The triumph of confidence over expertise

A J.A.K. cartoon in the January 15th New Yorker:

Classic mansplaining, right down to the interruption.

The cautious definition in NOAD:

verb mansplain: [with object] informal (of a man) explain (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing: I’m listening to a guy mansplain economics to his wife | (as noun mansplaining): your response is classic mansplaining. ORIGIN early 21st century: blend of man and explain.

Recent public attention to the phenomenon, in which a man’s self-assurance overshadows a woman’s expertise, begins with the pointed 4/13/08 essay “Men Explain Things to Me; Facts Didn’t Get in Their Way” by Rebecca Solnit in the Los Angeles Times (which didn’t use the term mansplain), followed by later Solnit pieces. Then Lily Rothman’s “A Cultural History of Mansplaining”, in The Atlantic on 11/1/12, supplied an overview and some analysis.

Cartoonists have of course taken to the topic with gusto. On this blog:

on 4/7/15 “Mansplaining in the comics”: Dilberts

on 4/9/15 “More mansplaining”: another Dilbert

on 8/6/16 “xkcd mansplaining”

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