fun with mansplaining.

Mansplain (verb): The explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.

(Read about the etymology of the word here.)

So has it ever happened to you, my dear lady reader? Where you say something quite well or eloquently or meaningful or clear to the listener(s) in the room and the man/men in the room take it upon themselves to mansplain you in theeeeee most condescending and/or patronizing way?

For me, having experienced this largely in a professional environment, I tend to want to do this:

lizlemon1

Without the reference to mac and cheese.

Anyway: it’s maddening. Being a Black woman in a professional environment already has its moments–must my hair always be a talking point?–but being a Black woman in a professional environment that speaks meaningfully and has someone feeling the need to “summarize” what she just said (active listening is one thing, but openly and condescendingly explaining what I just clearly said is quite another) is a whole different animal. To go even further: I completely understand if something I say isn’t clear. No one is a perfect communicator all the time. But instead of ‘splaining, why not ask me if you need clarification? Even even further: would I be equally incensed if another woman in the room did the same thing? I can’t answer that because no other woman has ever done this.

*sets microphone on the ground because they’re expensive*

Here’s another fun thing: when a woman expresses herself and is described as speaking lizlemon2emotionally. Y’all. Y’all. Here’s the thing: emotions will sometimes come through. Professional doesn’t always mean robot automaton who has no feelings. We spend 40+ hours with these folks. If you detect emotion in my voice when I’m communicating something: is it necessary to say something about it? Can we move on or nah? Must we highlight it? Or can you listen, take in, express whether you agree/your thoughts, and we move on? Oh, and passion and emotion aren’t always the same thing. Just saying.

By now, you’ve guessed that these are specific events. You’ve likely supposed that I don’t hate anyone, certainly men, but I’m a full grown woman person being and am open to discussion and dialogue without subjecting folks to condescension/speaking down to others/disrespect/dismissal/being reduced to “emotion”.

Please return to your regularly scheduled onwarding and upwarding.

A to Z…

I saw this while strolling around in the blogosphere and thought it was a neat, creative idea. Not that you don’t know almost everything you need to know about This Square Peg, but like the waistband of all my winter clothes, your author keeps changing. See below and if you’re a blogger, have a go, won’t you?az

  1. Age: 38 and feeling great.
  2. Bed size: Queen, but I honestly feel like those chumps fooled me. Or maybe I’m having twin bed PTSD from back in the day?
  3. Chore that you hate: Hmm. Most of them allow me to daydream and come up with ideas for my fiction, so…nah, let’s be real. Something about a sinkful of dishes gives me the dry heaves.
  4. Dogs: None, but there’s a teacup terrier waiting for me out there.
  5. Essential start to your day: A nice drink of cold water to restart my system.
  6. Favorite color: Brown.
  7. Gold or Silver: I tend to favor silver, but there’s something about gold.
  8. Height: I think I’m 5’7, but my siblings insist that I’m 5’5. Not true.
  9. Instruments you play: I play a mean recorder. In other words, none.
  10. Job title: Exec Assistant
  11. Kids: 0
  12. Live: Texas
  13. Mother’s name: If I won’t share my Government Name with y’all, I won’t share hers, either. But it’s a lovely name.
  14. Nicknames: Princess, Muffin Breath, Cool Cat, the Hamburglar, etc. Out of them all, Princess seems like the ticket to Buckingham Palace, no?
  15. Overnight hospital stays: They kicked me out.
  16. Pet peeves: The word “foodie” makes my teeth itch. There are others, but you don’t have the time and I can’t type for an eternity.
  17. Quote from a movie: “This is America, Jack.” — Coming to America (I quote that movie more than should be allowed, I think.)
  18. Right or left handed: Righties rule! (But I secretly have always been intrigued by lefties. There was a time when I was shooting for ambidexterity.)
  19. Siblings: 3 of them: younger than me and super bossy.
  20. Time you wake up: 615AM-ish. The alarm goes off at 5:50AM, but nah, that’s just not happening.
  21. Underwear: YES. Oh, the type? Uh…The safe kind, where everything stays in place.
  22. Vegetable you hate: All of them. But I force myself to eat because I don’t want scurvy.
  23. What makes you run late: If I don’t pick out my clothes the night before, standing in the closet and trying to make decisions. Le sigh.
  24. X-Rays you’ve had: A lot.
  25. Yummy food that you love: Fried plantains and every pastry ever created.
  26. Zoo animal: Baby chimps make me want to adopt them.

All she wrote. Try it!

here we go.

Was this post a result of an insensitive comment thrown in my direction by another woman who felt the need to share her very unsolicited opinions about my hair to me? Perhaps. Opinions. Ain’t. Facts. I cannot stress this enough, party people. Furthermore:

1. The fact that you don’t care for my afro? Means nothing.
2. The fact that, once in a while, I choose to wear a different style and my hair is all curly and coily and you prefer that style over my big, straight afro? Means nothing.
3. The fact that you felt the need to tell me that women of a “certain age” don’t need to wear their hair in an afro style? Means nothing.

Variety being the spice of life, women can do whatever they want with their hair. This means that the same freedom you enjoy in presenting your hair the way you like should be afforded to me. And despite popular opinion, I didn’t return to my natural state to incite conversations, or to provide you with opportunities to offer your–I repeat, unasked for and unsolicited–thoughts about it. K? We good? Good.