Opinion: Why Mansplaining Is Utterly Unacceptable
There’s a fine line between being an intellectual and being an idiot.
BY Tina Wang | Jul 19, 2017 | Sex & Relationships
I once dated a guy who’s a real talker. You know, the kind who constantly interrupts you, does running commentaries at movies, and tries to order for you at dinner?
It didn’t help that he was Einstein in his own mind; he’s well-travelled and has two MBAs, which somehow makes him an expert on everything from Instagramming, to financial modelling, to lovemaking.
And, of course, he was a mansplainer. Yes, that prickly portmanteau, a psychologist’s wet dream. Truthfully, I’m all for having my views challenged, but his likeability levels slipped steadily. He constantly talked down to people, which wasn’t hard to do with his “Just listen to me, because I know better” tone.
He had an opinion about everything. “Trust me, you shouldn’t wear so much black.” “Women get all upset when they get cat-called, but I know they secretly love it.” “No, the base of your spine is not an erogenous zone. Trust me, I know.”
It all came to a head, pun fully intended, when we were talking about the female orgasm. “Any woman who screams or bucks is faking it,” he declared, as we were having a late dinner. “That’s just porn star territory. The best orgasms are silent.”
There, he’d gone and done it, foolishly approaching my deal-breaker barrier. I halted the journey of a forkful of spaghetti to my mouth. Looking at him, my brows raised, I coolly said, “I scream and buck.”
From there, things went downhill pretty quickly. Over the course of about 20 minutes, a frantic verbal tennis match ensued. Yes, he was aware how loud I’d get, and it had always irked him because it’s “just an unnecessary cinematic performance”.
I bristled, explaining that it’s my body’s way of responding to lovemaking. I reasoned how different women respond differently; some are vocal, others are silent. There’s no textbook correlation between the intensity or the quality of an orgasm and its physical or audio response.
He laughed, and said I didn’t know what I was talking about. I asked for scientific proof. He whipped out his mobile, and I followed suit. Predictably, the search was futile.
He remained nonplussed, insisting on how porn sites and arthouse films have misinformed generations of women about what orgasms should look and sound like. And then came the kicker: “I’ve been with enough women to know, okay? Trust me.”
That dinner date was the last time I ever saw him. For a week, he questioned why, bombarding me with thesis-like WhatsApp texts about how I was making a mistake. I blocked his number. No doubt, he’s gone on to flex his mansplaining muscles to some other woman, God help her.
Life is too short to be constantly schooled on the ways of society, the world and my own body. Gentlemen, please remember: till a woman asks for your viewpoints, keep them to yourself. Thank you very much.
This article was first published in the print edition of Esquire Singapore, June/July 2017.