Mansplain And Simple



Mark Paul, of The Irish Times

You may have read an opinion piece about feminism in Wednesday’s The Irish Times by the newspaper’s business affairs correspondent Mark Paul.

Full disclosure: we have some ‘previous‘.

Mr Paul’s  article, entitled ‘Feminists busy shooting themselves in the foot‘, included the following:

Carelessly entering a Twitter debate on feminism or sexism as a straight, white male can be a hazardous thing. It’s a bit like wandering into a coop full of angry chickens who have armed themselves with machine guns. They riddle you with bullets, then spit on your corpse and call you a nasty fox.

Everybody, even the most ardent feminist, knows that most men aren’t lecherous, drooling, breast-grabbing misogynists. That is not the point, they will tell you: all women have been subjected to some sort of unwanted male attention in a pub or at work or while walking down the street. This is probably true to varying degrees. And that is lamentable.

Some feminists clearly espouse that all men are complicit in this activity or are responsible for it in some way, whether or not they engage in it. You may not have slapped any backsides or pulled any bra straps, but you’re a man, the orthodoxy goes, and your collective predilection for dirty jokes causes other men to harass women.

You’re not supposed to object to this stupid proposition. Not if you’re a man. If you do, you’re derailing the debate and bringing the focus back on to your own sorry, privileged self. It’s not about you, Mr Man. It’s about women. Right?

Further to this…

Max H Omosapien writes:

And lo it is come to pass. The hero prophesied in the ancient texts (written by men) stands among us. And as foretold he has raised his voice on high, and standing firmly upon the pinnacle of Mount Irish Times, with his cloak of privilege and probably his pendulous and prodigious testicles flapping in the breeze, he has bravely declared the utterly heartfelt, unique and never before spoken message: “Feminism, you’re doing it wrong.”

Can you feel his compassion for the many female victims of sexual assault and intimate partner abuse?

Can you feel his anger towards the perpetrators of these abuses?

Can you feel his frustration with the unequal representation of women in nearly all areas of governance and social structures?

Can you feel how tenderly and respectfully he reaches out to communicate this to his sisters?

Can you feel his unquenchable desire to work tirelessly to right these wrongs?

Me neither.

I see what I always see when a man cries crocodile tears for the state of feminism. I see a bruised ego that instead of fighting the real and urgent battles I mentioned above would rather fight the rising oppressed under a false flag of friendship.

A two-faced troll with the privilege to view all this as a game of internet argument and semantics. Someone who unconsciously or otherwise understands that equality means the erosion of the unearned privileges he enjoys as a man.

And this is a scary thought; I mean who wants to just give all that up for nothing. It’s pretty sweet after all. But they’re not a monster. They also believe in equality (in an abstract way). So how do they solve this?

They become trojan egalitarians.

I’m sure you’ve met many. They don’t actually want equality. But they can’t admit to themselves that they don’t want equality so they instead take up an unimpeachable position as high-minded, truly objective crusaders for and experts on equality.

Then strangely, they set their sights on what to them is the most important work someone in their position as a high-minded, truly objective crusaders for equality can do; they fight against feminism.

Not patriarchal systems. Not an archaic and ineffectual legal system.

No, feminism.

Do you see how clever this is? If you define the rising power of the oppressed as the true enemy of equality then you get to fight it instead of what’s actually causing the inequality.

Meaning you get to simultaneously feel like a good person fighting for equality while at the same time hampering the progress of those who, among others, are actually fighting for equality.

And by doing this you are also ensuring that you can all the while in clear conscience hold onto your sweet little male privilege.

It’s genius. It’s evil, unconscious, depressing, Gordian knot-cutting genius and it’s everywhere.

Even in the Irish Times.


Feminists busy shooting themselves in the foot (Mark Paul, Irish Times)

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109 thoughts on “Mansplain And Simple

  1. The Real Jane

    Poor old him. Maybe the so-called “ladies” will leave him alone the next time he tries to get them to do feminism right.

