Mansplaining The Goddess

Mansplaining the Goddess has to be a new low. The term “mansplaining” comes from Rebecca Solnit’s essay (that became a book) called Men Explain Things To Me.  She deftly skewers the sort of males (yes, i know, not all men) who assume that they automatically know more about any given subject than a woman.

The book is rad, but it will likely make you furious. Solnit draws some fantastic conclusions.  They go way beyond – say – my typical experience of a taxi driver telling me how websites work.  Or even pompous “let me try to simplify this so that you might be able to understand it” lecturing.  (Solnit is a Sun-Mercury conjunction Cancerian with those two hooked up in a Grand Trine with Neptune + Chiron. )

Sadly, I am accustomed to a particular style of person feeling the need to tell me all about subjects I am informed on. But until recently, nobody has tried to mansplain the Goddess to me.  It was on Facebook and apropos of nothing, he launched into “Medusa had no real power” — “I hope you understand that Medusa only had her head full of snakes lent to her by Apollo”  and on and on.

Mansplaining The Goddess Is A Patriarchal Custom

It ignored that there is an extensive background to the Medusa myth way before the Grecian version. See Barbara Walker and Helene Cixous’s work on the topic for a start. The guy also assumed that I knew nothing at all or had never studied mythology. And, it was odd to have a man lecturing on my improper interpretation of a goddess.

It was textbook mansplaining and pompous trolling for attention, BUT it also made me question my reaction. WHY did it feel so poignant? Then I recalled how, during a traumatic and challenging girlhood, how thrilled I was to discover Isis, Persephone, Medusa, Ishtar, and more. Their powers blew my mind, the ordeals they survived, their temples and stories. Their roles were so broad but shrunk down with patriarchy into a Holy Ghost, Virgin Mother, and Whore of Babylon. By the way, parthenogenesis, which is when you can conceive and give birth to a baby with no man being anywhere in orb, is a classic goddess attribute.

Virgin Births Are An Ancient Goddess Specialty

Along with their magical strengths and status, a lot of them were unabashedly whores, spinsters, witches, single mothers, or cat ladies. Some had multiple lovers – others sought solitude in wild enchanted retreats – those choices did not define them. They went on quests, ruled realms, moved between dimensions, time-traveled and did magic.  Ancient Queens and Priestesses prayed to them and attempted to connect with their energy or archetype in dreams. They wrote hymns to them or had poems about their goddess inscribe upon their tombs. Women had household altars to them and publicly sanctioned holidays for their worship.

Read at the right time, books such as Goddesses In Everywoman, Women Who Run With The Wolves and The Women’s Encylopedia Of Myth and Wisdom are life-altering.

The Facebook troll mansplaining the Goddess was just a particularly pitiful version of a long line of men discrediting feminine strength and divinity. Or, acknowledging it but saying it was merely on loan from men. So if you’re not “nice” enough, they could presumably grab it back. This Christmas I am going to be raising a glass to the Holy Ghost who was, according to the Gnostics is Sophia – the Goddess of Wisdom.


Image: Paul Lewin – The Visitor

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I’ve so enjoyed this thread, and loved the originalblog post.


Sorry this happened to you, Mystic! So ridiculous…mansplaining is a recurring theme in probably every woman’s life. A Sagittarius guy who found out I was an astrologer started mansplaining Astrodienst to me and tried to continue even after I told him that I used it frequently. It does not, for some reason, occur to some men that they could just ASK about your familiarity with a topic instead of launching into a monologue. I consider it my role in these situations to stop him cold, tell him I already know, and ask him a difficult question about the philosophy/ethics/details of… Read more »


I just got a season wish from my ex BIL. l was reminded, in my mind, of his wife (my ex’s sister). Her ability to mansplain is legendary. She used to drive my ex mad with her ability to explain the obvious. From afar it was a sport to watch. But in reality it was unadulterated arrogance. Which leads me to think that it is not a male-only preserve as the name implies or misleads. Again l think it is low-expressions of certain aspects in the astro regardless of gender. Granted though men appear appear to be double in number.… Read more »


No doubt your ex’s sister was annoying about over-explaining the obvious. But she wasn’t a mansplainer. Mansplaining, as Solnit defines it, is a symptom of patriarchy because so many men assume that women know less than them, even in the face of evidence to support womens’ expertise. Solnit was once in a situation herself in which a man explained her own book TO her, even after her friend piped up and said “She’s the author of that book!” He didn’t even apologize for his error. That kind of assumed authority is about power, not personality traits. It’s different because it’s… Read more »


I did read that account about her book where he arrogantly

But l don’t understand how the “not all men” argument undermines the work of feminism. Enlighten me please. Most of the ppl l associate with hold equality, in all its forms, paramount to good social interaction valuing ppl for themselves; not any articular demographic.


arrogantly * dismissed her*

I speak as a very Uranian person who abhors inequality.


