Oh, you know. You know when he’s mansplaining.

Not to hear some men tell it, though.

Scene: A romantic restaurant …

Cheri met a man online; he was charming and polite in their electronic interactions. She agreed to a first date with him at an Italian restaurant, and he was as handsome as his profile pic. Speaking of pics, he’d never sent a single dick pic. He was just the right amount of risqué in his banter. They ordered appetizers. Things were going well.

When he pulled out his phone and said to Cheri, “Want to see a picture of my wiener?” she cringed, thinking, Not again! Before she had time to be crestfallen he revealed a photo of an adorable wiener dog. “His name is Oscar,” he said. “I adopted him. But I didn’t rescue him. He rescued me.”

Cheri sighed in relief.

Then the date went to hell.

“I love your accent,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to visit Australia.”

“Thank you. I was born there. I grew up in Sydney.”

“Ah, Sydney. The capital city.”

“No,” Cheri replied. “Canberra is the capital of Australia.”

“You’re mistaken,” he said in his New York accent. “Sydney is definitely the capital.”

“Uh, again, I grew up there. And I’ve been to the Federal Parliament building in Canberra. What you’re doing is like me telling you the capital of the United States is New York.”

“You’re stupid,” her date announced.

Cheri tensed. “And you’re mansplaining my home country to me.”

“Well, actually,” interjected the waiter, “That’s not mansplaining.” The name tag displayed prominently on his fedora said “Chad” in Comic Sans lettering.

“I asked you for wine, Chad, not your opinion,” Cheri replied. “And I’ll stick with Lily Rothman’s definition of mansplaining. She wrote in The Atlantic that it’s: “explaining without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer, often done by a man to a woman.” I’ve been to the capital of Australia and lived most of my life in that country. This guy admits he’s never set foot on the entire continent.”

“Such vitriol,” scoffed Chad. “You obviously have been spending far too much time online in an echo chamber with a bunch of social justice warriors.” Her date gave Chad a high five. Adjusting his fedora, the waiter left to tend to another table in his section.

This guy’s dog was better off at the shelter, Cheri thought of her date.

This tale is a fictionalized version of an actual event (and “Chad” is based on a real person who invaded my Facebook page):

STORY SOURCE: There was the American I spoke to online who told me that Sydney was the capital of Australia. When I pointed out that I had lived in Sydney all my life … been to the Federal Parliament (which is in Canberra) he was unmoved. When I suggested that his claim was like me telling him that New York City was the capital of the US, he told me I was stupid.

#

At the next table, Irene was finishing dinner with her own date. “I love the building they chose for this restaurant,” Irene told him. “The stone archways are beautiful. It’s high quality work.”

“Well, actually,” her date said, leaning back in his chair. “It’s very poor craftsmanship.”

“Oh, really? And how do you know this?”

“I just know these things. I can tell by looking at it.”

“Fascinating,” Irene replied flatly. “Tell me, what exactly is wrong with those stone arches over there?”

“They didn’t lay them properly. How you do it is—” What followed was a series of factually incorrect information that caused Irene’s eyes to roll so hard she saw her cerebral cortex. He finally finished rambling, then said, “You obviously don’t understand such things.”

“I don’t understand. Okay. I guess me being a professional stonemason for the past 17 years is trumped by you having a penis.”

“You know it.”

“What I know is you’re a mansplainer.”

“Hold on there just minute,” Chad said, returning to screw up their drink order yet again. “You need to differentiate between ‘mansplaining’ and just general assholery. How do we know it’s mansplaining? We live in a reactionary mob mentality world. How do we know this is gender based?”

“Well, Chad,” Irene said, calmly folding her napkin, “not that anyone asked you, but mansplaining is a type of assholery. Think of mansplaining as the statistical phenomenon by which women are far more likely to be the victims of condescending behavior that questions their knowledge, experience, and education, simply because they are women.”

“That’s useless advice,” Chad said.