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      Nah, clampers is on his own today. I’m tagging out early.

  2. Bruce Wee

    Take Cover!! If the “Mini Marathon” debate is anything to go by (260+ comments), this should be a doozy

  3. Malta

    Didn’t know about the “previous”, didn’t think I could like him less, but now I do.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Yeah… smug git doesn’t cover it really. He’s the kind of person who needs a daily slapping to the back of the head to keep him from getting too big for his boots.

      1. Bob

        He actually reminds me of the type of Broadsheet commentator who people just mock for a few posts and then ignore him. So that means the Times will hire any of us!

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Eh… Actually I would. That’s the way this is supposed to work. If you’re being an asshole, you’re being an bottomhole. Whether you have ladybits or testicles is irrelevant l.

          1. Yep

            Well youre ahead of your time. Generally, the comeuppance you mention would be not be seen as appropriate against a woman. Unless you’re a woman….i guess

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            I think feminism is more to do with changing attitudes to both sexes, not just for women. It exists for both. There are some very valid arguments for gender equality. Not for females, but both genders. I’ve posted a link below of Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech. It describes perfectly what true feminism is about. Not man-hating, or demonizing them because society is the way it is.

  4. Waddy Dilson

    I was about to start taking bets on how long it would take Jane to post —- Think she was off before the starting pistol.

  5. Steve

    His start was woeful but he made some valid points. Even my partner who is a big fan of Maccabe , O’neill et al , admitted that. He seemed to have received awful abuse on Twitter since.

    Some of it valid, some of not so valid. Maccabe pretty much said to him yday go back to your “sports” writing and leave the real battle to us. Very dismissive and not constructive.

    Sexism is alive and real in Ireland. Patriarchy also affects men. The notallmen stuff completely misses the point.

    But there are four words which summed up systemic , legal and institutional discrimination against Irish men for decades.

    Mater semper certa est.

    The law was changed last year, hopefully case law will change also.

      1. Anomanomanom

        If its just because your man then yes it is, same if it was against a women just for being female.

      2. Anne

        It’s not abuse.. it’s like they riddle you with bullets, then spit on your corpse and call you a nasty fox. lol

  6. Caroline

    haha. Look at his comedy villain face.

    He’d actually be quite attractive if he could tone down the smug. That’s the real shame.

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Careful now Caroline. He may kidnap you and tie you to some train tracks, whilst laughing in a smugly sinister fashion.

    2. rotide

      If there was a picture of a woman who wrote a piece on feminism and I said ‘haha, look at her comedy old bitter hag face’ , I’m pretty sure you’d be the first to take issue with that Caroline.

      Also, calling him smug compared to the tone of the rebuttal compounds the irony

      1. Caroline

        I know you’re joking right. I know you know the point of my comment is to elicit comments exactly like yours (but if it waz woman!!). That’s the whole point of going straight for a comment about how he looks. That’s the whole point of using the “would actually be attractive if only…” trope. Now I know you know this, so I’m femmsplaining it only for people who might have missed it.

  7. rotide

    Condescending tone? Check.
    Use the word ‘priveledge’ at first available oppurtunity? Check

    Yep, this is doing online feminism right.,

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Check your privilege!

      I fupping hate that expression. Makes me twitchy and violent.

      1. Junkface

        Modern Americanisms like “Mansplaining”, “check your privelage” etc…I hate them all! They really can be the most irritating people on Earth at times.

        1. Owen C

          Remember that time when Anne Marie McNally accused me of mansplaining when i pointed out factual inaccuracies in her analysis of a serious issue? And she never apologised or took it back? Good times. Go on the Feminazis..

          1. Anne

            Remember that time I pointed out factual inaccuracies in your analysis of what Stephen Donnelly said on the radio, on a very serious issue, in relation to the discounts vulture funds have been receiving. Remember? I never got an apology either.

