What is mansplaining?
Mansplaining is when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending or patronizing manner. As women, in one way or the other, we have experienced mansplaining. It happens so often that we are sometimes oblivious to it. The most ridiculous form of mansplaining is when men who have no knowledge or experience, try to explain periods to women. It is embarrassing and tragic when a clueless man tries to explain menstruation to a woman (as for me, I believe na crase).
I remember having a conversation about menstrual cramps with this man I knew, he went on to say ‘but you ladies should be used to the pain already’. Meaning because we have periods every month which results to cramps, we should stop whining about it and just get used to the pain already.
I was about to lose my mind but I composed myself and ignored the very ignorant statement.
A friend of mine told me about a situation she was dealing with, with her father. He somehow kept on insisting that the reason she had terrible cramps was because she ate too much sugar (which she actually didn’t, btw). She always tried to convince him otherwise but he wasn’t having any of it, in fact things got so bad that she had to hide how much pain she was in when having cramps, just so her dad wouldn’t start complaining about her complaining!
They finally decided to see a doctor who further explained to her dad that sugar was not the sole accomplice to severe cramps, as hormones also played a big part. Despite hearing this, her father was still convinced that the cramps she kept experiencing during her periods was somehow her fault.
Dear God, please make it make sense.
Another personal encounter I have had with a mansplainer was during my service year. There was this man I was talking to that I had some feelings for. I was complaining to him that sanitary pads were way too expensive. I have a very heavy flow and my period lasts between 5-7 days (unfortunately I am not one of Mother Nature’s favorites, like you women that get your periods for 3 days. My uterus is a bitch).
Thus, I spend a lot on menstrual sanitary products. I was telling him how much I spend monthly, and how menstrual products should cost less, or even be free for women. You wouldn’t believe that he started laughing and said I was being too dramatic because there is no way I could have such a heavy flow except I had some blood issues.
In fact, he went on to say we ladies should find ‘solutions’ on how to control our menstrual flow.
I was so disappointed. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he then said maybe I didn’t have any blood issue and I was just very fertile. With so much anger in me, I sent him a two minute voice note describing how ignorant he was and then blocked him before he could reply.
Dear men, menstruation is part of every girl’s life and no one can truly understand what we go through, expect us. When women talk about periods, try not to chip in your unsolicited, ignorant and uneducated two cents on the subject. It is completely disgusting when I see men try to downplay what women go through when on their periods. It is even more annoying when men actually put it upon themselves to explain to women what they think periods really are. We don’t know what it feels like to get kicked in the groin, same way you men don’t understand what it feels like to menstruate and experience period cramps.
So when the next woman or group of women are talking about periods, try not to intervene with what you think, or what you think you know. Rather, listen and maybe learn a few things.