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7 Studies That Prove Mansplaining Exists

July 16, 2014 in Blogs

By Lucy Vernasco, Bitch Magazine

Men often explain things to women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about.

Remember when Kanye West cut off Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs? As Swift launched into her acceptance speech for Best Female Video, West ran onstage and grabbed the mic away from her and said, “Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish, but I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time.” Both Beyoncé and Swift looked stunned.

This is perhaps the most famous pop culture moment of a man interrupting a woman to explain something to her—the YouTube clip of the interruption has been seen 23 million times. Though the crowd greeted West’s interruption with booing, men interrupt women and discredit their accomplishments every day, usually without backlash from any crowd or TV commentators.

For an engaging primer on the realities of mansplaining, look no further than Rebecca Solnit’s new book Men Explain Things to Me, which collects seven essays on feminism, violence, and how men often explain things to women “whether or not they know what they’re talking about.” In May, Soraya Chemaly also addressed the mansplaining phenomena with a great article “10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn.” In that piece, Chemaly advised parents who want to combat sexism to teach their daughters to practice saying “Stop interrupting me,” “I just said that,” and “No explanation needed.” As her article points out, women are taught to be overly polite and active listeners in conversations, but men are not taught to socialize this way. 

For example, just last week, Fox News excellently showcased some mansplaining on a segment that instructed women to “not raise their voices” or “talk too much” in the workplace. Within that segment, host Steve Doocey interrupted the guest author as she spoke about her new book.

While individual women might feel like they’re the only ones frustrated at being ignored or interrupted, there are numbers that show it happens all the time: studies show that men interrupt women during meetings, while in groups with friends, and …read more


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