prefer getting a robo call from the Nail Fungus Association, has done the male world a big disservice.

One, it’s an extremely sexist thing to say, as would be strongly noted if the situation were reversed.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I said, “Stop femsplaining to me,” as someone else in this house goes on about why you really should separate lights from darks in the laundry, and that white stays white in hot water, colors don’t fade as much in cold water, that you use too much detergent anyway, and that you need to check your pockets first and …

Why indeed. All I want to do is produce a pile of clean clothes that I can wad up and stuff in a drawer so I can do something more interesting, like watching baseball.

Secondly, women have another option that men do not possess — the femstare, which is like femsplaining, but without the words.

For instance, were you to argue in favor of laundry lumping over laundry separating, she wouldn’t have to say, “You know what? If we were surrounded by brain-eating zombies, you’d be spared.”

No, to save time, she can just give you the femstare, or “The Look.”

It says, in a non-verbal way, the same thing except you know it’s punctuated at the end by a vulgar term that sort of rhymes with casserole, as in “… you’d be spared, you casserole.”

But if you were to say, “Stop femsplaining to me,” or “stop femstaring at me,” you would run the risk of getting the nuclear option, which consists of one followed by the other for emphasis.

“Let me tell you why I find that insulting,” she says and then follows up with a femstare that would fry a golf ball, “… you casserole.”

Yet, men are not supposed to find “mansplaining” insulting, because men have been stereotyped as insensitive louts. This isn’t true, of course. Otherwise, Nordstrom’s wouldn’t carry more than 100 sensitive men products, so there.

Anyway, mansplaining is supposed to mean explaining something in a condescending way to a woman, who, as it happens, is just as capable of doing the same thing:

“Don’t you know what Consumer Reports says about using more detergent than you need? Let me explain so you’ll understand.”

Besides, I believe going into detail about something everyone really needs to know is necessary to our advance as a species.

“Okay,” you say at dinner after you’ve discussed the news of the day and get on to more vital topics, like how to tie your own fishing rigs: “Now, take the Carolina rig, for instance…”

Or baseball.

“Here’s something you didn’t know,” I’ll say, “the difference between a cut fastball and a screwball is that the cutter is kind of a reverse screwball except the velocity’s different and the pitcher’s grip is …

“Stop mansplaining to me,” she interjects.

“You femsplained to me today and I think it’s sexist and insulting.”

Femstare follows, which says, “It’s meant to be, now shut up and eat your casserole, you …”

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