Please Don’t Mansplain This To Me: A Flowchart

Ladies, I know you understand: no matter how much running experience we have or how little they do, men are still mansplaining their way through training runs alongside us, about everything from heart rate variability to how Hanson’s Marathon Training plan really works.

And while I know they don’t mean to invalidate our assertions with male superior knowledge about #allthethings (mostly), their “meant to be helpful” statements often come on the heels of what we just said. Not extending or reaffirming what we just said, but explaining it to us in ways our lady brains can understand by repeating or restating it as a) their assertion, validated by their authority as male knowers of everything and b) completely neglecting that we just made the exact same point. Even more insidious, sometimes they’ll disagree with what we just said and then, to prove their contra-point, will then use OUR OWN DAMN WORDS.

As a public service to the running community, we’ve created this handy flowchart to help those dudes who might not even be aware that they are mansplaining away to their lady running buddies. Please distribute as necessary.

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Ultrarunner, adventurer, academic, and feminist. Running Across the USA in 2021. I write about ultrarunning, adventuring, and the intersection of endurance athletics and life.

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20 comments

  1. This is when my adulthood ADD comes in handy…. My brain just goes off in another direction when they speak…. Look a squirrel

  2. It’s my non-running male co-workers who do this the most. The ones with bad knees who think women aren’t physiologically capable of doing what they can do.

  3. This just happens ALL THE TIME, especially if I have anything to say about training. Ugggggghhhhhhhhh. I used to take it so personally and feel like there was something wrong with me before I realized it was this global problem!

    1. Oh, this problem is international. It knows no boundaries or cultural restrictions. In fact I’m trying to think of a german word for mansplaining…

  4. Hahaha when/if someone is mansplaining something to me, I have no problem asking the point of their repetitive rambling! My running buddies have never done this. Thank G!

  5. I actually saw someone complaining about being mansplained to on FB last week … only to have someone (yes, a guy) mansplain to her about mansplaining itself – and un-ironically no less! It was stunning to observe!

    I have been running for more than 27 years now and have three areas I have decided I have some expertise:
    – Leaving the house and ending up back at home when finished.
    – Dressing to be safe and comfortable in temperatures to -20F and wind chills to -30F.
    – Not ever getting injured.

    One is specific to me, another to people who live in my house, and the final one is very dependent on similar climates and body thermodynamics.

    Other than that I assume people talking about something they’re passionate about already know more than me … unless they ask, in which case I do my best to help with my limited knowledge.

    BTW – love the flowchart 🙂

    1. First, hello! I’ve missed you! I always think its the people who don’t mansplain who totally get it. I can’t imagine you mansplaining in any way, shape or form – you are too aware of a) what it is and b) the entire phenomena surrounding it.

      In fairness though, sometimes I worry that I mansplain. It’s not a phenomena unique to men, it’s just much more likely that they are doing it.

    2. I had that exact same fb conversation once, except mine was in real life. Fortunately my mansplainer had the sense to shut up when I called him out on it: “Are you actually mansplaining the concept of mansplaining to me right now?”

      “Other than that I assume people talking about something they’re passionate about already know more than me … ”

      I think that’s a big difference between the ways men and women are socialized. I assume that, too, and for a long time I assumed that everyone else also did. It was quite a revelation when I figured out that isn’t the case and, for example, my brother-in-law makes up about 75% of everything that comes out of his mouth.

      1. I think you’ve hit in a really good point here too – in some ways, men are socialized to be the authorities on everything (e.g., to be go-to knowers who must save the fragile weaker sex from confusion, poor choices, etc). Plus, there is a difference in the way people assert their knowledge that often is also socialized according to gender identity.