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Why Mormon Feminists Should Remove the Word “Mansplaining” From Their Collective Vocabularies

A social media conversation today started with this:

Is there a meme for Men Explain Mormon Doctrine? If not I propose that should be a thing—the tendency for, whenever a woman expresses concerns with some part of Mormon doctrine and culture, some dude to rush in to reassure her that it’s all okay and and then proceed to lay out his entire vision of Mormon Doctrine as though she’d somehow never heard any of it before.

Mormon Feminist MansplainingPredictably, it took just a few minutes for someone to use the word mansplaining to label this phenomenon. And then the revelrous sniggering began. Because, you know, never let a serious male mocking opportunity go to waste.

The term has popped up in hundreds of LDS discussions—mostly surrounding gender issues—the past couple of years. It’s garnered more overexposure than Hillary Clinton. For those of you who have been spared inundation with the vacuous descriptor, you may have reamined blissfully unaware of this critical conversational term. For you, here is the definition: 

To explain something to someone, typically a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing

Mansplaining is always a pejorative and almost always problematic. (To be clear, I can’t think of a single time it was not, I’m just giving the benefit of the doubt to those so fond of using it.) The word is used to:

  1. Demean the person (man) who disagrees with the other (woman).
  2. Avoid rational conversation and reasonable debate.
  3. Reject, out of hand, what men say without regard for the actual content.
  4. “Prove” anything said by a man who disagrees with a woman is, ipso facto, condescending and/or patronizing.

In other words, throwing the “mansplaining” card is straight up ad hominem. It’s the same ad hominem that infuriates feminists (myself included) when our ideas and positions are dismissed—because we are women—rather than being discussed on their merits.

This type of rhetoric doesn’t help the feminist cause. Rather, it makes women look like they don’t have a point and couldn’t defend it logically if they did.

[For the record, Mormon feminists and progressives use the same tactic to refute (using the term loosely) traditional positions taken by highly orthodox women as well, but they tend to use different pejoratives (like “TBM”).]

I personally know men who are far more feminist than I am, who are extremely careful in their verbiage, and who listen intently to and incorporate opinions of women at all times and in all things and in all places. These same men are often castigated for making brief, cogent points that only slightly vary from the female poster’s (sometimes unstated) position. (To be clear, while Sam is very egalitarian, he doesn’t engage in social media debates, ever, so I’m not talking about him.) It is done so often that the same men have simply left the building. Often the only men left in the discussion are either those who have excessive free time on their hands (due to being unemployable) or those who bow down worshipfully at the utterance of all words that meander from female lips.

We learn nothing and we teach nothing, because we’re ranting in an echo chamber.

I objected (on the thread quoted above) to the idea of a mocking meme, noted that it was ad hominem, and suggested that reasonable discussion works better than name calling to actually prove a point. The response?

^*eyeroll*

Because that, my friends, is the way we come to consensus, understanding, and—most of all—equality.


[Addendum: the moderator of the social media group just contacted me saying that I had violated the group terms and added, “Please remove all [group name] comments from your recent blog post within 24 hours. If you choose to leave them up, you will be removed from the group.”

The lengthy group terms state that no personal information can be shared. Neither did I use use the social media site name, the group name, nor the names of the individuals quoted. I attempted to ensure that nothing in my own post, comments, or even the in quotes themselves was personally identifiable by anyone who didn’t already have access to the quotes. I think I succeeded. (If not, leave a note in the comments. I’ll be happy to amend.)

The group policy statement says, “If you violate any of the rules outlined in this community policy, you will receive a warning via private message from an admin. If you don’t respond to the private message within 72 hours of it being sent and/or if you repeat the infraction, you will be removed from the group immediately.”

This was my first warning and I have not repeated any perceived violation. I find the requirement of removing non-identifiable information unreasonable. Therefore, I have voluntarily left the group and they are free to go on their merry ways without being challenged by people who think labeling things “mansplaining” is nonsensical ad hominem. Woot!]

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • E March 30, 2015, 4:26 pm

    Thanks for this. I couldn’t agree more.

  • MMR March 30, 2015, 5:01 pm

    Brava. I’d use my real name, but then I’d be accused of being sexist.

  • IDIAT March 30, 2015, 5:58 pm

    All I’ve been told is that it isn’t about me. No further explanation is necessary or needed.

  • Carrie March 30, 2015, 6:15 pm

    Thank you. I have lots of feminist leanings but this kind of thing is why I do not ever call myself a feminist. I don’t want to be seen as someone who has just as many knee-jerk responses as the most misogynist men out there.