Irene turned to her date. “Would you question the word of a male stonemason with 17 years’ experience on this subject?”

“Check, please,” her date said.

Again, a fictionalized version of a real event, using actual quotes from “Chad”.

STORY SOURCE: My ex, a dude with ZERO building or trades experience, mansplained to me, a stonemason with 17 years’ experience, about how to lay stone arches. Incorrectly, I might add.

#

At a table near the bar …

“Oh, look, they have a Wake Up Box on the wall,” Jenna’s date said.

“A what what box?”

“A Wake Up Box. Over by the bar. It says ‘AED’ on it.”

“You mean the defibrillator?” Jenna said.

“Yeah. Defiberlator—“

“Defibrillator.”

“Stop interrupting me,” he said. “It’s a Wake Up Box. They use them on TV. They shock someone, and they wake up. Every time.”

“That’s not quite how it works,” Jenna said, struggling to keep a straight face.

“How would you know?”

“I’m a critical care paramedic,” she said. “That’s how. And you’re mansplaining.”

Cue Chad, butting in rather than doing his job waiting tables: “How do we know this is mansplaining? How do we know it was motivated by gender?”

“How is it we don’t have our dinner yet?” Jenna said, raising an eyebrow.

“Ohhh, here come the attacks,” Chad said. “I should have known better than to dare ask for clarification.”

“Well, Chad, it’s like this. Like most subtle but pervasive forms of sexism, one cannot prove any individual act is sexist. We are not in other people’s heads and cannot know their motivation. Statistically, however, we see this as a thing that exists. Men constantly assert their authority over women in subjects where they know very little, yet the woman they are erroneously ‘correcting’ are experts in that area.”

“You’re just as bad as all the others,” Chad huffed. “I’m just asking questions.”

Again, fictionalized of something that happened. Again, “Chad” really said most of this stuff.

STORY SOURCE: I had a first date try to explain how defibrillation works. (“‘Defiberlation’ is the thing where they shock someone, like on TV, and they wake up” was included.) He thought you just pushed a button and the patient woke up every time … I’m a critical care paramedic.

#

“Here’s your whole wheat linguini with broccoli in marinara sauce,” Chad said to Hayley. He held up a cheese grater. “Parmesan?”

“Yes! Carb fest for tomorrow’s run,” she said, rubbing her hands together. “Thank you.”

“Carbs are great for aerobic exercise,” her date said, digging into his veal.

“Pretty sure I just implied that.”

“Fiber doesn’t really count as carbs though,” he said, “Because your body can’t digest it.”

“You do know I’m a registered dietitian, right?”

“And fiber isn’t a nutrient either because—“

“—you can’t digest it. Yes. I know. Registered dietitian. Studied for a long time. Stop mansplaining.”

“There it is again,” Chad exclaimed, grating parmesan cheese onto the floor. “You females are just a mob throwing around accusations of mansplaining.”

“First off, Chad,” Hayley said. “Who asked you? And second, where is that damn beer I ordered? I’m gonna need like three of them to get through this date. Third, there is a difference between ‘a mob’ and ‘a group of people with similar experiences who wish to talk about them’.”

“Why are you threatened by a man asking for clarification?” Chad adjusted his fedora. “It’s just another dumpster fire. I only want a rational discussion.”

Cheri, still suffering her “Australia expert” date, raised her glass of wine in salute to Hayley. “Go easy on poor Chad,” she said. “He wants to learn! He’s just not going to fall for any old dogma spouted by the irrational mean women who won’t engage in healthy debate by admitting they’re all lying or misunderstanding. He wants facts. But not those facts you gave. He’s a nice guy!”

Good old “Chad,” saying those actual things. Although it’s worth pointing out that while people think it’s the fedora men’s rights activists wear, it is more commonly the trilby hat they affect. A woman told me that. I didn’t question it. Because she knows her hats.

STORY SOURCE: One guy tried explaining to me that fiber is not a carbohydrate and not a nutrient. He knows I’m a Registered Dietitian.

