University of Arizona

Do men really talk too much?

Do men really talk too much?

Fifty years after the birth of feminism, when its promise of gender liberation seemed closer and more distant than ever before, the word mansplaining arose to describe male domination of speech. Derived from an essay by the journalist Rebecca Solnit, mansplaining started as a joke, then appeared on the New York Times “word of the year” list and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The word succeeded because it describes a common social scenario so aptly. Solnit’s inspiration was a man at a party who, on learning that she had written a book about the film pioneer Eadweard Muybridge, lectured her on a recent book about Muybridge, which...

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