Monday, August 25, 2014

Mansplaining Is a Turn Off, Boys! Here is some dating advice for you

First a definition based on the wikipedia entry for it:
Mansplaining is a portmanteau of the words "man" and "explaining" that describes the act of a man speaking to a woman with the assumption that she knows less than he does about the topic being discussed on the basis of her gender. Mansplaining is different from other forms of condescension because it is rooted in the assumption that, in general, a man is likely to be more knowledgeable than a woman. It is further defined as "the intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness", rooted in a "presumption, that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence."

I will just add that the unwillingness to have a conversation (you know, an EXCHANGE) with the woman, but rather bombard her with information is a huge characteristic of mansplaining.

I remember when I was 18 and I got away from Christianity and started actually potentially dating guys... prior to that it was just me liking church boys that I would never be good enough for-because my parents were divorced and I didn't come from a religious home. I remember once getting off the phone with a guy and noticing that suddenly all the guys in my life knew a lot of STUFF... as a young 18 year old, I thought this was cool. Somehow, I thought it meant they respected me and my intelligence. Eventually, I guess I ran across guys doing this when I actually knew about the subject at hand..

By now, I'm 38, and I'm pretty knowledgeable about a lot of different things so my initial positive reaction to what I now know was "mansplaining" has turned quite sour. I really hate... I mean hate, being on a first date or when I'm talking to a guy that seems interested in me and that guy starts confidently teaching me about something and HE'S WRONG. I know he's wrong because we're talking about something that I know about. I've decided this is the worst kind of mansplaining. The time that this happened to me that really stands out, the guy had just mansplained to me how to lose weight because in response to "what did you do earlier today?" I told him I had gone to the gym and run on the treadmill. Then we started talking about actual running and with audacity and arrogance, he did it again and was even wrong about the information. I always see online that guys say they don't like a woman arguing with them on a date, so, I gently stated, "are you sure? because I don't think that's correct" BAM! He came at me even harder with his arrogance. I looked at my watch... crap! I wanted to walk out, but I was staying for the weekend at a friend's in Manhattan and my friend went out to eat and wouldn't be back home yet.

Next in my line of mansplaining products that I dislike is mansplaining about how to lose weight. Guys just seem so clueless that mansplaining to a woman you are interested in on how to lose weight communicates this: "I think you are fat." The same gentleman from above who had done that prior to manplaining about running, I stopped him and point blank ASKED if he thought I was fat. He said, "no." So all I could think was, if you don't think I'm fat, you really need to shut the fuck up. I was angry to be on a date and to be on the receiving end of an insult. Of course women aren't allowed to tell men, "hey, you need to shut up because you are insulting me." We're supposed to be nicey nice and sweet and put up with being insulted by our dates in this manner and go on more dates with these guys and sleep with any man that wants to sleep with us, but we're also supposed to be prudes... Oh I'm going off on a tangent....

Finally, other mansplaining when the man actually does know more than us is also pretty crappy. This is a little harder to tell that we are being mansplained to, but one key is if we stop them and ask a question, the way they answer it and if they seem to assume we can follow them, or if answer in a very condescending manner.

So, now begs the question, why do men do this? I've actually noticed that men mostly do this on dates early in a relationship or when you are at a party or a bar. The woman that coined the term had it happen at a party. On the other hand, I sometimes have casual conversations with men I don't know in public places like the grocery store and I walk away thinking, "that was a PLEASANT conversation with a MAN. Why couldn't my conversations on dates be like that? If they were, I'd for sure be able to find someone."  So it is from this that it hit me... men actually think mansplaining is attractive. Men mansplain when they are trying to win a woman over.

Well, I'm here to tell you, you are more likely to win me over by complimenting me and acknowledging that I am not an idiot. If you want to show interest in a woman, ask her out. Here are some ways to do this, "can I take you out to dinner?" "Let me take you out for coffee sometime." "I am attracted to you and would like to get to know you, is there any interest on  your part?"

Now on that first date: it's ok tell a woman she is pretty or beautiful once or twice, but if you sit there on the first date repeatedly telling her she is beautiful, it's too much. Just talk to her. Tell her about you and let her interject with information about herself. Ask questions about her hobbies and interests and favorite music and TV. Come up for air. Don't physically crowd her space. Read her body language. Does she move away from you? Does she look bored? Don't ask if you are doing ok on the date. That triggers the thought that you are a loser and she won't be honest. Also don't make a big deal about the fact that you are paying. Just pay for the date and don't talk about it. I've had guys say it's their treat or act like it's a big deal that they paid or even worse they start muttering like they can't afford to take a woman out. All of that makes me think you aren't interested or you're an ass. If you have an issue with paying then invite her to free or cheap stuff. I'm not a gold digger, but I'm not spending my free time with a stranger and paying for myself. Women are looking for a connection on a date, unless she has daddy issues, but trust me, you don't want a grown woman with daddy issues. I've been friends with women like that. They are a mess.

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