Yes, I said it – mansplaining. Possibly one of the most overused (and misused) terms to come out of the modern feminist Twitterverse. While it is used in many contexts within millennial social circles, I am going to talk about it as it relates to online dating and, specifically, my own experiences with it. My first mansplaining incident occurred back in the good ole days of 2017 when I was naïve enough (hopeful enough?) to think that most guys didn’t realize they were railroading their dates and just had a lot to say (but like, still no). We connected over our shared love of all things environmental science so I was ready for the date to be decent at the very least. Who doesn’t love talking about trees and renewable energy over some good tapas, right? You want to talk about the merits of recycling oyster shells? Sure. Have a discussion about whether or not Al Gore is full of shit? Absolutely. You want to explain the concept of farm-to-table restaurants to me, after I just brought up the subject and tried to start a discussion about it? No. You trying to prove to me that you know more about a subject than me is not impressive. In fact, it’s really just bad manners and not at all attractive.
But not all the mansplainers are that up front about their mansplaining. Some of them mask it a bit by hiding behind the pretense of debating. Now, as a millennial Washingtonian I love a good debate as much as the next person, but here’s the key: a debate is two people discussing a subject about which they have some level of differing views. You know what a debate is not? A debate is not you letting me say 5 words and then launching into a 5 minute monologue talking about how I’m clearly wrong about the incomplete sentence you just interrupted.
So gentlemen, next time you are tempted to give into the desire to show off your intellect to the pretty girl across from you by explaining a subject that she is clearly already well-versed in and is capable of discussing – don’t do it. I could have watched 3.33 episodes of Madame Secretary during that time I sat across from you while you marveled at your own intellect, so yeah I’m slightly bitter.