          2. rory

            Now ‘Feminazi’, that’s an irritating word. But like ‘social justice warrior’, it’s a useful description, as it communicates a lot about the person who uses the term. (i.e. They’re a tw@t, stay away.)

  8. Anomanomanom

    Both those piece seem to me to be privileged people with the same tone and poo with no difference bar the sex of the writer.

    1. human

      Poor old Moyest and Don hate chess, Whites go first and the queen has to protect the king :)

  9. eamonn clancy

    The man’s got balls, unlike men who call themselves Feminists, and said what needed to be said.

    1. ahjayzis

      Really? I’m convinced the less feminist men are the smaller their dick. Funny old world.

    2. Medium Sized C


      Writing a lengthy article moaning about how people hurt his feelings when he talks about feminism.
      Real Balls.

      The kind of balls that built the pyramids.
      Them are some great big manly testicles.

  10. dav

    oh hell, it’s the flegs argument all over again. Trying reason with 2 groups that have nothing but hate

  11. Harry Molloy

    The piece was written to incite anger, he’s probably an eejit.
    The rebuttal was equally as bad and containing abuse that probably wouldn’t be acceptable in any other circumstances.

    The real egalitarians are educating their sons and their daughters to set an example for others to follow rather than throw words around.

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Come on, now. It’s unfair to expect one to criticise an anti feminist without also getting a dig in at feminism. It’s feminism’s fault I can’t get lai…I mean, nothing.

  12. Cop On

    Wind up distraction as the Irish Times struggles with the Orlando murderer being gay. Deafening silence on the Letters page about that event in the IT, eh?

  13. Rev Henry Woods

    Feminism is the Jewish War on Women.

    Almost every Feminist in the last 100 years was/is Jewish.

    The Suffragette and Women’s rights Movements fight the good fight, but the modern Feminist is a cancer on Humanity.

    1. The Real Jane

      Yes, but can you explain your unique insight into the correct use of the capital letter?

      1. Rev Henry Woods

        Aha yes.
        I know this. It’s lesson 2 of the Pooposters Guide to the Internet,

        1) Call the opposing posters ‘racists’ or ‘sexist’ or whatever ‘ist’ is in fashion.
        2) Point out grammatical errors.
        3) Press ALT + F4 and pretend it never happened.

        Go ahead Dear.

        1. pedeyw

          4) Make racist/sexist statements then belittle opposing arguments by pretending they are in fact not racist or sexist and opponent is just jumping on a band wagon or looking for a reason to be offended.
          5) Imply Racist/Sexist statements are facts rather than opinions
          6) Claim bravery for “just saying what everyone is thinking”

        2. dan

          ‘Every piece of filth and bile they spew is to keep women down.’
          ‘ the opposing posters “racists” or “sexist” or whatever “ist” is in fashion.’

  14. whut

    Max didn’t address anything Mark said in his article though. Mark made a very good point that shouting down men who say “not all men” doesnt help, but instead they should be educating these men, instead of just scolding them. All the online feminist response to this piece has been much like Max’s.. name calling. It’s because he’s right. and he’s a man. They can’t just say “hm good point actually.” Because a lot of feminists, mostly twitter ones, aren’t really after equality anymore, they’ve gone way past that and now just hate men.

    1. Ricky Ricardo

      Why should anyone have to educate others on an ideology? How lazy is that standpoint? “Someone criticised me but I’m not going to consider why or educate myself because it’s their job to teach me not to be an asshat.”

      In what other arenas of public discourse would that be a criticism? They’re “scolding” men. Come on now.

      It also has the nifty effect of taking responsibility off of people to educate and regulate themselves. “Well you may have a valid criticism, but since you’re not willing to take the time out of what may be a busy day to educate me (and every other person you see with this stance or opinion), I’m not going to consider that you may have a point.”