    There should be a billboard with this in 2,000 point type.

  • Casey March 30, 2015, 8:32 pm

    I dunno about mansplaining, but copying someone else’s comments from a private FB group isn’t the most polite or respectful thing to do.

  • IdRatherNotSay March 30, 2015, 9:37 pm

    Alison,
    It seems that every time I happen to have an opinion, you post something that is on my very wavelength. I’d like to leave a longer comment and I plan to probably tomorrow but I don’t have the time now. For now, I just would like to say thank you for using common sense. Treating one group like garbage never has made anything better. Women (and other oppressed groups) should know that better than anyone.

  • EOR March 30, 2015, 10:37 pm

    This is probably the most passive-aggressive move of all time. We’ll played, Allison. Since no one agreed with your oversimplification of mansplaining and didn’t choose to play along in your confirmation bias hopscotch you characteristically took your ball and went home…and cried about it. As I mentioned on the thread in question, in a _private group_, mansplaining is a specific action. It isn’t just when men explain things. So no, it isn’t like women being dismissed due to their sex–men are not being dismissed, just the ones that assume their experience/knowledge/etc… is more correct by virtue of their penis.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 7:12 am

    IdRatherNotSay, that’s kind of what I think. It’s like when the bullied kid bullies the other kid and you think, “What the heck?”
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It AllMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 7:14 am

    Casey, the social media group in which this was posted has a rule that no personal information be disclosed. For that reason, I not only did not disclose a name or any other personal info, but I didn’t name the group nor the website.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 7:23 am

    EOR, I don’t think passive-aggressive means what you think it means.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve read scads of blog posts that address social media discussions (or is my precious blog the only one you ever read?) and don’t get your panties in a wad, because you happen to agree with the content. So let’s not change the rules and get all pissy just because you don’t like my opinion. (Wait…was that mansplaining?)

    Of course sometimes men assume the are correct because they are men. Of course some men are sexist. But if you think the term is actually reserved for situations where the men involved actually are sexist jerks, you haven’t been paying attention. Or…maybe…you can’t see it because you are…sexist…

    And, of course, that’s the point. When women can’t articulate their positions and so start throwing down the sexist card, we all lose.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Church Supports Religious and LGBTTQQIAAPFPOC* Rights – Sort OfMy Profile

  • mango leaf March 31, 2015, 7:27 am

    Let me predict what will happen here. A bunch of loud-mouthed ANONYMOUS women will boldly come here and chastise Allison for not toeing the feminist party line.

    They won’t REALLY read the article. They won’t recognize that it’s true. They won’t fight for women to be smart and articulate. They will demand the right to call names and shout that they are victims.

    Empowering!!!

  • mango leaf March 31, 2015, 7:34 am

    haaaahaaaa I didn’t read the comments before commenting and I see I’m already right. I may just be the first female prophet.

    I just wanted to add that I see what you are talking about all the time. I see it in one particular FB group in particular that goes with a blog. (The blog is usually pretty good but the FB group seems to be run by a bunch of young, inexperienced women who just want to complain and vent in secret but are too chicken to DO anything.) Sometimes a man will say something from just a tiny bit of a different angle, and they get roundly pounced on by the female powers.

    I admit that I never defend the men, even when I agree, because I know how that goes. I did it ONCE and learned my lesson.

    I guess it’s just like what is happening here. You had a different opinion about mansplaining and said so. Not allowed. Feminism only extends to certain kinds of feminist opinions.

    (P.S. I saw when you once left a pro-life comment on one of the groups. How did you not realize that’s a capital offense?)

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 7:40 am

    mango leaf, haven’t seen you around for a while. Welcome back!

    I’m glad you see what I’m talking about. It’s often so blatant I think one must be willfully ignoring it to not see it. As IdRatherNotSay noted, those of us who have been impacted by sexism should be the first to see it and call it out, not matter whom it is directed at.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Feminism and Logic: a PrimerMy Profile

  • KarlMarx March 31, 2015, 8:26 am

    Get your popcorn people! Let’s all watch as the tolerant feminists-who make passionate love to posts detailing temple ceremonies-rush in to defend selective Internet privacy!

    Of course, everything about theses “feminists” is selective. They do far more harm than good and they can’t even see it.

    Allison, I’m far to the left of you politically, but dear lord it is refreshing to hear someone who thinks, who is logical, and who is consistent. I respect that even when I disagree.