I also work for equality, hoping that someday we can see people only as individuals, and not as part of a larger group based on gender/sex/race, but in my opinion we aren’t there yet. So what I mean when I say that “not all men” arguments undermine the work of feminism is that they distract from the larger point — that patriarchy is a social power structure disproportionately affecting women, and though it’s often experienced through individual interactions, those interactions add up to a larger social pattern. For example, in my work with sexual assault and rape culture, I have… Read more »


That is a reasoned and measured response. The only thing that concerned me was that what you said earlier sounded like a generalisation. I’m glad to know it isn’t.


I am so there
Lost count of how many times it’s happened is week.
The difference for me is, I simply don’t engage.
I can’t waste my precious time on morons.
I just withdraw completely and know this is not the place I am supposed to be. It was sad at first. Now I’m tired but I don’t need to throw more energy at swine. I didn’t see it before. Now it’s a sign “jerk alert “


Love it, Invicta.


the most powerful phrase to me is:

they were deemed worthy of regard outside of the wife-daughter role

Hell yeah!


This too esp!


Barbara Walker also did an I Ching of The Goddess. Colour plates in middle of book that are very powerful. Just looked and saw it was a gift dated 1987! Given to me by what was called at the time A Radical Feminist Lesbian who i remember saying to me ‘you are a natural feminist’. Probably resulting from all girl schooling, working with women for many years in fashion and styling and a single mother who worked in what was then an exclusive male domain in management. Was also called a Macho Woman when Macho Men were the buzzword as… Read more »


Thought ‘mansplaining’ was blokes sitting with their legs wide open. Instead it’s their brain.


That’s manspreading. lol




Another version of the mansplainier is the FIGJAM .. Fuq I’m good just ask me 🙂

Year of the Phoenix

A couple of my favs right there! I too had the joy of discovering our shared buried history with these but the first inkling I had was Jitterbug Perfume – a novel which revealed Celtic pagan goddesses got me going! My classic manslaining experience was very recent, a friend of my eldest sister mocked me for using a fan on a hot day as there was already a breeze, when I said that I was especially warm with the hot flushes – he scoffed and told me it would be years before I would be having those could of course… Read more »


Love all the goddesses. I’ve reclaimed my personal power again recently and I’m feeling strong, grounded and powerful.

Hard to say which is my fave but I love the ancient Egyptians especially Isis. Also Artemis the warrior archer / huntress.

Great post.


Women Who Run With The Wolves was a life-altering read for me. On Sophia, I recommend Love and the Soul by Robert Sardello. I am making a list of the books recommended in this and the previous post. It seems very appropriate in the aftermath of the Full Moon in Gemini.


Love your name! Hehe 🙂
Also yes same for me re Women. I love the tone of Estes’s writing, inquiring and wise and aware.


Oh, and by the way, dumb fuq dude mansplaining to MM: The first thing that stuck out to me regarding your argument was your incorrect reference to Apollo. If you’re going to mansplain, try to at least know what you’re talking about, sweetie – it was actually Athena (yes, a goddess!) that gave Medusa her “power”, if that’s how you’re framing it.


Ah, yes – that perennial favorite mansplaining! LMFAO @ a guy trying to explain the mythos of Medusa to *the* Mystic Medusa – I hope you roasted his ass real good, girl!! In that same position I would most def make his dick feel as small as his brain (and have, many a time) – verbal emasculation comes real easy when you have a Hadean-flavored Gemini Mars. Don’t fuq with my intelligence, ever – I fight back. I won’t start it, but I’ll sure as hell finish it. I feel ya, though – try working in a very technical industry… Read more »


oh yeah, women in tech- or any typical male dominated field, I feel for you.


