The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

If You Think This Is About You, It Is

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“Let me explain,” he said.

This is something every woman has heard time and time again, and it needs to stop.

Mansplaining is when a male identifying person feels the need to explain something simple. The male, of course, feels superior, whether or not he knows what he’s talking about. Many women tend to fall victim to this when asking a clarifying question, and find themselves being explained something they already know.

When people are constantly explaining things to you that you already know, it can get incredibly frustrating, not to mention demeaning.

In a 2020 interview with the New York Times, author Rebecca Solnit explained that men doing this “crushes young women into silence” by telling them its “not their world. “It trains women in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s overconfidence.”

Solnit wrote the 2014 book “Men Explain Things to Me.” The book is a takeoff of a 2008 essay called “Men Explain Things to Me; Facts Didn’t Get in Their Way,” published in 2008, which is credited as the birth of the term.

Some girls have encountered this all of their lives, and take it as the norm. Though it should not be, and it is extremally outdated

In an experiment conducted by Caitlin Briggs at Michigan State University, it was found that “women largely had a negative outcome as a result of being mansplained to, whereas it didn’t effect men as much.”

Junior Grace McCullagh, from Cambridge Mass., has often found herself in a position of being explained every little thing in some of her classes by a fellow student.

“There is this guy in some of my classes that, even if he has no idea what he is talking about, will try to make it sound like I am inferior to him,” she said. “He always cluelessly sounds stupid, but attempts to pretend to knows what is going on.”

Sarah Sawyer, an English teacher at Williston, finds herself being explained things she already knows, both at Williston and in the outside world.

“Most people approach conversations with kindness, but before explaining things they should check the info that they know,” she said.

Before Caroline Channell was the Interim Student Activities Director at Williston, she worked at a corporate job in Maine where she often found herself being mansplained by other male staff members.

“At my previous job I had the advantage of being able to change my tone of voice over audio call, but when I put my camera on, I would often get talked to as if I was less-than,” she said. Channell added that “it does happen here at Williston, but much less” than her previous job.

Francesca Gionfriddo, a sophomore from Glastonbury, Conn., agrees that mansplaining has an unfortunate impact on young girls.

“I don’t always think its intentional, but it feels that your opinion is less valued than one of a male counterpart,” she said. “It may be a subconscious habit, however it is harmful to the confidence of a strong young girl.”

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Maisie Mattocks '24, Staff Writer/Editor

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