    I saw your FB comments about discrimination. Made me rethink my (admittedly inconsistent) views. I’m not with you on that yet, but I’ve had to work through my position. Another exercise in logic.

  • Maggie March 31, 2015, 8:34 am

    Wow, so we shouldn’t say mansplaining, but “panties in a wad” is okay? You lost all moral high ground when you throw out blatantly sexist phrases instead of actually engaging with the arguments presented to you.

  • BethR March 31, 2015, 8:50 am

    I know you’re taking flack for this, but thank you for speaking up for those of us who aren’t willing to take the wrath if the irrational feminist gods. When I grow up I want to have your courage. 🙂

  • KrystalMeth March 31, 2015, 8:59 am

    If one more person comes in and complains about the PRIVATE GROUP I will start cutting. And I won’t be the victim.

    You stupid women. Your most beloved blogs quote PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS and PRIVATE GROUPS all the f****** time. There is no rule that says you can’t ever mention private group conversations and you know it. The rule in THIS group is that you can’t give PRIVATE INFORMATION. There is no PRIVATE INFORMATION given on this page. The most private information given was by CASEY who was complaining about private information. Idiot!!!!

    These comments just prove the point. If you don’t like someone’s opinion, you don’t talk about the opinion or give a better one, instead you just attack the person with fake shi*. So why don’t you big, smart feminists WOman up and deal with the real problem. The problem is that women DO use the word to shut down men they disagree with ALL THE F****** TIME. Just open up your squinty little narrow minded eyes and it’s obvious.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 9:02 am

    Maggie, would you have been happier with, “knickers in a twist”? But, yea, you got the POINT! Throwing out sexist rhetoric proves nothing.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It AllMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 9:09 am

    To the pro-life comment, yes. It’s such a bastardization of “equality” to extend that to mean you must support stabbing babies in the head and collapsing their skulls before completing the delivery.

    Yet most “feminist” groups—even LDS-ish ones—demand that horrific allegiance. The thing that makes me most sad is seeing the “young, inexperienced” women coming up and simply embracing that idea without batting an eye. 🙁
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why Mormon Feminists Should Remove the Word “Mansplaining” From Their Collective VocabulariesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 9:38 am

    Hey, all, thanks for the comments. Let’s keep the comments clean and free from even asterisk-laden cursing. OK?
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Church Asks for Feeback on Temple GarmentsMy Profile

  • PlainJane March 31, 2015, 9:58 am

    You’ve articulated my position well. That took guts!

  • IdRatherNotSay March 31, 2015, 10:01 am

    Alright, I’m back.

    This post resonates with me because up until fairly recently, I have been following a certain blog that is run by a group of people claiming to be LDS feminists. Unfortunately, rather than being a place of teaching and love, I found it to be hostile. Well-meaning men would visit and offer what were, in my opinion, thoughtful, empathetic, carefully-worded responses only to be met with, as you put it, figurative castration. It seemed that even when some readers agreed with posts, they still found themselves to be belittled and called names by the bloggers – heaven help the commenter who approached any topic from a different perspective!

    It is my opinion (though my opinion probably will not be popular) that LDS feminism has been hijacked by 20-somethings with very limited life experience who are not looking to join a movement, they are looking to join a trend. They have forgotten (or entirely misunderstood) the meaning of the term. They have turned a long history of a goal for positive social change into a power trip. It has become a license to treat people poorly. I do not see how this is any different from bullying.

    I 100% admit that I am probably one of the most imperfect people on this planet, however, I do not wish to be seen as affiliated or in agreement with people like these. I am a feminist because I believe in equality, not because I am angry and I wish to pick fights with people who see the world differently than I do. I see teaching opportunities for social change. Flaring up my temper and dismissing people because of their anatomy is not going to fix the problems we have. It is going to make them worse.

    Example: in the public school system, boys have historically performed better academically than girls. However, recent efforts to focus on girls have left boys in the dust. Now, girls are surpassing boys both in enrollment (college, obviously) and grade/extra-curricular-wise. Today’s little boys are now suffering because their father’s performed better in school than their mothers. How is that fair for anyone? How is that good for society?

    I, like Carrie, have decided to no longer publicly call myself a feminist. It is sad when something (i.e. feminism) that was meant to liberate and improve the human condition is overtaken by the wrong people and twisted into something negative.

