I am a huge fan of the Urban Dictionary (it helps a lot with teenage children around!), so I was delighted to find my new favourite word had made an entry.
We’ve heard a lot about ‘Mansplaining’ recently, and I’m sure many of us will have been on the receiving end of it at some point or other. However well-intentioned, or not.
For those who’ve not heard the phrase, it’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.
For me, the patronising, condescending manner of delivery is just a step too far vis-a-vis the battle for gender equality. I swear it doesn’t help a jot being blonde as well. Blonde and female, the ultimate mansplaining magnet.
Next in the ‘Man..’ series is its perhaps its more female-empowering cousin; ladies (and gents), I give you ‘Manlooking’, defined by the folks at UD as:
“The inabilility of those with XY (male) chromosomes to see anything that is clearly in sight. They require a XX (female) chromosome member of the population to guide their eyes to the item within plain view”.
I’m absolutely sure that all women will know exactly how this plays out, whether you’re a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, colleague.
Let me give you an example in case you’re one of the exceptions to the rule and have no idea what I’m talking about.
Location : Home, approximately 8am on a school day
Cast: Mum (me), Dad and 10yr old offspring
10 yr old: “Dad, have you seen my football shin-pads?”
Dad: “No idea, ask your mum”
10 yr old: (shouting from the opposite end of the house) :”Muuuuuum, where are my shin-pads?”
Mum: “In the utility room drawer”
10 Yr old: (now in the utility room): “I can’t find them, which drawer?”
Mum: ” Third one down”
10 yr old: “I can’t see them….”
Mum : “they’re behind the bike pump and the spare bulbs”
10 yr old: ” No they’re not…”
Mum: ” They are, just look! they’re towards the back of the drawer, slightly to the left, next to a pair of scissors and behind the bike pump…”
10 yr old: “still can’t see them and now I’m going to be late”
Mum : (loud sigh): ” Ok I’m coming”
Mum opens 3rd drawer down and INSTANTLY extracts said shin-pads which were in CLEAR PLAIN SIGHT THE WHOLE TIME….
Mum carries on being amazing and super-helpful as usual. 10 yr old avoids detention for lack of correct sports kit.
Sound familiar now?
but why is this so???
The question is, why are men so useless at finding things? And why are women so much better at it?
Studies have shown that women are generally better at remembering where things are, particularly in the home environment. But why is this?
Partly it seems to do with women’s superior ability to multi-task, especially under pressure such as when getting ready to leave the house for the school run.
The reason women seem to be better at multi-tasking may stem from our time as Stone-Age wives, when we were left at home (the cave) to mind the kids, gather food and generally look after the running of the dwelling.
Men may indeed have a one track mind (like a Welsh mountain railway, look it up). But give them their due, this means (yes we concede) they’re better at singular, focussed tasks like map-reading.
Directional skills like finding their way out of the woods, or reaching a specific place also seem to be more of a winner for men. They’ll find a landmark target more quickly too.
So, whilst they’ll get you home with no problems, once there they will switch off their Stone-Age minds in the perceived female domain and leave the rest of the thinking to you, Cave-Wife.
It has taken millions of years of evolution for us still not to have progressed very far – so don’t expect him to find his keys all by himself any time soon.
Originally posted 2017-03-18 20:38:06.