      1. whut

        its easy to say people should educate themselves, when you’re an educated person. But if that were the case everything would be grand now. but its not. there will always be people to educate, they wont seek it out themselves. so like it or not, thats the only way forward, to educate people about it, rather than simply stating “its ridiculous that people have to be taught about this, they should know”

        so i think he’s right in saying that when people get into conversation about sexism, and a guy says.. and remember, this is what this is about … a guy says “yes but not all men are like that” that they are then given an explanation, rather than ‘eurgh, what an idiot.’ so its something he should already know, but does that mean dont teach him?

        1. The Real Jane

          But this is him talking about how he inserted himself into a conversation that didn’t include him and instructed everyone about the same old tedious stuff that any discussion of feminism attracts and then didn’t like how that went for him.

          Women are not seeking him out to discuss feminism, from his own account.

        2. MoyestWithExcitement

          “there will always be people to educate, they wont seek it out themselves”

          Some people are not worth educating but the stupid things they say in public should still be ridiculed.

          1. Medium Sized C

            Equality between the sexes.
            If you claim to be feminist, you are saying you believe in equality between the sexes.
            Not universal equality between all.

            Are you proposing that there is something hypocritical in someone who believes in equality between the sexes not believing there should be equality for people who do not believe in equality between the sexes?

            Because that would be really stupid.

          2. whut

            oh my days .. Medium Sized C .. that is the most hypocritical thing of all. “i want equality between the sexes, not equality for all.” .. you’re literally saying we are all equal but some are more equal than others.

  15. Tish Mahorey

    Every two bit half bottomed columnist is writing about ‘Feminism’ these days. And they’re often the first ones to flirt and bat their eyelids to blag into whatever gig or club is hot. They use their feminine charms when it suits them.

    These hacks will write about whatever hot topic their editors want. It’s money at the end of the day. Their opinions change like the wind and usually aren’t more than angry rants.

    1. Starina

      so they like being paid less and worrying about sexual assault and watching their sons and brothers struggle with expressing themselves because they’ve been told it’s not manly to have feelings? smart as in SMRT, not smart as in intelligent.

    2. Harry Molloy

      All the smartest women I know are feminists who lead by example by being admirable human beings.

      1. Harry Molloy

        if you’re speaking to me my last three managers and department heads have been women so yeah, I suppose their place where they decided it was

    3. ahjayzis

      Smartly dressed in a pinny and curlers ya mean?

      “I’m an educated gal and I’ve my head on my shoulders, but that doesn’t mean my husband doesn’t have the right to rape me. More tea, dear?”

  16. Mulder

    Talk about him shooting himself in the ehh, foot or possibly his ehh, other orifice.
    And regards that orifice, take yer pick.
    Possibly not the one he talks through or.

  17. Medium Sized C

    Look into my eyes. Look into the eyes.
    The Eyes. The Eyes.
    Not around the eyes….

  18. Gorev Mahagut

    Slightly off-topic I know, but I quite enjoy mansplaining and I think all of this is just giving the hobby a bad name. I’d like to see more women take up mansplaining, also greater ethnic diversity would be welcome. The mansplaining community does have a bit of a reputation for being sexist, xenophobic and reactionary. It’s a distraction from our core values of fact-based conversation and motiveless inter-personal tedium.

    1. Chris

      I think both the females and the males could use a good solid mansplaining on the benefits of decorum and manners. Shame on all involved I say. And some mansplaining for you Mr Mark Paul… As a straight white male you don’t have to enter every ‘Twitter debate’, before you wade belligerently into a so called ‘Twitter debate’ you should take at minimum a brisk constitutional to consider the murky depths you may be wading into morally or at most consider complete rethink of your life to date as you may be becoming a cretin.

    2. Nigel

      Mostly I like to mansplain alone by myself in a room with the door closed, and sometimes I watch mansplaiining videos on the internet or read mansplaining magazines but someday I’d like to go out and meet other people who might be into mansplaining for some mutual mansplaining where we could mansplain each other. If you;re into mansplaining or think you know somebody who might be into mansplaining please call this number, which is a phone number, yeah? You put it into your phone, dear and press the buttons until it rings, okay? Okay? Got it now? Good, don’t do yourself an injury, dear.