Cheers Mystic ?? Yes ! Lead with your heart and chin ??


Where did this Coach name come from? Lol and the ??? Are suppose to be stars and twinkles :/ oh well ….

Leo on the Rise

Mystic you are far too erudite I know to have told him to go fuq himself – though clearly that is what he so needs to do


I love Solnit’s writing and I love yours too Mystic! By the way, speaking of rad women, have you checked out Annie Sprinkle’s ecosexual movement? I love it entirely for the manifesto:


I liked Annie’s quip about her live show ‘Public Cervix Announcement’….lol.
She broke many boundaries did that lady regarding sex, her and Barbara Carellas teamed up in the 90’s to create Sex Positiveness as an antidote to HIV+ negativity that abounded at that time. Applied homeopathy ‘if sex can kill-so can it cure’.


Yes I saw that comment and was initially driven to write a big let me explain this to you stupid man etc then thought, that’s playing into his game. Great to see your reaction and response. Some people are all intellect and no magic or soul! His ignorance is astonishing


Your 2nd last sentence captures neatly the issue.

I think the main problem is having arrogance in the 1st House


Beautiful, Mystic.
Just like Clarissa PE – your blog was, ‘Read at the right time’, balm to this feminist, cat-loving, moon-dancing, tarot-reading, sign-seeking soul… xo

Taurus Vixen

Interesting but I have been experiencing this phenomenon from women lately. As in female family member who recently became a Nurse lecturing me on the importance of patient mobility in a hospital setting. Really? I’ve only been a Physical Therapist working inpatient at hospitals for 18 years. She is talking about getting mothers who have delivered a day or two earlier out of bed. Me? I get people out of bed the day after major heart surgery with full stacked IV poles, wires going into their heart, chest tubes, etc coming out of them. For 18 years but what do… Read more »


well in hindu myths the male-god power is not really theirs unless supported by the life-giving energy of a female goddess (vishnu-lakshmi, shiva-sarasvati).
there are individuals (men and women) who attain some magical power alone, but the source of it is mostly dual in nature, male+female

but then: nothing in nature is more natural than anything else. i’m sure there’s a myth to support any life situation/worldview


YES!The power behind the throne AND the throne.


I think even the Arjuna-Krishna thing was fluid in gender, deep in its passionate friendship, loving in the physical and sensuous. But in that culture it takes a Goddess to be able to move through the boundaries of “free sex” (it’s become a political term, much to the surprise of local politicians in that country), rather than an earthly woman.


re reading women who run with the wolves.
need to get that barbara walker bk x


I feel as this post echoes some things I’ve been seeing lately, in my life and the news. That is, as there is a greater awareness of the ‘decline of white male power’, that there are some trying harder to re-assert it. There is some grieving going on too. I think it is a hard thing for ‘white males’ to process and come to terms with. Masculinity is being re-invented and this is tumultuous for some. Who am I if I am not defined as superior in relation to ‘other’? For women, sudden re-expressions of ‘old’ ways of being (like… Read more »


Toasting too to the goddesses that guide us and to MM who tells us their truths. Uni is over for 2 weeks so time to have some fun at last. I shall call my new van Persephone in honour.




I loved goddesses in every woman, I read it in college along with a lot of Jung and Sartre, it was definitely a life changer. 🙂


I read as much Rebecca Solnit as I can, But may I also offer up a couple other titles: The Moon Under her Feet by Kintsler, implanted in my mind more than 10 years ago and is still up front in my consciousness. And of course The Red Tent is th retelling of a tired bible story but from a woman’s perspective and it is riveting. They were good books for a budding young feminist.

Nike Vk

I love the moon under her feet! Very engaging–I recommend it lots, “it’s got sexy Jesus”


I was just reading Madonna’s Billboard acceptance speech, feels kind of apt to this post- anyone else read it? I’ve never been a huge fan but now I think this woman.. ahem.. rocks 😉


I did too just 5 minutes ago. Powerful!


I read it, and was so moved that I cried. Then I watched it on YouTube and was so disappointed to hear and feel the hate and bitterness that seeped into her delivery of that wonderful speech.

Just my experience. xx


wow. ive always loved her.
lillith personified, no?