    Alison, I like your blog because you have common sense. You believe in feminism as far as it promotes equality. Silencing men/boys because they aren’t girls is NOT feminism. It’s bullying. Like I said, feminism is not a license to treat people poorly, it’s an obligation to treat others with respect. Thank you for having the gonads to let people know when they’re out of line!

  • IdRatherNotSay March 31, 2015, 10:09 am

    Wow I wrote that post before I had read all of the comments. I’m glad to know that I am in good company and that others are seeing what I am seeing. I think Mango Leaf and I would be good friends in real life!

    I can see why people are not taking feminists seriously. It’s sad!

  • madbird March 31, 2015, 12:43 pm

    I think we have a case of the vocal minority where that same minority is full of bullies who can’t stand (er . . . tolerate?) other opinions.

    Dare say I’ve done more for feminism with my actual career than any of these bozos have done with their fist banging and posturing and name calling. But expecting that would require overcoming their entitlement mentality and lack of historical knowledge–a task too daunting for little old me!

    Alyson, did you see the “family support” they are pushing now? These women ain’t got the good sense God gave a fence post. I hope you’ll write about that.

  • madbird March 31, 2015, 12:45 pm

    Totally misspelled your name, Alison. My apologies. My sister spells her with a y. :/

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 1:00 pm

    EOR (btw, I love the moniker), in response to your “took your ball and went home” claim, I followed the social media thread until the eye roll comment. Doesn’t take long in some groups to tell where the tide is turning. I started to write a response and it soon was much too long and unwieldy to be a social media comment, and it was easy to tell it would be fruitless and unwelcome.

    When that happened, I cut the content and used it as the basis for a post here. That’s actually how a lot of my posts start, in conversations elsewhere. When I recognize that there is too much content, the venue isn’t amenable to discussion, or similar issues, I move the conversation elsewhere.

    Given (1) how commonly blog posts (always?) start in other conversations before they become blog posts, (2) that my blog is public and anyone can read and evaluate it, and (3) I almost never moderate comments (in 12+ years of blogging, I have removed less than a dozen comments—and such removal was never because I was attacked), your accusation doesn’t seem intellectually honest.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Salvation EquationMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 1:02 pm

    Don’t tell me. You’re southern? heh

    I’ll look around and see if I can find the family support thing you are referring to. Or maybe send me a link from the contact form?
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 1:03 pm

    No problem. I’d guess that more than half of the time my name is misspelled. Just check out the comments on this post! (That’s the price you pay for having parents who can buck the norm and spell your name correctly, in spite of public pressure to do otherwise. 😉 )
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Stoopid March 31, 2015, 2:05 pm

    Apparently you ruffled some feathers. Women need to be rational if they want to be treated as intelligent human beings.

  • Casey March 31, 2015, 2:36 pm

    Alison, I did not say it was against the group’s rules. That’s for the mods to decide and it’s frankly not a battle I care to fight. I just said it was impolite to copy quotes from a semi-private venue to a public one, especially without notifying the people you’re quoting you’d done so. Frankly, if you’re going to steal my words to start a separate, one-sided discussion against them I’d rather you go ahead and cite me!

    As to your actual argument on whether “mainsplaining” is a thing, I have to defer to the large number of very intelligent women I know who’ve talked about it happening to them repeatedly. Or, on a more personal anecdotal basis while we’re using social media examples, both my wife and I, who share a good number of friends, frequently link to articles or make Facebook statuses that are somewhat politically charged. For the most part mine go unchallenged. Hers, meanwhile, are almost inevitably descended upon by a rotating caste of men (and it is almost always men) intent on having yet another “debate” that mostly amounts to them repeatedly telling her she’s wrong and denying her experiences. The difference is about as stark as I could imagine. Your experience might be different but I can only report on what I’ve seen again and again!

    And Krystal…Hi, I’m Casey. I’m a human person. I live in Provo. I work in marketing. I probably am an idiot, but I’m also (figuratively speaking) right here in the room 🙂

  • BBBbbb March 31, 2015, 3:07 pm

    I’m in the group that quote came from. I understand why they want to keep personal info private, but you didn’t expose anything personal. I see this kind of comment on EVERY feminist (Mormon or not) group I’m in on Google, on Facebook, on Reddit (seriously on reddit), on Twitter like crazy.

    The reason you were threatened is they don’t want their comments challenged, they DO just want to sit in their “echo chambers” and complain about men, the church, the world, and every other poor me thing they can come up with.