#

Two tables away …

Lori’s date had made a fuss over the lack of Coke. He’d wanted a Pepsi. He stopped the glass halfway towards his mouth. “You just scratched your head,” he said. “Why?”

“I did? I didn’t notice.”

“Yes,” he said, his eyes intense and his voice demanding. “For just a second. You scratched the side of your head. Why did you do that?”

“Probably just a bit of dry scalp,” Lori said, feeling like he was putting her on trial. “I am overly fond of long, hot showers.”

“Well, actually,” he said. “It’s probably a tick.”

She laughed. “It’s not a tick. I just spend too much time under the hot water and it dried my scalp.”

“It’s definitely a tick,” he said. “Because there are trees in your neighborhood. Ticks crawl up into trees—”

“They don’t.”

“—and wait for years if necessary—”

“No.”

“—until a person walks by—”

“Dafuq?”

“—so they can jump—”

“Dude. Stop. I am a public health professional specializing in vector-borne diseases—and ticks are a vector—and literally none of what you said is accurate.”

“—onto their heads, which is why people usually find ticks in their hair.”

“Dear God,” Lori said. “This is mansplaining on steroids.”

“How do we know this is mansplaining?” Chad interrupted.

“Are you seriously trolling our dinner conversation,” Lori said. “This isn’t about you.”

“I’m not a troll.” Chad sniffed haughtily. “I’ve experienced the same thing! I’ve had a female peer explain something to me that was wrong.”

“The fact that you have experienced this doesn’t invalidate that women see this behavior frequently,” Lori replied. “We’re talked down to all the time. Society in general considers women to be less competent. It’s like arguing that because men get raped too, discussions of women being assaulted shouldn’t happen.”

Chad crossed his arms and shook his head. “How is what you said helpful?”

Irene, now sitting alone at the next table, snorted. “It’s pretty undeniable this is a phenomenon that exists.” She gestured at the empty chair across from her. Her date had invited her to his place after getting the check, but she turned him down flat, ordered herself another prosecco, and stayed to ponder the fine stonemasonry of the building. “Why are you so focused on determining if each individual instance of this is actually sexism or not? It’s impossible to do. What kind of point are you trying to make?”

“My point is we can’t know this is sexism!” Chad shouted. “I’M JUST ASKING QUESTIONS!”

“Damn sea lions,” muttered Hayley. “Always JAQing off.”

Jenna was returning to her table after a visit to the bathroom. She hadn’t needed to go; she was texting a friend for a rescue phone call. Her date had earlier choked on his kids’ meal chicken strips and Jenna expertly saved his life using the Heimlich maneuver. After he coughed the lodged food across the room, he said, “They call what you did the Yanky Stop Chokey. But you did it wrong, because that’s not how they do it on TV.” Reluctant to return to the stupidity, she asked Irene if she could join her. Irene was delighted for intelligent company and welcomed her.

“I doubt in the majority of cases the guy is even doing it on purpose,” Jenna shared her insights into mansplaining, glaring at Chad. “What makes it about gender isn’t the individual circumstances, but the fact that this is a near universal problem for women, and doesn’t happen nearly so often to men. What’s more, men aren’t often punished for speaking over women, but women who speak over men are lambasted as ‘uppity bitches’.”

“Now you’re just womansplaining me,” Chad said.

“Womansplaining.” Jenna rolled her eyes. “A.K.A. Man is pissed off a woman knows more than he does about something.”

Poor, aggressively clueless “Chad.”

STORY SOURCE: At my job, where I am a public health professional specializing in vector-borne disease, a guy decided to explain to me that ticks crawl up into trees (they don’t) and wait for years if necessary (no) until a person walks by (wtf) so they can jump (nope) onto their heads, which is why people usually find ticks in their hair (it isn’t).

Real Life and Research

I made a single post on my Facebook page asking for stories of mansplaining, and within 24 hours there was over a thousand comments. (You can read many of their stories below, but the post is now hidden to protect identities.)

