1. The linguist:
A taxi driver once tried to convince me, for about 20 awkward minutes, that the national language of Chile is French.
I am Chilean. It’s Spanish.
—Pamela Cataldo, Facebook
2. The umpire:
A co-worker once tried to mansplain that fouls don’t count as strikes in baseball. As a huge baseball fan, I obviously refuted that — the first two strikes can be from fouls, you just can’t strike out on a foul. He still continued to maintain that he was right, because he watched baseball since he was a kid and coached Little League. It only ended with me finally having to show him the actual foul strike rule on my phone.
— Kayla Savard, Facebook
3. The Victoria’s Secret salesman:
A former guy friend tried to explain to me the appearance, function, and purpose of a push-up bra.
—Amanda Ross, Facebook
4. The Casanova:
Two different men told me what I needed to do to ensure that I had an orgasm while we were having sex. One literally told me he wanted me to “practice” for the next week so I would have a better understanding of what gets me off. As if I didn’t already have a pretty good idea of that, being that it’s MY BODY and all. No offer of practicing himself or of listening to the tips I was giving. I handled it by having sex with other, better partners.
—Missy Hall, Facebook
5. The Energizer Bunny:
A man showed me how to put batteries in a battery box, describing to me exactly how to position them and how to put the plastic cover on afterwards. I’m 22. I’ve built a boat single-handed.
—Katie Howard, Facebook
6. The pregnancy expert:
Pregnancy. When a friend asked me how I was feeling and I told her I was having some morning sickness, her boyfriend jumped in to tell me that nausea during pregnancy is “purely psychosomatic.” He also informed me that pregnancy brain was a ruse used by pregnant women to get more attention and sympathy. Such a charmer.
7. The only Breaking Bad fan:
At the store where I work, this guy walks in with a Los Pollos Hermanos T-shirt on. I had been binge-watching Breaking Bad the whole previous weekend, so I tell him I like his shirt and he sighs deeply and says, “No, you don’t get it. It’s from a TV show,” rolls his eyes, and walks on.
8. The lawyer:
I was at a party and one of the male guests began chatting me up. We got to talking about work, and he started bemoaning the stress of the legal field. He did not work in law, or any field related to law. He never once asked what I do for a living, and his monologue did not give me a chance to contribute. I had already graduated from law school and been practicing for two years.
The party was hosted by a friend of mine, who is a lawyer, to celebrate the birthday another friend, who is also a lawyer. The thought that I may also be a lawyer, and therefore had more insight than he did, never seemed occur to him.
— Angelica Bailey, Facebook
9. The doctor:
I have had a few ex-boyfriends try to explain to me how to use my birth control and how it works in my system. “OMG you can’t skip the white pills at the end of the pack and start a new one because you could get pregnant!” Not really, thanks, but I’m glad you are a licensed physician who knows how to prescribe and use different forms of birth control!
— Cori Ayers, Facebook
10. The diversity expert:
I teach diversity and inclusion to companies. During the class I reference a very famous case study done by Harvard Business School. In a recent session I had a man attempt to discredit the case study. When I said, “So you are telling me you know more than the experts at Harvard Business School? You know more than the experts at Harvard?” he then started explaining why I am not qualified to assess if it is a valid case study or not. WTF? This is my JOB, I am an expert in D&I and get paid to teach it.
—Deanna Starnes, Facebook
11. The fake geek:
I have a small collection of pins on my backpack, including a lot of Star Trek pins. After class one day, a dude proceeded to hassle me about how my Star Trek pins were “all wrong” because my engineering pin was red and my command pin was yellow. He said the “correct” colors were engineering yellow and command red. He proceeded to rant about fake geek girls before I could get a word in edgewise and correct him. The Next Generation introduced the engineering yellow and command red, and the original series had engineering/security red, hence the “red shirt.” Who’s the fake geek now?
—Kiley Cloud, Facebook
12. The Tampax brand ambassador:
I explained I needed to take medication that lowers the amount of blood I lose during periods, and the guy said, “You don’t need medication for that! You just need tampons!”
I tried to explain that tampons wouldn’t help, but he insisted on telling me how they stop the blood coming out, “just like a plug!” I was amazed that he actually thought that was true. And yes, I did then let him know that tampons soak up blood and don’t actually stop periods from happening.
13. The musician:
I was buying a new set of violin strings at a music store, and the teenage boy working at the register spent several minutes explaining to me how to change a string on a violin.
I have a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis on violin performance. I’ve been playing violin for 20 years. I think it’s safe to say I know how to change a string.
—Sam Rose, Facebook
14. The professor:
MY masters’ thesis. He actually tried to mansplain MY own thesis back to me.
—Stephanie Higgs, Facebook
15. The dad:
I used to work as a marketing and merchandising analyst for a major retailer. We were in a team meeting discussing if items like pads and tampons should be placed on promotional displays in our stores or if those weren’t the kinds of items that would do well in those spaces. The other women and I started to explain how women shop for pads and tampons to the men on the team — using both our own personal experience as users of those products, and also cold hard customer data from our databases. We were then harshly rebuked by Kyle, our idiotic and mansplaining team lead, who said, “Listen, that’s not how women shop for pads and tampons, OK? I know how women shop for pads and tampons.” He then proceeded to advance his own nonsensical theory on how women shop for pads and tampons while all the women in the room felt dead inside.
16. The foodie:
Some culinary school student with a man bun explained to me in the most pretentious voice that filets are “women’s steaks,” because women don’t care about the flavor of their steak. They just like that it has no bones. And bones are where the flavor is. I told him that a nearby steak and sushi restaurant had the most delightful bone-in filet I had ever had. Then I walked away. Stupid man bun.
—Erica Sloan, Facebook
17. The natural hair guy:
My favorite is when my co-worker mansplained to me the natural hair movement and hair growth.
I’m black with natural hair.
18. The budding reader:
I used to be part of a writers group. There was one guy who always half-assed everything — he never finished anyone’s stories or offered up good feedback on anything.
I had written a short story where the main character used a .22 revolver. He told me that revolvers were “old-fashioned” and “outdated technology” and said that the story would be more believable if the character was using an automatic.
The character was playing Russian roulette.
19. The man who mansplained mansplaining:
One evening my husband was telling me a story about a “horrible” mansplaining incident that occurred at his work. Based on his description, I didn’t think it was mansplaining. At which point he said, “You do know what mansplaining is, don’t you?” And then he proceeded to define it for me. The irony of the moment was delicious and completely missed by him.
Want to read more about the perils of mansplaining and how to shut it down? I wrote a book called Womanskills that talks about how to deal with these dum-dums, if you’re interested!
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