I disagree. She was holding back tears…


Thanks vikingwoman. I’ll look at my Lilith. I’ve been examining my own beliefs about power this week and life has graciously served up some learning experiences. I feel like Lilith is trying to shape me into a more whole and powerful woman but I’ve spent a lifetime playing nice. Really, really nice. Liz Green says there’s an Amazonian termagant aspect to me… She’s been repressed and is starting to seethe and bubble.

In the past I’ve found (and still find) raw anger frightening.

Perhaps that’s why I responded to Madonna’s speech with judgement and rejection.


Ooh. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on myself there. It wasn’t judgement and rejection. I heard bitterness and hatred and it held a charge for me that is currently being addressed.


Just saw mars is moving into pisces! I’m not an Astro hacker, but my sun and mars are in Pisces. Sun in 8th house, mars in 7th.


Got a lot of buried (and at times explosive) rage in my chart, my dear, and even for me living with a Mars Pluto Square, a Merc in Aries, in t-square with Uranus and Sun, i will also attest to the fear of exposing my buried rage. Though it happens before or after, due to my Sag Asc, Jupiter in Sag Rising up out of Twelfth. You can respond as you like and do. It’s the thinking afterward, not the guilting, that refines the potency of that pure rage. I’ve no doubt you will channel the judgment and the tears… Read more »


Sigh. Perfectly pertinent. Thank you.


I’ve always liked her, not always her music or choices, but she is a strong woman doing whatever the fuck she wants to, and she is vilified and scorned now that she’s over 40 — men are allowed to age and still be ‘sexy’ and provocative but women are not.

Love that speech. In a world of Britneys and Mileys who are feted because they’re still young and perceived as submissive to men/the music business, she is her own woman. Go Madge!


What a beautiful post! It’s a perfect time of year to bring this up and you almost have to thank the guy for demonstrating the mansplaining, just to we could have this rich and uplifting discussion. And it’s good for me to hear as I can, if not mansplain, Gem-splain, jumping in on any opportunity to express the knowledge stored in my head. Not everyone wants an rave on the origins of whatever, just because they brought it up. So it’s a reminder to me. Wait until they ask! Live isn’t one long game of Trivial Pursuit. I wonder what… Read more »


Lol, I recently woman-splained something to a man about men, but with Gem Rising I will now think of it as gem-splaining incident.
My partner is multi Gem but he comes across as a Uranian being Aqua Rising; he is too indifferent/respectful to ‘splain anything to anyone.


Living here with teen-splaining-


I have Gem rising and try to be more conscious of listening rather than filling the gaps with my weird knowledge of trivia which sometimes peeps don’t need or want…


My partner is a massive, massive mansplainer — 1st house Cap mercury, Sagg sun and Neptune rising, 7th house Gemini moon-Mars retro. He has vast receptacles of knowledge and can and will talk! Endlessly.


Hehehe… ah yes, I can ‘splain’ and I suppose it’s my mutual reception of gem/jupes and saggi/merc. Wait til they ask… ! I wonder sometimes if the mansplain (it could equally be ladysplain I guess) is more about demonstrating some prowess and impressing or seeking feedback that fits more with hey look, I gave you this…do you like me? Rather than you know nothing and I am the all informed one around here… of course, they’re out there as well. Hehe, I imagine life can be one long game of trivial pursuit (or anything else someone choses) if that’s a… Read more »


I share something *I know* and Mercury rx here we go…



Fantastic word Kimmy! God, I’m terrible at this and also extremely aware of it, especially when the person’s eyes glaze over when I “casually” bring political philosophy into a discussion about something inane like work


*paws the ground*

I also have a packed 3rd house… Sun, Moon & Venus in *coughs* Gemini…


I’ve got a friend, Quicksilver is his name in my phone, first 4 planets Gem + Asc. He mansplains to all. He sees not gender or race or religion in doing so. And he is infuriatingly flawless at doing it. Ironically he knows noyhing about Dylan. If you do it to a woman is it misogyny? When you do it to a man is it misandry? Or if you do it to both is it misanthropy? About a fortnight ago l comforted a colleague (Gem Sun, but her Moon Venus and Mars 7th Crab) after being hatcheted by an all-knowing… Read more »


That’s horrible. I’ve had a few arien’s bring me to tears… I’m not much of a fan of confrontation, it’s the lack of intellect that gets to me.