“Chad” replied too. Chad replied a lot.

And Chad got smacked down, hard. Eventually, after much fighting, he gave up. He even apologized, although I can’t attest to its sincerity. It may have been a token to save himself further embarrassment. Then he dirty deleted.

But screencaps tho.

My friend Carrie King weighed in on the impact of such deletions:

When we delete threads … we delete a lot of other people’s labor. Many people, primarily women, did weigh in with links and examples that illustrated the points well. When a thread that long is deleted, it is an act of silencing dissent and trying to craft a particular reality. It’s a form of revisionism that proclaims that another person’s right not to be embarrassed takes precedence over anyone else’s efforts to make themselves heard and recognized. 

I did my best to un-silence some of those women. Much of the comebacks for Chad’s arguments in the stories above are directly adapted from that deleted thread. I’d also like to thank Carrie, a professional novelist, for helping me with the fictionalization seen above. Despite me being a professional non-fiction writer, I respect her knowledge, and didn’t mansplain tense or point of view to her a single time.

Chad, however, did a lot of mansplaining of mansplaining. I’m not going to do that, because what I’m going to write next is directed at men in an effort to help them understand this is a thing.

Did you notice one of those five stories was a little different?

Lily Rothman’s definition of mansplaining, quoted in the first story, makes no mention of accuracy. The man doesn’t need to be wrong for it to qualify, just condescending, as was the case with “Hayley” the registered dietitian, and the man explaining fiber to her.

But the ultimate in mansplaining is when the woman is an expert in an area, and the man is not, then he proceeds to talk over her with incorrect information, refusing to accept her expertise. When I made my post asking for stories of mansplaining I didn’t say the man needed to be giving inaccurate information, but the majority of the stories shared revealed it to be the case anyway.

My favorite example of such mansplaining is the story of Katie Mack on Twitter. It began when she tweeted:

“Honestly climate change scares the heck out of me and it makes me so sad to see what we’re losing because of it.”

The reply from “Texan conservative activist” Gary Jackson was, according to a metric shit-ton of science, dead wrong:

“Maybe you should learn some actual SCIENCE then, and stop listening to the criminals pushing the #GlobalWarming SCAM!”

Katie’s reply burned him to the ground so hard it was covered by the New York Times:

“I dunno, man, I already went and got a PhD in astrophysics. Seems like more than that would be overkill at this point.”

Yes, Dr. Katie Mack is an astrophysicist, and you should totally follow her on Twitter. She’s a delight.

There are other public accusations of mansplaining that are less clear, such as the case of the Washington Post author of the “Fact Checker” blog, Glenn Kessler.

Here is how it played out. He left out the “Well” before “actually.”

Spelling aside, this one is complicated, and I don’t know if it qualifies as mansplaining. It was not that worthwhile a tweet, at least. I don’t know if Hillary is an expert in firearms, but I suspect not. Glenn shared his then six-month-old Washington Post article in reply to Clinton, explaining that a “silenced” AR-15 is still as loud as a jackhammer. But others pointed out that, while the weapon wouldn’t be silenced, it would be quieter. The shooter was far away, up high, and this was at a loud concert; Clinton could very well be correct, suppressors on the rifles could have made things worse.

Was it motivated by sexism? Perhaps not.

First off, fact checking is Kessler’s job. What’s more, here is some evidence he admires Clinton, from an interview on The Daily Show: “In terms of fact checking, Hillary Clinton is like playing chess with a real pro … Fact-checking Donald Trump is like playing checkers, with somebody who’s not very good at it. It’s pretty boring. His facts are so easily disproved there’s no joy in hunt.”

Yes, accusations of mansplaining are sometimes thrown around inaccurately. It doesn’t invalidate that it exists. And judging by the comments left on my call for stories on my Facebook page (Please visit and click “Like”. That link opens in a new window. You can do it right now and you won’t lose your place.), very few of the examples provided didn’t qualify. Judging by those several hundred examples, it’s accurately applied most of time.

