I had an adventure with mansplaining earlier this week and it didn’t make me happy. Yes, I know not all men do it but too many men do.
I got on the bus to come home and an older gentleman and his wife who was in a wheelchair got on with me. (She never said a word) Since it’s the first stop on that line we were the only ones on the Orange Line. I wear a belt with oak leaves and acorns carved into it and a triskellion belt buckle. The man asked me about the belt buckle and made some crack about mistletoe and I told him I wore it because I was a Druid. He then proceeded to lecture me on Druidry until the stop where they got off. I should have known I was in for it right then because he didn’t like my pointing out the link with mistletoe did not apply to all Druids and was specific to the Gauls and the English not the Irish, Welsh and Scots.
He was all on about the Holy Grail and Joseph of Arimathea and really didn’t like it when I finally got a chance to interrupt him and point out the older story was about Dagda’s cauldron and was linked to the other 3 Celtic treasures of spear, sword and stone. He overrode me and kept lecturing me on Druidry.
His face showed what he thought of my interrupting his lecture which had other points I’ve forgotten which annoyed the crap out of me. When I put this incident up on my Facebook status I got a bunch of people saying I had probably made his day giving him a chance to display his knowledge but there several problems with this theory:
1. It gave me no credit for knowing anything about Druidry when I had just said I was one and I don’t think it would have made any difference if I had told him my true status was Arch Druid. He didn’t seem to care that I had any knowledge at all and was really annoyed with me correcting his lecture.
2. He was bloody wrong on several points and seemed to know nothing about Modern Druidry since he brought up the dudes who started swanning around in the 1800s but didn’t seem to connect that it had people now who practiced it. He thought Druids were only in Britain and visibly bristled when I told him Pythagoras had written about his contact with the Druids.
3. He was really stuck on that stupid Christian legend of Mary Magdalene going to Britain to raise Jesus’ children and by then I was poking the bear and said well some legends said she was with the Cathars in France another thing he got his back up when I said it.
Why? Oh why do men feel the need to lecture women on topics women can show they display knowledge in and comprehensive knowledge at that? I’ve been at parties with a good friend who is a well recognized seismologist and seen men lecture her on earthquakes. Really? She has a PhD in astrophysics and has worked all her life on earthquake science and you, dude, who read one book feels you have the need to explain how the earth moves? Shut up!
Some men seem to think they have to display their lack of knowledge like a peacock displaying their plumes. And nothing is more annoying than being captured by an ignorant boor who needs to puff out their chests. They seem not to know or care that the person they are lecturing at has a brain and might actually know something about the subject. Whenever I got a chance to get a word in to say something he interrupted me mid comment. Mormon dude here at work is just as bad and he’s only in his 30s. I keep wanting to ask if he’s spoken to his Holy Mother lately.
I thank heavens for men like the ones who present papers at the Pagan Studies Conference who actually listen and intelligently discuss and ask questions. I love them very much and I love that they respect all the women who present at the conference. I love that it has so many women who present on a variety of topics but it makes idiots like the guy on the bus that much more annoying. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be patted on the head and told “good dog” by men who mansplain. Arghhhhh!