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.