Lori Rothman’s piece in The Atlantic is titled “A Cultural History of Mansplaining,” and it’s worth the read to see how the act long preceded the creation of the word.

And it’s supported by research.

Going back to 1975, researchers Zimmerman and West published a chapter in the book Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance, asserting men use interruption as “a device for exercising power and control in conversation.” Eight years later those same authors published a chapter in the book Language, Gender and Society, reporting, “men are more likely than women to assume they are entitled to take the conversational floor.”

More recently, a 2012 study published in American Political Science Review found women’s voices aren’t heard nearly to their proportional representation in group collaboration. Men dominate more than 75% of the conversation. And a 2014 study published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology found women are interrupted more than men are.

This only scratches the surface of the research. We also have the stories of women (again, see below) who experience mansplaining and domination of conversations by men day after day.

While the fictionalized stories in this piece were fun to write, it’s unfortunate the smack down doesn’t often come to fruition in face to face conversation. Men run roughshod, because the cost of confrontation is so high, and it would be an emotionally draining, continual job to do so. Women often swallow it, even to the point of using friendlier punctuation in their writing, so as not to be accused of being “bitchy.”

The onus is on men to stop, not on women to stop them.

A Mere Sampling of Stories

Many men get pissy over the term “mansplaining.” They say it’s “reverse sexism.” They counter with silly arguments such as: “Would you use the term “blacksplaining?”

If black people continually dominated conversations over whites, frequently interrupting, acting like they always knew more … then, yes, the word “blacksplaining” would likely come to be.

EXCEPT THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN!

The word “mansplaining” exists because mansplaining exists.

And the trilby-hatted basement dwellers sing: “A man can’t explain anything to a woman ever without being accused of mansplaining!”

And James sings, “Juliet. Foxtrot. Charlie.”

My wife, who is probably the smartest person I know, asked me to explain mansplaining to her. Why? Because after researching and writing this article I learned a lot, and this isn’t something she spends time investigating. Know how I informed her? I started by quoting Lily Rothman’s definition. Then I drove it home with a sampling of the anecdotes below. I listened to women and shared their knowledge and experiences.

Speaking of listening to women, my wife is an MD. During the writing of this piece I asked her, “What’s a vector-borne disease?” And I believed her answer, because she’s an expert, and I’m not.

I know I’ve been guilty of mansplaining. (Hi, Cassandra!) I learned not to. You can too.

Men can talk to women, just don’t talk over them. We all have varying degrees of experience, knowledge, education, and expertise, and you don’t always have to be intellectual top dog. There are women who want to learn what you know, and you must be willing to learn from them as well. Sometimes it’s about talking, but also about listening. Sometimes you’re the teacher, other times the student. Sometimes, you’re both simultaneously.

Read these women’s stories below, in their own words, if you remain unconvinced of the reality of mansplaining. If you have your own story of mansplaining you’d like to share, the link to provide comments is at the end. 

The IT guy at my work tried to tell me about how vaccines cause autism. I have a PhD in immunology.

Me: Tells boyfriend a nutrition tip to help his training. Him: Ignores. *weeks later* Him: My PT friend told me this great nutrition tip! It was the same one I gave him weeks earlier … I’m 2 units away from being a qualified nutritionist yet get less nutrition respect than personal trainers.

My ex-husband is a builder and submitted plans for a project in our town. I looked at the plans and pointed out an issue. He quickly dismissed my point and “explained” to me that wasn’t the intent of that building code. His plans were rejected by the examiner and sent back for revision for that very issue. I’m a building plans examiner for a large jurisdiction in our area.

Man in FB group explained to me why Pascal’s Wager was “not important” to the historical development of gaming theory “because it’s just wrong.” I’m a probabilist. That means I did my masters in the field of mathematics, probability; that includes gaming theory and I literally listened to lectures on this exact topic. It’s considered a founding concept.

