My daughter called me last week in a fine fury. She wanted to vent about an encounter she had with someone who works in the same building where her office is located.
I won’t go into detail, but the crux of the conversation was that he deigned to “mansplain” something to her, something that 1) didn’t concern him, and 2) he knew nothing about.
According to Urban Dictionary – my go-to resource for all knowledge – mansplaining is defined as, “(of a man) explaining (something) to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.”
This type of talking down to has happened to me, over something as inane as when I chose to take a walk around my neighborhood.
It’s irritating at best, murderously maddening at worst.
Later, after my conversation with our daughter, I told her dad about the incident.
He pointed out that this phenomenon wasn’t limited to men talking down to women, women are also guilty of patronizing men, especially dads of young children. He reminded me of such an event when our daughter was still an infant.
It was winter and he took our daughter out with him while he was running errands. She was dressed in a fleece coverall. Her feet and hands were covered, and the suit had a hood.
I need to make clear that our daughter inherited her dad’s ability to tolerate even the coldest of temperatures, and would routinely wiggle her way out of any covering that she felt was too hot.
So… he was walking around a home improvement store with her, and she managed to uncover her hands and pull down her hood.
Whilst still inside the heated store, an older woman felt it necessary to tell him that babies needed to be dressed warmly in cold weather, and that infants should have their heads and hands covered.
Not one to mince words, he told her that he had a baby, not a tropical flower… and left the woman in the aisle speechless.
He got momsplained.
He’s right. Men are routinely treated as if they are idiots when it comes to the care and feeding of children. They aren’t babysitters, they aren’t inept, they are parents as capable of keeping their children in one piece as mothers.
I’d venture to guess that momsplaining happens more often than mansplaining.
“Parenting is not for sissies. You have to sacrifice and grow up.” ~ Jillian Michaels
This week’s word is:
What to do:
Using “parent” for inspiration, write 100 Words – 100 exactly – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back here, and add your story to the Mister Linky list. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow Wordsters.
7 thoughts on “100 Word Challenge: Parent”
Hello! 🙂 Mister Linky now has my 100-word story. Thank you for the prompt as well as the challenge of writing 100 words exactly! It was a challenge, but a good one 🙂 🙂 🙂
No offense to the Mister, but didn’t he kind of “mansplain” about “momsplaining?” I know it’s a real thing, though. I usually got the stink eye from other moms when my cranky baby would go all red-faced when crying. Once he did so at a festival when it was pretty hot outside, so I really got the hairy eyeball from some ladies who must’ve thought I let him get a third-degree sunburn! Mom-shaming (parent-shaming, for that matter) sucks.
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Moms can be so judgmental and contemptuous of other moms. It can be scary sometimes.
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I’ve wept from sleep deprivation, loss of self, loss of privacy, from choosing between career and nurturing. Sometimes my children appeared to be extras from ‘The Lord of the Flies’ or possibly ‘Alien’.
I’ve worried about their progress, loneliness, choice of friends, anxieties.
I’ve argued with midwives, health visitors, childminders, teachers and relations.
But mostly I love being a mum. I am proud as I watch my two young people become wonderful adults.
My son will be eighteen soon. My daughter is just sixteen. She asks: ‘what was your favourite time? Babyhood, toddlerhood, childhood, now?’
‘All of them’ I say.
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I guess we are all guilty of “splaining” things at one time or another. However, talking down to someone makes me so angry.
Here is my stab at PARENT for this week’s challenge.
Frank was a member of the Naval Armed Guard, father of 5, mechanic for semis. He tackled plumbing and electricity. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. Now 93 he is a shadow of his former self, deaf in one ear, nearly deaf in the other. His eyes, are failing him. No sight in the left eye; diminishing sight in the right. He traded his cane for a walker a mere 6 months ago. He mourns losing his independence and my mother’s death. He wonders about the future. His only joy is the love of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.