Thursday, May 21, 2015

Let's do away with the mansplaining, shall we?'s a term one of my closest friends uses when a man says something really, really ignorant. Most importantly, it's a term we use when a man tries to justify something. So, in some instances mansplaining can also be victim shaming. Oh, and I've seen women do this as well. It just so happens that it is more common with men. So, why am I posting about this? Well, because of a conversation that started on my personal Facebook page.

I posted this image:

First, let's start with some basics about the general differences between men and women. These are general and are not meant to define every man and every woman (so, don't comment with a mansplain). In general, adult men are bigger than adult women. In general, adult men have more muscles or body strength than adult women. That's not to say that women are weak. Again, we are talking about the physical size of general terms. I weigh 135. My husband weighs about 217. Yes, there are women who are bigger. Yes, there are men who are smaller. So, again, think in general terms. So, even if an average man were attacked by a woman in some way, it would most likely -not- take his full strength to defend himself. It is not okay for women to attack men, either.

Should a man defend himself if a woman hits him? A man does have that right. However, it should be just enough to do that: defend. If a woman slaps a man, it's not going to take a man using deadly force to stop her. Again, I am not saying it is okay for a woman to hit a man because it is not. 

So, when you mansplain and say, "What about self defense?" you should really be asking yourself, "Am I oxygen deprived?" because you clearly aren't thinking in a clear, concise, and logical manner. What you really mean is that you know you can defend yourself, but you want to start a fight...and guess what? That gives some people a loop hole to behave badly. You feel threatened by some things that might not make another person feel threatened and vice versa. Just think about George Zimmerman's ridiculous self defense notion.

This is almost victim shaming. You're one step away from, "Well if she wouldn't have said or done X then...." Do you know how many stupid people I'd love to slap on a regular basis? I don't because it is battery even if I don't like how stupid they are and am just trying to slap some sense into them. 

Another common mansplain: not all men hit women. Sometimes women hit men. 

Oh, guess what? It's not always cloudy when it rains. Sometimes the sun shines and it rains. These are things we know. Here's the problem with your attempt at mansplaining:

You couldn't win a logical argument to save your own life because you can't stay on topic. We know that some women hit men. Here's something else we know. Most men do not report when they are victims of domestic violence. If more men did, then you'd see a better campaign. Domestic violence happens regardless of gender. It happens in straight couples and with gay couples. Sometimes women are the perpetrators, but it is most often reported to be a man. So, if you don't like that then I suggest you start a campaign to help battered men instead of mansplaining a picture. As far as your "not all men," yeah, we know. However, when you say that - you're in defensive mode. Here's a grand thought: how about you just show your support by liking or sharing the photo instead of countering? Nice guys don't need to proclaim how nice they are. Their actions show it. 

Oh, and here's another interesting fact about domestic violence. It's not always physical. Mental and emotional abuse is also domestic violence. That includes manipulation, mind games, control, stalking, and the likes. Don't think for one second that just because he hasn't hit you means that he's not abusing you. Statistics show that you are most in danger when you first leave and that people who perpetuate mental assault like I mentioned are very likely to lose control and hurt you if and when you leave (and you do need to leave). Don't believe me? Call your local DV advocate or hotline and ask about the statistics. When I found out that people who stalk and harass their ex after an intimate relationship are more likely to be killed because the stalker has lost that control, it was terrifying. I didn't leave my house for a really long time other than to go to work. I had armed security at work.

To this day, the ex would tell you he did nothing wrong to me. That he never pulled my hair and dragged me around the house. That he never slammed me into our washing machine, made me call someone I had asked to help me to tell them I was lying, and then broke my phone (a phone he didn't know anything about because he didn't even live with me at that time - had already left me about six months earlier for someone else). That he broke in to my home and ruined my laptop and stole my clothes. Why? Because he's "such a nice guy." He kept my children from me for a year. He also harassed me and stalked me online and off. I have a PO against him. They took away his concealed license. So, when you "mansplain" just know that you're victim blaming people like me. People who might have thought they were the problem but once out for a year realized they weren't...and that have healthy relationships with other people. I still have two of my old cell phones with crazy messages from him. I have all of the old emails. Why? It's not because I like to go strolling down nightmare lane. It's to show people who mansplain why they're wrong and why they should stop.

Please don't mansplain. You hurt victims and survivors of DV all around the world. You enable the perpetrators, regardless of gender, to continue what they are doing.

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Play nice...the hand that feeds you can also choke you.