I ride a motorcycle. I average around 19,000 kms/year on my bike despite living in a country where the air hurts your face a good part of the year. I also travel on my bike, often solo, and have done multiple Iron Butt rides. IBAs are endurance riding with the easiest version being 1,600 kms in 24 hours or less. They go up from there. The hardest one I’ve done was a concurrent 2,000 km in 24 hours, 2,500 km in 36 hours. Dated, ever so briefly, a guy who informed me my bike was not adequate to travel long distance on and held the view that it was not safe for women to travel, by bike, alone.

Him: “Why don’t you have any of those really pretty, lacy bras?”
Me: “Because I have giant breasts that need more support than those can provide.”
Him: “It’ll be fine. I’m going to buy you one. What size?”
Me: “They don’t make my size in those types … that’s the point.”
Him: “Why won’t you just give me your size? I looked through your drawer to see if I could find your bra size and all you have are those thick kind…not the lacy kind. I know how sizes run differently in things.”
Me: “Because they don’t make them in my size!”
Him: “Are you on your period or something? Why are you getting angry over this? I simply want to do something nice for you!”

I used to play bass in a band. At one show, I was unpacking my bass, and a guy from one of the other bands performing that night asked me what kind of bass I have. I told him it was a Fender Mustang. He said, “Oh, I thought you said it was a bass.” I said, “It is. It’s a Fender Mustang bass.” He then explained to me that a Mustang is a guitar, as I stood there with my bass that said “Mustang” on the headstock.

Guy I had just started dating decided to explain WWII to me, despite the fact that I had written a thesis on that period of history. I gave him a verbal spanking and he was appropriately contrite. He’s my husband now.

While working as a hydraulics mechanic on CH-53s in the Marine Corps, I flew with a crew from SoCal to Portland to participate in an airshow. Shortly after landing, the wind started to pick up. It was necessary to start an accessory motor in order to fold and secure the rotor blades to the body of the aircraft to prevent damage. I was standing next to the aircraft when a (civilian) man walked over and said, “Watch out little lady, you need to move away from the helicopter.” My response was professional, yet stern: “Sir, I am part of the crew. YOU need to step away.” He promptly stormed off. This was one of MANY times I experienced mansplaining during my military service, and since then.

Once a guy online corrected me about where episiotomies are located. He seemed confused. I’ve had two.

Football. Anything and everything about football. I’ve been a fan since I was 3 years old, but the fact that I have a knowledge of the game that far surpasses 99% of the men I’ve dated doesn’t stop them from explaining it to me (usually incorrectly, I might add) when we’re watching a game.

My husband … Who tells me all about places I’ve traveled and what they are like… He doesn’t even have a passport.

My husband is always telling me how I should deal with my clients, to the point I don’t tell him stuff anymore. Somehow his experience in home restoration outweighs my psychology degrees and 15 years of experience dealing with people with mental health and addiction issues

A gentleman on Facebook tried to explain to me how the estate tax would impact over the road truck drivers. When I corrected him he produced web articles as sources that he incorrectly thought would counter my point. I was the sources.

I stated during my period, “Ugh, my ovaries hurt.” I was told, “Actually, it’s not your ovaries.” by a man who had never experienced a period. That man is now my “may-as-well-be” husband. But, I definitely was like, “I’m sorry. How many periods have YOU had?!”

First date with an engineer. I’m a pharmacist. He explained to me within the first 5 minutes that vaccines cause autism. He also tried to show me how to hit a baseball. Note that I played fast pitch most of my life and I hit way more balls than him at the cages (just saying). 

A couple of non-industry dudes have kindly taken the time to explain how best to cook bacon. Awesome. I definitely didn’t learn in cooking school, at the brunch restaurant I cooked at for 5 years, or anytime in my 13-year cooking career.

Blind date with recently divorced guy; over dinner he went on at length about the family justice system- when I corrected some of his facts, he went on at length about the fact that I, being a woman, couldn’t have an objective frame of reference for the battle against gender bias in the courts. I’m a family law paralegal and was working in a firm that specializes in FATHER’S advocacy. 

