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Frustrated husband explains to wife that he is not a 'mansplainer'. AITA?

Frustrated husband explains to wife that he is not a 'mansplainer'. AITA?


"AITA for calling my husband a 'mansplainer?'"


I (F35) just had an argument with my husband (M37) over this, but posting from an alt for anonymity. FYI, my entire job experience since I was 17 has been spent in male-dominated fields. Think abnormally minuscule female to male ratios in almost every job I’ve had since then. This is relevant later.

He was telling me about his day as a warehouse manager (normal, I enjoy hearing about his day). Apparently, over last week he interviewed and extended the offer to what will be the first female in his facility.

For some background, I will preface this by saying that he is a manager specifically to help the people who work under him. He’s a fantastic dude, empathetic, feminist, caring, will go ten extra miles.

I would recommend literally anyone work for him, even my own children if applicable. I have only the highest regard for him. Which is why this caught me So off guard!

He was telling me (obviously, I wasn’t there, so all the info I have is what he said he told the potential hire in the interview) that his only concern with hiring her is that she would be coming into an all male environment.

They will make off color jokes, they will give her grief at first for being new and being under the metrics then when she inevitably crushes them (she did better than any other applicant so far PERIOD on the physical/ability assessment) She would get shit for that too, some of the guys might try to pick her up, etc. but that he was (and genuinely is!!) trying to change the culture.

If any of you are female and have worked in a male-dominated field, this is pretty much standard operating procedure. It’s the same nearly everywhere I go and personally having someone tell me that it’s their only hang up to hiring me would be mildly offensive.

I didn’t say this however, I just mentioned that he was mansplaining the environment to her. I intended to say maybe he should approach it from a position of “hey I know you’re probably used to dealing with this, let me know asap if anyone crosses the line. We’re working to change it!” but he immediately jumped down my throat.

Apparently, to him calling him a “mansplainer” is on par with calling someone the N word. To me and the other women I’ve talked to, mansplainers are just common; likely generally with good intentions, but will still try to tell you things you already know. In other words, a very gentle AH. He said it’s a slur and I crossed a huge line.

I was using what I thought was a mild word for someone affably annoying that happens all the time. But I might be TA because maybe it registers high on the “horribly offensive “ scale and I didn’t realize it?

Also he said the actual conversation went very differently than the info he shared with me, which I makes sense as he’s not usually that tone deaf. I was just trying to provide the female side of the story based on my own experience. AITA for using the term “mansplain” to describe what my husband told me he said to a female interviewee?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

I'm female, and I don't believe that this constitutes as mansplaining. He was concerned about the environment that a female was about to enter. Sure, we've all heard stories about how male dominated workplaces are, but culture is very slowly changing.

Clearly his workplace isn't, as the jokes etc should of called out before it got to this point. She might not have worked in a solely male workplace, maybe there's always been 1 or 2 other females paving the way. She might not have the grit to handle it. He was just essentially warning her what may or may not happen.

YTA. Because mansplaining specifically relates to bias towards women it infers prejudice and sexism to whoever you are calling that. Given what else you’ve said about him and the effort he’s putting into levelling the playing field I’m not surprised he’s hurt that his partner in life thinks he is, at least in some small part, a bigot.


I don’t understand in what way he could be classified as a mansplainer. AFAIK, unless he was arrogant or dismissive of her, then he was just trying to give her a heads up. Did he have to?

Probably not because, as you said, women know this. Still, his intentions seemed good if he wasn’t being a jerk about it initially. So you using that term (potentially incorrectly) and him becoming overly defensive escalated things. Seems like a communication issue, not any asshole behaviour.

He’s being sensitive but I also don’t think he was mansplaining. She’s never worked there, he was just giving her a heads up. He’s also never been a woman so he doesn’t know she just expects it. He was trying to be nice. Also the term is generally dismissive and discourages you from trying to voice your thoughts.

ESH. I'm a woman and this doesn't sound like mansplaining to me, but also he shouldn't have overreacted to you calling it that, and calling it a 'slur' is ridiculous. I feel like both of you should work to have a more productive discussion about gender based on mutual understanding and things you agree on, instead of trying to categorize each other into harmful categories.

YTA - this is not mansplaining, this is a fair warning to the first female employee what to expect from her male coworkers. And believe me, from my own experience I can tell you that it will happen exactly as your husband described. If I had been talked to like that as a young woman, things might have been different and less painful. I'm really cheering for your husband right now!

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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