Posted in Sociopolitical Commentary

Cultural Response: Bad Mansplaining


Last week a [really super-gorgeous] woman made a poignant and beautifully worded blog post about a shitty message that she received from a Tinder date. The man outlined that, although he found her to be a truly wonderful person–funny, charming, smart, witty, etc, all the things that we strive to be–and was undeniably attracted to her because she was kind of the perfect match… she was too fat for him. No, I’m serious, that’s what he told her. Not in quite so many words, but that’s the gist of it. Because she wasn’t thinner, he didn’t think that, when it came down to brass tax in the bedroom, he would be able to manage an erection.

Now, part two of this situation: Some guy on the UK version of DailyMail posted a piece about how it was hypocritical for her to shame this guy for having preferences on physical appearance when women do it, too. This is why I’m angry. This is entirely why I’m angry this evening.

This guy completely and entirely missed the point of this woman’s blog post. Either that, or he is completely disregarding her message in order to make his own point, which, on its own merit, away from this particular allegory, might be actually valid. (Okay, it’s fairly valid as a separate point, but his argument in and of itself isn’t on the chopping block here, it’s the fact that he mansplained her post, and didn’t even do it right.

It’s not about how pretty she is, or whether or not it’s okay to have preferences about physical appearance. Because she is totally fine with him having preferences. It’s human nature. We all have them. She’s even fine with him preferring thin women. What she did was call him out for sending her a shitty ass email that completely wrecked her self-esteem for a few minutes until she could get herself back in line. It has absolutely nothing to do with shaming his preferences, and all about the fact that he was a total dickwad about it. Nobody cares that each and every individual has feature types that they prefer, or features that they dislike, or whatever, because that’s how attraction works. That’s how humanity works. If we all liked the same thing we’d look like androids or something. I dunno, but it would make the world significantly less diverse and beautiful than it is now. I digress.

This guy is fucking butthurt about the fact that she called out some dude for his shitty email and decided that what she meant was that dudes can’t have physical preferences that don’t include her. That isn’t what she was saying at all, and that’s why it’s so fucking annoying to read that post because it’s all a bunch of bullshit, irrelevant mansplaining and it’s really, really beyond aggravating. It goes beyond annoying all the way into infuriating, as a matter of fact.

Because yeah, culturally, there are still a lot of equality-type imbalances regarding what’s okay for women versus men. And they’re just as annoying and heartbreaking or saddening for us (women) as it is for them (men). It’s just… really unfortunate. But what’s more unfortunate is when people like this guy on DailyMail completely derail the discourse by misconstruing somebody’s argument or story with “BUT WOMEN DO IT TOO!!!” or “BUT NOT ALL OF US!!” Because yes, we know it’s not all of you, and yes, we know that we’re not perfect. We arent asking you to think we’re perfect. We’re asking you to listen to us and actually hear what we’re trying to say, and to respect us as non-sexual objects.

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Author:

I am a Writing and Publishing graduate student at Emerson College. I studied English and Linguistics in my undergraduate career, as well as a little bit of philosophy and four other languages (somewhat superficially). I am interested in language and how we use it culturally, as well as a vast collection of current sociopolitical issues, including race, sex, and gender, and the ways that those issues intersect each other.

4 thoughts on “Cultural Response: Bad Mansplaining

  1. It’s not about how pretty she is, or whether or not it’s okay to have preferences about physical appearance…. What she did was call him out for sending her a shitty ass email

    She met him through Tinder, right? And she is claiming the internet is not an acceptable communication medium for this (non) relationship, is that correct?

    that completely wrecked her self-esteem for a few minutes until she could get herself back in line.

    How can her self esteem be ‘completely wrecked’ but only for a few minutes?

    It sounds like she was disappointed that he wasn’t interested in her, but she lacked the maturity to deal with the rejection, so she invented a silly excuse to try and shame the poor guy instead.

    If she shared a photo with the guy before their first date I bet the photo made her look much thinner than she actually is. So she wasted the poor guy’s time, cost him money and then tried to shame him for being up front and honest. What an awful woman.

    If she wants to be treated like a special (large) snowflake maybe she shouldn’t be using a service like Tinder..? Maybe she should use a ‘larger ladies’ dating service?