  19. it me

    there defo are loads of feminists who aren’t for equality, they just fully hate dudes. funnily enough, in my experience, feminists are submissive in the bedroom.

  20. Peter Dempsey

    Max sounds terribly condescending and self-righteous. I wonder if he is a friend of Jane Ruffino?

  21. :-Joe

    The general understanding of the term “Feminism” and all that it inspires reminds me of how the term “Socialism” is received in the US. Some people clearly associate it with all kinds of random ideas and notions and can’t be bothered to accept the facts that it’s long been a necessary cultural response to historically INTENTIONAL and overwhelmingly BLATANT inequality pointed directly against women.

    It would be so much easier if people would educate themselves on some facts and declare their point of understanding before getting into discussions and opinions about the subject. I know next to nothing about it. btw, Even better, can the supporters of feminism and equality take the higher ground and progress to using more inclusive terms like “humanism” which is more progressive for both sexes?

    I say this because it’s clearly still a very slow change for a lot of men when they hear women shouting for better rights and equality. Some clearly will never take it seriously and I would go so far to say we’re in danger of creating the usual polemic precedent of a “masculanist” movement or something else just as daft as some kind of backlash in response and the last dying breath of the auld mysogonist could go on for decades more.

    I’m happy to describe myself as a feminist knowing that for many other men and women regardless of their reasoning even that is a simple idea that is just a bridge too far. As far as I’m concerned if you support equality of the sexes you are technically a feminist and half way to something akin to humanism hopefully.
    Is there really anyone sane out there who wouldn’t support equality for all?… Uhhrgh… RHETORICAL Please don’t answer that one. After so long trying to get where we should already be, do we really need to keep using a term so predominantly that it’s misunderstanding seems to hold it’s very own idea and purpose back?

    I’d like to see feminism evolve into something more inclusive like humanism and women should take the opportunity with both hands to be credited and responsible for being the bigger sex, so to speak… no jokes intended… Both sexes should encourage it as reparations for the last few hundred years of stupidity at the hands and from the minds of foolish men.

    I don’t know maybe call it the Equalizist movement or something until we go intergalactic and call it humanist vs alien.

    the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
    synonyms: the women’s movement, the feminist movement, women’s liberation, female emancipation, women’s rights

    1.characterized by or denoting attitudes or values held to be typical of men.
    “masculinist language”
    noun advocate of the rights or needs of men.
    “new masculinists”

    Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasises the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition.

    Equalizist (Rhymes with “Legalise It”)
    A human who digs being equal without dwelling on the past but also does not forget how bad it was or could be again.
    Not to be confused with “The Equalizer”.

    The Equalizer
    The 80’s hit TV series starring Edward Woodward as Robert McAll, a mildly-violent wealthy ex-military vigilante with a proclivity for protecting and rescuing victimised women for no reward.


      1. :-J

        Clampers, my auld sod of healthy turf, never give in to fear or avoid the good fight…

        You, me and many other men (& all those beautiful women) along side us have to take the responsibility to look past the battle and see the long term war.

        The so-called “feministazi” is not a cause, it’s just an effect.

        For every action, there is an equal AND opposite reaction.
        – Some fupp’n nerdy dead person from history who created a fact.

        Think about it, what would Robert McAll do?…

        Even daily family TV in 80’s Ireland was telling us that women were mostly weak potential victims that we as men needed to protect from other men(i.e. potential rapists).

        Are all other men potential rapists?… Am I a potent…. urrgh…


    1. :-J

      If Mark Paul(Whatever kind of name is that supposed to be?) is a self serving, over-opinionated blow-hard that has learned to talk like that really wise old stranger that can solve your deepest problem with a mere glance down the local pint-shop to make you feel better but after thirty seconds of hearing him rationalize even what 2+2 equals and you then realize he is really just a ragged bag of populist poo well, then..

      Yes, you are correct.


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