I dated a guy who would frequently & incorrectly explain how depression works to me. I have a Bachelors in social work & a MS in counseling & human development, but ok software engineer, educate me on mental health

I have men tell me ALL THE TIME about my field. I’m a Certified Professional Dog Trainer of over 17 years, I’ve run two behavior departments for shelters and done continuing education out the wazoo. Usually they want to mansplain pack/dominance theory (which is complete bullshit) or misuse operant conditioning terms. 

Dudebro who wanted to date me spent a full hour explaining how to properly throw a punch and why women can’t win against men because they are small… or something. He’s never been in a fight or taken a martial arts class. I have been studying martial arts for 20 years and have 3 black belts in 3 styles; I have won state championships—mostly fighting men. 

After having sex for the first time, he asked if I orgasmed. “No. But I don’t orgasm from penetration alone.” “What?! Never??” “No. It’s not uncommon for a lot of women.” “Well, that’s just not true. Have you seen a doctor about this?”

I’ve worked on detecting fraud for about 10 years, and first he mansplained phishing to me. Then, when I told him that was really mansplainy given my knowledge on the subject, he told me that I must be mistaken, it couldn’t have been mansplaining. He freaking mansplained mansplaining to me.

I’m a navigator in the US Air Force … I was planning a trip from our home base direct to the Middle East. I was telling my boyfriend at the time that we would be flying over Canada and England on our route (due to great circle navigation). He proceeded to tell me that we were not going the fastest/shortest route and should fly via a southern route over the Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea instead.

I had a man try to explain to me what the difference between locks and flankers (positions) were supposed to do in rugby union. I played rugby union in college. I played lock. And flanker.

I have had breastfeeding explained to me by men – how the baby indicates it is hungry, how much milk is consumed, how milk is made, how drugs can or don’t go into milk, whether it’s safe to consume alcohol when breastfeeding, that breastfeeding has no benefits and artificial feeding just has a lot of downsides (their words, not mine). I’ve breastfed for 5+ years, am a midwife and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as having a graduate certificate in midwifery covering pharmacology and diagnostics. 

I had a work colleague mansplain to me how women actually want to be subjugated and imprisoned by men (after me explaining the plot to A Handmaids Tale) and how in Saudi Arabia they are protesting because they don’t actually want to get their driver’s licenses and be independent.

Someone from Midwest USA explaining to me what Communism is. I immigrated from Soviet Union and was well aware.

“Well, actually, if you worked out more your period cramps probably wouldn’t hurt so bad. It’s a muscular thing.”

When I first started running, I proudly worked up to 5 mile runs … My boyfriend at the time (who has never run more than 3 miles) … said “first of all, you’re not a runner. A runner is a person who has been running their whole life and gets up at 5am to run 16 miles before work … At that moment, I decided to become a marathoner, and then did it. Who’s “not a runner” now, bitch?

My ex-boyfriend tried to explain to me why drinking lemon juice in the morning “alkalinizes your body” and that homeopathy actually works. I was in my last year of Med school. 

I met a guy from an online dating site for dinner. I grew up on and still live on a farm, he lives in the suburbs. He proceeded to argue with me for 30 minutes that if I don’t have any cows, sheep, or pigs, I do not actually live on a farm, because corn and beans do not count. Preferably, I must have more than one type of livestock, as well. Because his grandparents had a farm, and he spent time there, and I was just confused. He then went on to explain to me how wonderful this new product he had found was, and that I might want to look into it. The product being WD-40.

Please buy me!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Perhaps I can interest you in checking out my next book, titled

The Holy Sh!t Moment, about the science behind the life-changing epiphany. Learn more about it here.

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James S. Fell, MA, MBA, has bylines in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the Guardian, TIME Magazine, and many other publications. His blog has millions of readers and he is the author of two books: The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant (St. Martin’s Press, 2019), and Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind (Random House Canada, 2014). Order them here.

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