    I’m a REAL feminist. I work in a male dominated space and I hold my own. I don’t need handouts or quotas or special accommodations. I’m afraid most of these women who think they are feminists are really just people who think the entitled to special treatment. A few times I agree with something (and thought I’d agree with more when I joined), but I mostly stay in the group for amusement and to see what the latest, greatest complaint is. :p

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 3:26 pm

    Casey, I left the group (see my addendum above) so I can’t see the comment anymore. Was your quote the original, if so, feel free to take full credit with your full name if you like. But I’d ask you sincerely, why you think it was rude? There was nothing in the quote to identify the speaker or the group in question. The question itself referred to things that were said in a different venue.

    Granted, I didn’t read the thread past when the eyes started rolling, but I doubt anyone told the original poster, “Wow, that’s so rude to talk about situations that happened with people not in the group! Did you ask them if you could talk about them here???”

    Given that no personal information was given to identify the “dude”(s) who were so sexist, I guess it wasn’t deemed a social faux pas.

    I didn’t make an argument about “whether ‘mansplaining’ is a thing.” (Full disclosure: I also hate when people use the phrase “a thing” to mean that something exists…)I said it was used as ad hominem. It is. And it’s an irrational and inappropriate discussion tactic. It proves nothing and avoids substantive discussion.

    One of the biggest problem with the ad hominem label is that (as used pretty darn close to 100% of the time) it requires the accuser to divine the motive of the other. (Yes, I probably should have included that little tidbit in the OP.) Unless you actually have men who say, “Oh, my, that’s obviously wrong because you are a woman and women are always wrong!” then you’re assuming the reason they disagree is due to sexism. Making such assumptions is bad form (and, thus, makes women look dumb).

    As I said, of course I’ve dealt with sexism (and agism and hairism and probably every other -ism relating to something about me). Of course it exists. But assuming a particular instance is the result of sexism without actual evidence—and more to the point, acting on that assumption—doesn’t bring equality. It’s just a dirty little trump card.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It AllMy Profile

  • IdRatherNotSay March 31, 2015, 3:33 pm

    Hi, Casey!

    I’m Ph.D.er/highly educated woman over here who agrees with Alison. All of my degrees are from liberal universities in the liberal arts and sciences. I’ve been taught by some of the best of the best in feminism.

    I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouths (I’ll leave that to the group to which we are all referring) but I don’t think Alison is saying that men do not verbally pounce on women. What she is saying is that by name calling and behaving badly, we are not making matters better. Two wrongs do not make a right. These kinds of stunts shut down conversation and put an abrupt end to progress.

    Name calling is bullying. Do I really have to say that?

    I feel like, when I am watching the comments of that group in question, that I am really watching ‘A Very Brady Movie’ when Marcia says to Greg, “There is something called women’s lib. It means women get whatever they want!” She hilariously misses the point, has no understanding of the discrimination endured and hard work performed by women in the past to make her life better and makes the entire subject about herself.

  • Casey March 31, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Last I’m going to say about the group stuff, because social media drama is ultimately silly. My only problem is that you copied a fairly lengthy quote of a semi-original thought without attribution or notification (and yeah, the nature of the group means proper attribution would’ve been impossible, which means you probably should’ve just paraphrased or kept the discussion there). I’d have been equally annoyed had you copied my words from a friend’s Facebook wall. It strikes me as a violation of etiquette, especially in a smallish bloggernacle where a lot of people know each other. Anyway, I’ve had my say on this and you are free to disagree if you like. Cheers.
    Casey recently posted…Are You Defending The Family Enough? Take Take This Quiz and Find Out!My Profile

  • Oregoian March 31, 2015, 5:24 pm

    casey casey blah blah blah. there you go mansplaining again.

  • Casey March 31, 2015, 5:25 pm

    IdRatherNotSay, I actually think that one of the problems with left-wing internet discourse is that it sometimes focuses more on policing identities and making fun of dumb ol’ conservatives than creating coalitions that can enact actual policy changes. I’m as guilty of that as anyone, especially the making-fun-of part (although I think the tendency is bipartisan!) But I also think there’s some value in having spaces, even echo chambers, where people can joke around, blow off steam, and maybe engage in a little bad behavior. So maybe it’s just a question of balance?

