Enough Already: Even TV Characters Are Guilty of Mansplaining

Enough Already:

Even TV Characters Are Guilty of Mansplaining

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In mid-November, one of Sweden’s foremost Trade Unions set up a week-long hotline for women who were tired of being the victim of what’s now been termed mansplaining. A crime only now being recognized, mansplaining occurs when women are subjected to an unnecessarily long or irrelevant explanation by a man, that has no purpose other than the unimportant sharing of the decibel range of said man’s voice.

The hotline, inspiring a week of feministic furor, took on a life of its own and lead many to address the elephant in the room, or office: the moment when a woman feels talked down to by a man.
If you’re old enough to be reading this, you’re old enough to have been the subject of an over-explained and unnecessary tirade at the behest of a verbose gentleman. Whether they knew or not, and even if it was only your father over-explaining why the groceries go in certain parts of your kitchen storage is irrelevant. The very sad fact that mansplaining exists in adulthood is frustrating so we’ve decided to pick some of our favorite female TV leads and rant it out through their mansplaining victimization (and eventual series domination).
Grey’s Anatomy
Courtesy of ABC

While he might be this season’s heart throb, Alex Karev, who has been on the Grey’s cast since the very beginning was once the class misogynist we all hated back in Season 1, when both he and Dr. Burke lead many-a-mansplain to our leading ladies Meredith, Izzie and Christina over the course of the first couple of seasons. His behavior and general air of chauvinism had TV skeptics pipping him to be one of the first cut from the female-forward show in what has now become the infamous Grey’s kiss of death. Shonda Rhimes, show creator and writer, had other ideas and has since transformed his character into one of the most thoughtful and likeable men on the show, who is perhaps the most in tune with the womanly ways of the Grey-Sloan memorial world. Broody Burke however, was not so lucky.

Game of Thrones

Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen, arguably the two most formidable and scary women on the show have been the victim of mansplaining on multiple occasions throughout the years and throughout the seven kingdoms.
Cersei begrudgingly listened to her father over many seasons spell out and elongate plans (simply for the satisfaction of hearing his voice preside over a heated argument) until he eventually found himself dead and her sitting the very throne he never had, at the end of this most recent season. His unwitting denial of the power Cersei wields in King’s Landing landed him very literally, dead on a toilet. Hmph.
Daenarys on the other hand, and on the other side of the world, quickly rid herself of her mansplainer brother by having her hubby pour extremely hot liquid gold over his skull – a more direct approach that feminists abound found both ironic and very satisfying.  She has been very quick over the series to edge out any man who condescends to speak down to her given her sex  and undoubtedly will continue to do so when she arrives on the shores of Westeros. Do not mess with the queens on this show.

Power

Courtesy of Starz

Tasha Saint Patrick, or ’T’, may be a fierce mom, wife and businesswoman, but when it comes to making decisions regarding her husband’s underground crime network, her sex makes her persona-non-grata in husband Ghost’s male-dominated inner circle. Her opinion is veritably null and void when he and co-conspirator Tommy are making big-boy decisions that are continually explained to her in elementary-esque language. Both Ghost and Tommy are guilty of mansplanation to their ‘girls’ Tasha and Holly respectively yet while Holly(spoiler) perishes after taking too much into her own hands, T is very firmly holding her own in the empire, with trailers for the new season indicating she may even be running the show.

Friends

This timeless sitcom may star some of our best and brightest women from the Nineties, that does not however mean they were exempt from mansplaining perpetrators, and Ross Geller, resident know-it-all and serial divorcee was easily the worst offender. Having Monica as a lifetime punching bag for condescending mansplanations and pontificating did not mean that when manhood came around he was done with his would-be female victims.

Given his eventual proximity to ditzy Rachel and Phoebe his mansplaining only got worse over time and by the end of the entire series had nearly lost him his relationship with his child’s mother and would-be love of his love. It was only Rachel’s acceptance of him — warts, mansplaining and all — that brought her back to him. We’d like to believe she’s harassed the annoying trait out of him at this stage in their alternate Friends universe.

Amy Corcoran

Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.

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