(I loved this piece because, at 17.11 in the middle of a busy week, it didn’t half make me giggle. This piece really does do exactly as it says on the tin.)
Men mansplaining things to women is bad enough, but as it turns out, male privilege creates the kind of ego in academia that causes men to mansplain to each other, too!
A recent study published in a paper at the Cornell University Library calledMen Set Their Own Cites High: Gender and Self-Citation Across Fields and Over Time found that male academics are 56 percent more likely to cite themselves in their own papers than women are. What’s more, the researchers wrote that “In the last two decades of our data, men self-cite 70% more than women. Women are also more than ten percentage points more likely than men to not cite their own previous work at all.”
They came to these conclusions after studying 1.5 million academic papers from JSTOR published between 1779-2011. These findings mean that, in addition to not citing women at all, they’re also explaining things to each other by citing their own previous work. To be honest, I didn’t even know you were allowed to do that? Isn’t that the sign of, like, a bad researcher? Are respectable academics actually doing this and, like, it’s considered okay?
This is a problem not only because of the inherent bias this can cause within papers, but also because it shuts down the voices of others in various fields. As The Washington Post explains, “Academics are more likely to cite papers that are already well-cited, so citing yourself means more citations from others. And more citations means better career-advancement opportunities.”
When I still went to church back in Seattle, I was in a study group led by this horrible mansplaining douchebag called Todd.
One time Todd went off on a lecture about how Baptist churches believe that baptism saves you, so they baptise their babies just after they’re born. I told him that that’s not true. You’re thinking of Catholics and Lutherans and a few other early Reformation denominations. Baptists were the first protestant group to advocate adult baptism because, just like our church, they believed baptism was a symbol of salvation, not the actual thing.
He told me I was wrong. Keep in mind, I have a history degree, and my thesis was on the Reformation. I was also raised in a Baptist church. Where I couldn’t be baptised until I was at least 12, and passed a class about the beliefs of the church. Babies can’t pass that class, Todd.
Another time, I was bragging to the group about my uncle. He’s one of the best bass players in the country, as evidenced by the fact that he plays for the Marine band in the White House. Todd mansplained to me, “Well, that just means he’s the best in the Marines, not in the country.” I explained that my uncle was a civilian when he auditioned for the band, and then when he was offered a place in the band, he was given an officer’s rank and joined the Marines. Todd refused to believe me. Even though it was my uncle? I would know? if he was a Marine before he got that job?
Todd was such a dick. His is the face that pops into my head whenever anyone talks about having the confidence of a mediocre white man.
Mansplaining at the workplace is the worst! Instead of giving unnessary and unwelcomed advice, how about actual help? But no, pea brains can't think that far and physical labour is unaccaptable! I am already so done with this day.
I feel you, anon. Made all the worse when they are attempting to mansplaon your own job to you - especially if they are hilariously getting it all wrong. Me and my colleague (also female) spent days once trying to convince some guy that we should be doing something a certain way - as we knew what we were talking about since it was our job to know - but he refused to listen and kept trying to get us to do something else. Until he eventually relented and did our thing….which worked straight away. If only he’d listened to the two women in the first place 🙃 I hope your day improves and that the mansplainer falls into a well 🙂
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