  • IdRatherNotSay March 31, 2015, 5:36 pm

    Hey, it’s a free country (or so we’ve been conditioned to believe). By all means, blow off steam. I draw the line when it comes to name calling, though. I mean, kids have killed themselves over internet bullying. I realize we are all (hopefully) adults and are probably less likely to place our personal worth in an online discussion but still, internet bullying is a real problem. I am sorry, but I can never say that it is okay… not that my opinion matters all that much.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 5:38 pm

    Casey, I think you make a good point. That really is why I didn’t do more to try to stay in the group. It’s really not a good fit for me. Most of the stuff I see, I disagree with. If I express my disagreement, my points aren’t considered but, rather, eyes are rolled. So it’s really NOT the place to TRY to have a rational feminist discussion from a variety of viewpoints. It’s a place for fairly dogmatic, fairly radical feminists to mingle. That’s cool and I’m no longer trying to get another perspective considered. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Church Supports Religious and LGBTTQQIAAPFPOC* Rights – Sort OfMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 5:39 pm

    IdRatherNotSay, thanks for the backup, sister. 🙂 You make my case well.

    I’m seriosuly dying over the Brady Bunch reference. I wish I’d written that. (Maybe I’ll steal it without attribution and copy it to my blog…
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…BYU Should Take a Clue from GoDaddyMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 5:45 pm

    Honestly, I think a two sentence quote falls well under fair use. 🙂 I didn’t claim it as my own. But, come on, there was nothing remotely original about it. It’s so unoriginal that there is a years-old, common, pejorative verb that says the same thing! So common that it popped up in the discussion mere seconds after the post. heh

    Isn’t that kind of like saying that it’s “semi-original” to say:

    Is there a meme for the guy in my ward who is considered to be insignificant, especially because he is small or young.

    And then others chime in to say, “You mean the famous pipsqueak meme?” Which of course will be followed with, “Excuse me? Did you ask Mr. Pipsqueak if you could defame him on social media?” 😉
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Feminism and Logic: a PrimerMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 5:46 pm

    This seems a perfect opportunity to share my favorite Mormon Message:


    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Casey March 31, 2015, 6:37 pm

    IdRatherNotSay, Well, going back to the OP, I guess I just disagree that using labels like “mainsplaining” necessarily = calling people names, and I don’t think calling names necessarily = bullying. It might be unproductive, juvenile, even dehumanizing at times…but, as a part-time amateur satirist, to me it’s also a useful and cathartic way to take hot air out of the powerful (plus I’ve seen people as diverse as leftists and gamergate supporters toss out bullying accusations as a way to shut down discussion, so taking an absolutist position on it makes me uncomfortable). But I might be wrong, and I hope y’all don’t mind my having lurked here a bit today, even if the curt dismissals of my original comment as unoriginal deeply injured my feelings ;). Cheers again!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 31, 2015, 8:20 pm

    to me it’s also a useful and cathartic way to take hot air out of the powerful

    Except that it doesn’t. That’s the problem. It’s undoubtedly cathartic to the person throwing it around, but I’ve never seen it deflate the “powerful.” The person employing the tactic looks thoughtless and lacking in the intellectual wherewithal to have a real discussion. And the only people who are convinced that a point is won by ad hominem are people who are uneducated and illogical.

    Casey, don’t mind at all to have you popping in. I appreciate the conversation with the “other side,” even if you are radically unoriginal. 😉 You are welcome anytime.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Eliza April 2, 2015, 8:41 am

    I am definitely on board with eliminating this term. It is just so demeaning. It adds nothing to a conversation and just increases animosity. Furthermore, it does nothing to actually solve the problem. Has accusing anyone of “mansplaining” ever actually changed someone’s behavior? I have never seen any discussion that includes accusations of “mansplaining” end well. No one ever says “Well shoot! You’re right! I’ll try to be better next time” after being called names, dismissed out of hand or even berated for their participation.
    Of course people can be rude, condescending and dismissive of others ideas/experiences. But this type of poor communication is not limited to men. Some of the worst dismissals and condescending communication I have ever seen has been between women of opposing viewpoints. We don’t say “femsplaining” when feminists are rude or condescending or dismissive in discussions. Why? Because it’s demeaning and unhelpful. Why is it okay to behave that way towards men? If someone,male or female, is behaving badly, then call out the bad behavior. That can be done without indicting all men with terms like “mansplaining”.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 2, 2015, 8:46 am

    Eliza, “femsplaining” is perfect.

    You are a kindred spirit. If a man (or woman) has been rude/dismissive, the only hope of resolving the issue is to specifically address the rudeness/dismissiveness in question, not simply return the dismissiveness with meaningless labeling.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Crunchbait August 9, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Saw this linked on the fmh fb page followed, of course, by mocking. Thanks for standing for reason instead of name calling. Until most feminists get it they will get no where.

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