Male Researcher Tries Mansplaining Woman’s Own Published Work To Her
A scientist has spoken out about the time a male postdoctoral researcher attempted to mansplain her own published work to her.
Ten years ago, Dr. Jessica McCarty, who researchs fire, food security and climate change, attended a NASA Earth meeting. It was here that she was interrupted by a man without any knowledge of her impressive credentials.
Dr. McCarty, who works as an assistant professor at Miami University’s department of Geography, has numerous citations to her name, and clearly knows her field inside out and back to front. However, this didn’t stop the researcher from explaining her own work back to her in a dismissive manner.
Dr. McCarty told her story via Twitter as part of a viral Valentine’s Day thread calling on women to share their experiences of mansplaining:
In honor of Valentine’s Day, what’s the most obvious thing you’ve ever been mansplained about?
Mine was once mentioning a 30(b)(6) depo for work on here, and a guy sent me the text of the rule and offered to send me a PowerPoint that explains what a corporate representative is.
In a response that has received more than 10,000 retweets at the time of writing, Dr. McCarty opened up about her own exasperating experience:
At a NASA Earth meeting 10 years ago, a white male post doc interrupted me to tell me that I didn’t understand human drivers of fire, that I def needed to read McCarty et al.
Looked him in the eye, pulled my long hair back so he could read my name tag.
‘I’m McCarty et al.’
Unsurprisingly, Dr. McCarty is far from the only highly accomplished female professional to be treated in this patronising manner. Very soon, other women in science and academia were replying to her story with their own frustrating reminiscences of mansplaining.
Envrionmntal historian Dr. Nancy Langston wrote:
I think a variant on this has happened to us all. I was talking about ponderosa pine fire history. Some guy kept interrupting me to tell me what really happened in the forests. I asked him where he got his info. Yep: Langston’s Forest Dreams.
Meanwhile, a female veterinary surgeon recalled:
Had castrated a dog and the owner had some questions about the surgery. Started explaining, just to have the guy interrupt me to say: “sorry dear, I wanted to speak to the surgeon”.
The term ‘mansplaining’ was inspired by writer Rebecca Solnit’s 2014 essay collection Men Explain Things to Me, in which she wrote about the men who had attempted to lecture her about topics she already knew plenty about, sometimes even explaining her own work back to her.
The phrase is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as ‘the act of explaining something to someone in a way that suggests that they are stupid; used especially when a man explains something to a woman that she already understands’.
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