1. The idea-repeater
When I was about 19-years-old at my very first job, we had a project that my boss and I discussed. He had no idea how to tackle it, but I came up with a workable solution. Later in a meeting, he explained how things were going to be handled, looked me in the eye and asked, “do you understand?” My response? “It was my idea, so yeah I think I got it.”
2. The name explainer
A man I work with wanted to call me by my last name instead of my first. I don’t care so I told him my last name. He asked its origin, I filled him in on that. He then spent about ten minutes straight explaining to me that I am pronouncing my own last name wrong.
3. The watch expert
I had a guy “teach” me how to set up a watch I had just sold him (even though my badge literally says watch advisor). Cue two days later, the clocks went forward and, not being able to alter the time himself, he was convinced the product was faulty. And in two seconds, with a click of a button, I cracked the case and got to have my glory moment. Is womansplaining a thing? Because I definitely made it one in the minutes that followed.
4. The pedantic replier
I was mansplained through a response to an RFP my company sent out. We had to use the state’s language which said we needed a “statistically valid” sample. We knew it was a weird term, but we used it anyway. One of the vendors had the response “actually, ‘statistically valid’ is a somewhat nebulous term.” I took that sentence, put it over a serene picture of a waterfall to make it look like an inspirational poster and put it up in my cubicle. It’s a daily reminder that you can get mansplained in extremely creative ways.
5. The grappling hook explainer
Once had a colleague take ten minutes to explain what a grappling hook was and how it should be used to me despite my telling him (multiple times) that I knew how they worked. We make video games. I was the one who programmed the grappling hook. He knew this.
6. The person who knew the manual better than the person who wrote it
The main one that comes to mind was a new hire trying to explain the policies and procedures to me for our company, which provided security services within DC. I had written about 75% of the manual after several months of research, locking myself away with the company’s legal team, and coordinating with other security members who work for federal offices that were nearby.
7. The unwanted advice
Working in an international newsroom in Germany, a male colleague from the UK (who has only studied there) tried to explain the differences between US and German education to me. I went to both German and US high schools, and have a university degree from each country.
8. The husband with secret medical knowledge
I’m a nurse and I often deal with patients before and after surgery. I was making casual conversation with my female patient and her husband was there. She was scheduled for surgery the next day and asked a few questions. Before I could even start speaking her husband jumped in and said ‘here’s the deal, this is how the surgeon is gonna do this’. I asked if he is in the medical field and he goes ‘no I’m an accountant.’ *Eye roll*.
9. The art encourager
I doodled a Fry meme on a dry erase board at work. When this guy found out I was the artist, he was like “that’s ACTUALLY really good. You know it’s from a show called Futurama, right? Do you draw in your spare time, because you should. Do you know about sketchbooks? They’re like notebooks but without lines.” If I rolled my eyes any harder, then I might’ve had an aneurysm.
Ynez Parlan, Facebook
10. The slightly patronising meeting chat
I used to work for a company that made furniture. Once we were having a meeting, and I was the only woman present out of about eight, discussing the new additions to our line. The owner of the company was explaining the materials and chemicals used to obtain a certain finish, when he interrupted himself and looked at me and explained what acetone was. I did not ask and he did not explain it to any one else in the room
11. The insistent colleague
He told me we didn’t need to send invoices when requesting payment from company clients. He knew this because he’d spent a year working in an accountancy firm, despite having nothing to do with invoicing. I’ve been managing the company’s finances for 4 years, sending and receiving invoices daily.
12. The Excel expert
A male colleague once spent 45 minutes explaining an Excel spreadsheet to me. A spreadsheet that I created. He even knew I made it and it didn’t seem to make a difference. He explained it wrong.
Image Credit: TV Ate My Wardrobe
13. The person with serious misconceptions about vaginas
I’m a nurse and I teach clinical skills to students, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. One day I was teaching female catheterisation and was explaining to the group about female anatomy and where the urethra was located. A male student then interrupted me to explain that the urethra is located inside the vagina.
14. The over-confident customer
The computer I was using decided to take its time so a male customer decided to lean over and sort it out himself, by doing exactly the same thing I just did! (It still didn’t work).
15. The unwanted culinary lesson
One of the guys I used to work with in a restaurant offered to teach me how make icing roses, then proceeded to give me a step by step run down on how to do it despite multiple interruptions of me telling him I already knew how.
I was piping icing roses while he explained, because I’m a pastry chef with more than fifteen years of industry experience. Same guy offered to teach me how to make bread a few weeks later.
16. The adamant boss
My boss wanted a name on an insurance policy to be changed, and for legal reasons, this couldn’t just be done by amending the name – there were steps that needed to be taken first. After I explained this to him, he proceeded to tell me, “you know what a name change is? Just highlight the name, click the delete button on that name, and type the other name in there. If you need clearer directions, please Google it”. Never had I ever been more satisfied than when the insurers had to call him themselves to explain that what he was asking for was ridiculous.
17. The very unhelpful attempt at helping
In response to “how’s your appetite been?” a patient felt compelled to explain what a pie is to me (“a pastry, sometimes filled with meat and gravy, with a pastry lid” etc). He was genuinely stunned when I replied “um, yes, I had one for lunch myself”. Not entirely sure that was mansplaining, or “dark-skinned doctor must clearly be ignorant of Western food and only eat curry” thing, bit either way I wasn’t impressed!
I’ve also had a patient’s relative stop me mid-way through taking blood to explain I need to put the needle into the vein in order to get blood, because apparently they didn’t teach that in medical school.
18. The old men who knew more about women than…a woman
I was once in a marketing meeting full of 60-year-old men. When we started brainstorming about marketing to millennials, mainly millennial women, I, a millennial woman, gave my thoughts and ideas which were immediately shot down. When I heard their ideas I jumped in again with all the reasons why millennial women would not find their ideas appealing. Long story short, it was actually explained to me…again, a millennial woman…by 60-year-old men, what millennial women really want. The campaign SHOCKINGLY failed and the company lost thousands.
Danielle Luna, Facebook
19. The irate electrician
We had an electrician come to fix a light that was out. He asked to see a manager. After arguing with him for five minutes trying to convince him I was the manager (as he was looking for a man) he finally rolled his eyes, then asked for me to get him the spare lightbulbs we had in stock. When I showed him where they were, he said they weren’t going to work for the lights we have, and proceeded to explain to me WHAT A LIGHTBULB WAS AND WHAT IT DOES. Luckily, my funny smart ass coworker, who is also a man, gave it back to him by sarcastically “mansplaining” to me that, and I quote, “WELL Tirzah, didn’t you know that lightbulbs are like a tiny glass houses for little suns that live in there and go shiny when you push a button?!” Needless to say, electrician gets mad, I report him to the company, and he wasn’t allowed back. Silver lining I guess!
20. The lesson in accounting
I have been an accountant for 14 years after starting an apprenticeship when I was 16. Recently I took on some side work for a friend of the company I’m working for. They already had an accountant that would go over their books once a month to check the owner had input everything correctly so it should have been easy work. Once I took over the bookkeeping I found two years worth of errors and incorrect accounting.
“On our first meeting while I was explaining the errors I was correcting, he decided to try and explain what debits and credits are (literally the first thing you learn) then he followed up by explaining what a profit or loss and balance sheet were (again, pretty basic and something I have been doing for at least 8 years). I had to calmly shut him down by telling him that I’d worked in accounting for 14 years and wouldn’t have got this far without knowing what debits and credits were. INFURIATING!
Article have been lightly edited for length/clarity.