Strange, I don’t much about Dylan either!


Funny, so many Gems don’t rate Dylan.
The Gem Story Teller Personified.


I don’t know that much about him and have never really been drawn to learn, I was thinking about your comment and wondering “why is it so” and it struck me that he just seems like a bit of a misery guts and might not be much fun. I’m sure I’m wrong but that’s the impression and you know Gemini and impressions.


He is like Coober Pedy.
Ugly on top but contains exquisite GEMS below.

His story telling, his surrealism, his incisiveness, his empathy.

Most ppl only know 2/3 songs. Yet he is peer-acknowledged as the best.


As a misery-guts Gem, I love him passionately. My first favorite song, not radio but the one I learned to play on the piano that made my soul cry at age 7, was Chimes of Freedom. I went to college in Minnesota because of him. I am also a Girl from the North Country, though… <3


Ive always wanted to meet ‘that’ girl.

“Every Grain of Sand” is a song l can’t stop thinking about as well as “Jokerman”


I love Emmylou Harris’s version of Every Sand. Am rethinking my allegiance to all Jokermen/Tricksters of late, if such conceptas allegiance even apply. >:(

Nike Vk

I honestly think just about every man living in the patriarchy is prone to man-splaining. I don’t think it is intentional or malicious–I just feel like it is a natural behavior in response to living in a society that perpetuates the idea that what men have to say really is very important. And the thing is, everybody perpetuates this–and it’s not going to change until we all recognize it–and it’s not necessarily going to be easy. Studies have been done with groups of men and women where, even though the men actually speak more, more time, more words–when asked, they… Read more »


“You always talk so much, you women”
Then there is the Bechdel (Bechtel?) Test.


In both studies of classrooms and meetings/conferences, men talk about 70% of the time and women 30%. Teachers are more likely to call on boys for answers. And when women actually talk only 40% or 50% of the time, men perceive it as women talking the majority of the time. They are so used to having more airtime and having their opinions taken more seriously. Also interviewers (and other men in the conversation) interrupt women much more often). I quickly googled to find some evidence but I have read this several times before.

Nike Vk

THAT SAID–I did have a Gem sun friend once in an acting class, and a student who was doing a scene where she was pregnant was getting movement direction from the teacher– when he felt the need to chime in with his opinion–



My husband has a ninth house Jupiter in Aries, Moon-Pluto-Mercury conjunct in libra, and a Leo rising. He loves to learn and remembers it all. He also has Uranus in the third at 29 libra. He’s not a condescending mansplainer but he loves to talk and explain. He’s very emphatic about what he knows and believes.


Oh you’ve probs got nothing on the Jupiter-in-Sag-‘Splain, Lady! And life is not one long game of Philisopho-Pursuit, either.

Didn’t respond immediately this post came out because i just had to reflect on myself as blowhard-splainer.

dark star

Toasting the feminarchy! Mansplainers can drone on to themselves as we all walk away.


That guy sounds like a total bitch 😉


Yeh mate, don’t dog my cats!

Was asked this week, “Do you ever call men bitches?” My reply, “Mostly it’s men.” This was met with a laugh and, “I’ve never been called one before.” I laughed in reply, “Stick around.”

Ah, gotta love my mates.


I soooooo needed to read this.This to infinity. Im heading into crone stage…and im just getting a taste of personal power emerging. Re reading this a few times and will ponder a longer response.

I am working on re-telling some myths in drama form…its been calling to me for the last year.


cant wait for crone hood!


Yep! My favorite lines from this post follow:

“Leaving aside their magical strengths and status, a lot of them were unabashedly what today would be called whores, spinsters, witches, single mothers or cat ladies.”

I am walking assuredly into the realm of unabashedly being what I am whatever *they* want to call me: witch, crone, single mother, spinster, cranky bitch 😉

And, yes, Mystic, I raise a toast to Sophia with you!! Here here!


Oh Dear Mystic!!!

Yes, that pitiful need to assert old world male superiority! Thank Goddess for the enlightened beings in your community!! Xx

Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

ohh wow. That goes deep.

I think it’s a stark reminder of the patriarchy and should only harden one’s resolve to live fiercely.

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