When we’re uncomfortable with being corrected, it’s easy to focus our blame on the wrong things.
One Redditor shared how he had corrected a female friend of his when she gave inaccurate information about vaginas, and she then accused him of mansplaining to her.
The Redditor RedValuable wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, wondering if he was in the wrong.
The Redditor asked the thread:
“[Am I the a**hole] for ‘mansplaining’ vaginas to a woman?”
Several months ago, the Redditor was spending time with his friends.
“This happened a few months ago, but my brain won’t let this one go.”
“So I was hanging out with some friends. Two guys, one woman. We’re all in our early 20s and have had our fair share of romance in life.”
While talking, the topic of their sex lives came up.
“The topic of sex popped up and we start talking about some of our past experiences. One guy joked about how having sex only made his dick bigger and bigger. We all laughed and he said that he wished that’s how it works.”
“My female friend (let’s call her Sarah) piped up and said ‘Yeah, for women, it’s the complete opposite. The more sex you have, the bigger your labia gets and the looser you become.'”
“There were some chuckles, but then I asked her if she was serious. She said she was.”
The Redditor was concerned at the misinformation.
“Now, this is a big myth. I was surprised a woman who has had some experience actually believes that.”
“I basically told her this, and then she started getting annoyed, asking ‘how me and my dick knows about that’.”
“I said the same way I know anything about female anatomy- I’ve read up on it. The whole ‘women get looser’ thing is something sexist dudes made up to sl*t-shame women.”
“My other friends were silent on this.”
His friend was not receptive to his comments.
“She then just said: ‘Whatever, I’m not in the mood for your mansplaining.'”
Now he wonders if he was wrong for speaking up.
“So I’m at a loss here.”
“AITA for explaining something that I feel like people should just know about?”
Redditors wrote in on the OP’s (Original Poster’s) situation, using the following scale:
- NTA: “Not the A**hole”
- YTA: “You’re the A**hole”
- ESH: “Everybody Sucks Here”
- NAH: “No A**holes Here”
One Redditor asked up-front if this was an actual example of mansplaining.
“Isn’t that a misinterpretation of what mansplaining is?”
“[M]ansplaining is when a man, unbidden, tells a woman about something assuming she doesn’t know about it. Disputing a fact that a woman has said can’t be mansplaining – not even if the man is in fact wrong!”
“Arguing with something is not mansplaining, whether you’re wrong or right, otherwise the whole concept of mansplaining [disallows] men ever being right which would be ridiculous. You’re an argumentative d**k if you insist on pointing out people’s errors too often, but that’s still not mansplaining.”
“As you say it’s not weird she was distrustful of the guy, but even if he had been full of s**t, calling it mansplaining makes her the a**hole.” – Urabutbl
“NTA. Mansplaining is when a man sees me as my gender and assumes I know nothing about a subject then explains a topic to me like I’m an idiot.”
“Then if I counter with my credentials showing I am an actual expert and he STILL tries to correct me? That’s mansplaining.”
“Like when random internet dude tries to argue with an astrophysicist about astrophysics.”
“But if I offer information and it is 100% wrong, I’ve just shown my ignorance on a topic. Explain away.” – LakotaGrl
Others confirmed it was not mansplaining, but rather correcting misinformation.
“NTA. You’re right, she’s not, simple as that. Just because you know more about female anatomy than she does doesn’t make it sexist.”
“I always took ‘mansplaining’ as a guy automatically assuming a woman knows less about a topic because of her gender. I’ve had this done to me over computer parts before, and it drove me nuts.”
“However, you weren’t assuming her knowledge based on her gender, you were correcting her on something very wrong, and [as] you said, pretty sexist. I don’t see anything wrong there.” – shiningdialga13
“No, I feel like mansplaining is when a man assumes a woman doesn’t know about a subject due to her gender and tries to jump in with his two cents or provide his info. I’ve had it happen to me many times.”
“In this case, he was correcting her obviously incorrect information. And it’s a good thing he did, this kind of misinformation is so stupid and sl*t-shamey!” – fuddydudd
“It’s only mansplaining if you’re explaining something to a woman that she clearly already knows. This woman was factually wrong and does not know how vaginas work so it is not mansplaining.” – peachjamsandwich
A few confirmed he probably wasn’t in the wrong, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier for his friend to be wrong.
“The tricky part is that in her ignorance from her view he was mansplaining. Maybe he could have looked up something on his phone real quick and showed her or one of the other guys could have agreed.”
“[But] without that it’s not surprising a woman could be distrustful of a man challenging her wrong beliefs about her body.”
“But yeah NTA, just a tough situation.” – Nogster
“Since she was pretty sure she was right to her it probably in this case felt like mansplaining even if objectively it wasn’t.”
“I’ve seen it happen previously.” – remuliini
Though it was probably hard to be corrected about her body, the subReddit seems to agree it sounds like the Redditor was trying to help.
There’s so much misinformation out there, it’s hard to discern the facts from the fiction. His feedback didn’t come from a place of condescension, but rather from concern.