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    1. No, actually, she isn’t making that claim at all. She wouldn’t use Tinder if she thought the Internet was a bad medium for meeting people.
      Her self esteem was only wrecked for a few minutes because, believe it or not, some women actually like their bodies enough that reading a major shitstorm only hurts for a few minutes before she says “fuck that guy, I’m hot” and let’s it go. We all share the insecurities that she talks about–that we won’t be good enough being who we are because we might be overweight. She knows she’s overweight, and she openly talks about her process to lose it, but she loves her body now, and that’s why and how she’s only hurt for a few minutes.
      She’s very upfront about how she looks in person. Her photos are a very accurate representation of who she is and how she looks. He knew what he was getting into.
      This isn’t a “silly excuse” to shame him. This is one helluva good reason to shame him. Shame on anybody who sends out shitty fucking emails to virtual strangers. There’s a better way to tell someone you’re not interested than what he did.

      She is not fat. She isn’t large at all. And everybody has the right to use whatever website floats their goddamned boat regardless of what fucking size their body is.

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      1. some women actually like their bodies enough that reading a major shitstorm only hurts for a few minutes before she says “fuck that guy, I’m hot” and let’s it go.

        But she didn’t let it go. She made a big deal about it. If she had let it go we wouldn’t all know about it, and we wouldn’t all be discussing it.

        We all share the insecurities that she talks about–that we won’t be good enough being who we are because we might be overweight.

        ‘Might be’ overweight? Is she overweight or not?

        she openly talks about her process to lose it,

        So even she was dissatisfied with her weight. So why hate on a guy for also being dissatisfied with her weight?

        but she loves her body now, and that’s why and how she’s only hurt for a few minutes.

        If she only hurt for a few minutes then why did she make such a big deal about it broadcasting this alleged transgression to the entire internet?

        She’s very upfront about how she looks in person. Her photos are a very accurate representation of who she is and how she looks. He knew what he was getting into.

        I can be bothered to look for her photos, but I suspect her photos are (or were at the time) misleading. Most people use the most flattering photos of themselves for avatars or profiles, and most fat people post photos that make them look slimmer than they really are. If her pictures were representative then she is a very atypical woman.

        Also guys who don’t want to date fat women will always skip over them when looking through dating websites. I very much doubt that this guy was aware of her weight before meeting her in person.

        This isn’t a “silly excuse” to shame him. This is one helluva good reason to shame him. Shame on anybody who sends out shitty fucking emails to virtual strangers.

        If her weight is not a big deal then him sending her that message would not be a big deal. You can’t have it both ways. You can;t say he is an asshole for saying he is no interested in her because of her weight AND say that she is fine about her weight.

        If you advertise a car for sale that is green and someone comes to view it and they say “Sorry, I didn’t realise your car was green, and I don’t like green cars so I’m not interested” you are not going to be offended by that are you? The buyer is just expressing a preference, that’s all.

        That is all the guy was doing when he said he is not interested in overweight women. He is just expressing a preference as is his RIGHT. If she wasn’t to get all upset about it that is her business. It has nothing to do with him, it’s just her own insecurities.

        The only crime he is guilty of is being honest. If she had used an honest picture of herself in the first place he would have skipped over her and never made contact and this would have spared her all the anguish of being rejected. So it we her own dishonesty that caused her to get upset. (I still don;t believe she used an honest picture of herself, other wise the guy would have just not contacted her to begin with).

        There’s a better way to tell someone you’re not interested than what he did.

        Yes. He could have sent her a box of chocolates, some flowers and a nice card. That would have been much nicer. Or he could have flown her to a tropical island and broken the news to her while massaging her feet as she lay on the crisp white sands soaking up the sun and sipping a cocktail.

        She is not fat. She isn’t large at all.

        Hang on you just said

        She knows she’s overweight, and she openly talks about her process to lose it

        You see it is this kind of self deception, and dishonesty towards others that gets a girl hurt. She pretended to not be fat to attract a man. Then the man met her and saw that she was fat. But he didn’t want to date a fat girl. So by being dishonest she’s put HIM in an uncomfortable position, as well as herself.

        The guy probably could have made more effort to let her down gently, but he’s already wasted an evening, travel expenses, and all the effort to get ready to meet her under false pretences only to find out she had lied to him.

        So you can’t blame him for not wasting EVEN MORE of his precious time and energy concocting a way to let her down gently.

        Honestly the self entitlement of some people is staggering. If anything she should be apologising to him for lying to him at the beginning.

        And everybody has the right to use whatever website floats their goddamned boat regardless of what fucking size their body is.

        Nobody said she couldn’t. But unless she is not travelling, or new to a city, or has specific tastes or interests or fetishes, it is usually not necessary for a woman to use dating websites. So it does sound an awful lot like she was desperate, and that she presented herself as a thinner girl online to get a date. Then the whole thing backfired…. as lying usually does.

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