It’s the ‘you’ve been mansplained or manspreaded’ quiz

Find out whether you have been on the receiving end of these typically male behavioural traits

Men were mansplaining long before Rebecca Solnit wrote about the insidious practice in her 2008 essay, Men Explain Things to Me; although the word itself originated in feminist online communities. It is a descriptor for the extremely frustrating way people (cough, men) condescendingly explain a topic about which their interlocutor (more often than not women) is more knowledgeable. In 2010, the New York Times named mansplaining its word of the year.

A related phenomenon is “manspreading”, whereupon men take up absurd amounts of space, with no concern for the (dis)comfort of others. For a perfect example of manspreading, see frontbench male politicians in the Commons. And for a perfect example of mansplaining, see frontbench male politicians in the Commons.

Take this handy quiz to find out whether you have been on the receiving end of mansplaining or manspreading:

  1. Have you ever been in a meeting and had a male colleague repeat your point word-for-word, before later taking credit for your insight or idea?

  2. Have you sat, squished and uncomfortable, on a bus seat while the guy next to you reads a broadsheet newspaper, elbows out?

  3. And was one of his legs planted just east of Japan and the other just west of Hawaii?

  4. At any point has a cab driver explained, at length, traffic laws that are perfectly obvious to anybody with a licence?

  5. While on a date with a man, has he taken control of the choice of wine, with a smug assumption that he knows more than you do? (Also: you are a sommelier.)

  6. When talking about football with a male friend, did he ask whether it was your father or brother who “got you into football”, before going on to get every single stat incorrect about the club you support?

  7. Has any man ever talked to you about music? Because it almost certainly happened then.

  8. When describing your symptoms to a male doctor, has he dismissed them, or put them down to “women troubles”?

  9. Did he Google the word “endometriosis” in front of you, while leaning back in his chair with his hands behind his head, puffing his cheeks out?

  10. Finally, has any man in your household tried to pass off the subjects of newspaper stories as his own long-held knowledge, despite you having just read the exact same article?

Please tot up the number of answers in the affirmative, and ask a nearby man to analyse and explain your final results.


Hannah Jane Parkinson

The GuardianTramp

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