Mansplaining The Goddess

Filed in Inspiration

The term “mansplaining” comes from Rebecca Solnit’s essy (that became a book) called Men Explain Things To Me.  Deftly and with wit she absolutely 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. Some of the connections she draws are amazing.  They go way beyond – say – my classic 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. )

So i am used to a certain style of person feeling the need to laboriously explain shit that I actually know a lot about but never until the other day has someone tried to mansplain the Goddess to me.  It was on Facebook and apropos of nothing, he launches into this thing about “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. It was galling as it is (a) ignoring that there is a massive background to the Medusa myth way before the Grecian version – see Barbara Walker and Helene Cixous’s work on the topic for a start but (b) it was a male lecturing me on my (apparently limited) understanding of a Goddess figure.

So okay, mansplaining by the book with an element of pompous trolling for attention BUT it also made me question my reaction. WHY did it feel so poignant? And then i recalled how, during a difficult and some would say traumatic girlhood, the discovery that there were Goddesses (Persephone, Medusa, Ishtar, Isis…many more) was mind-blowing.

Their powers, that they overcame ordeals,  their temples, their stories, the reverence in which they were clearly held once upon a time, that they were deemed worthy of regard outside of the wife-daughter role, that they did whatever the hell they wanted. They had the power of parthogenesis – being able to give birth without having had sex, of which the Virgin Mary story is a pale echo – and of moving between different dimensions…or realms.

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. Some had multiple lovers – others sought solitude in wild enchanted retreats – those choices did not define them. They went on quests. They ruled realms. They dealt with shit.  Ancient Queens and Priestesses prayed to them and attempted to connect with their energy or archetype in dreams. They wrote hymns to them.

Read at the right time, books such as Goddesses In Everywoman, Women Who Run With The Wolves and/or The Womens Encylopedia Of Myth and Wisdom can be life-altering.

But is not attempting to say that any power held by a female deity is “not really theirs” and to assert this without any attempt to find out if the person you’re talking to has any knowledge or education on the subject the ultimate patriarchal mansplain?

This Christmas I am going to be raising a glass to the Holy Ghost who was, according to some scholars, Sophia – the Goddess of Wisdom.

Thoughts?

Image: Paul Lewin – The Visitor

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Hedgepig
Hedgepig

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

Gem
Gem

https://youtu.be/Qym6k2ogqTY

Love from Byron xxxx

fomalhaut_mc
fomalhaut_mc

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 »

Jokerman
Jokerman

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 »

fomalhaut_mc
fomalhaut_mc

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 »

Jokerman
Jokerman

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.

Jokerman
Jokerman

arrogantly * dismissed her*

I speak as a very Uranian person who abhors inequality.

fomalhaut_mc
fomalhaut_mc

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 »

Jokerman
Jokerman

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.

InvictaMM Member
Invicta

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 “

fomalhaut_mc
fomalhaut_mc

Love it, Invicta.

GemyogiMM Member
Gemyogi

the most powerful phrase to me is:

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

Hell yeah!

PiMM Member
Pi

This too esp!

Pegasus
Pegasus

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 »

Pegasus
Pegasus

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

GemyogiMM Member
Gemyogi

That’s manspreading. lol

Scorpio_RisingMM Member
Scorpio_Rising

lmao

davidlMM Member
davidl

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

Year of the Phoenix
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 »

GemyogiMM Member
Gemyogi

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.

McFish
McFish

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.

PiMM Member
Pi

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

LiberatingVenusMM Member
LiberatingVenus

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.

LiberatingVenusMM Member
LiberatingVenus

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 »

Ms.
Ms.

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

DasamaMM Member
Dasama

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

DasamaMM Member
Dasama

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

Leo on the RiseMM Member
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

AlouettaMM Member
Alouetta

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: http://ecosexbook.com/a-taste-of-ecosex-manifesto/

Pegasus
Pegasus

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’.

Catherine
Catherine

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

Jokerman
Jokerman

Your 2nd last sentence captures neatly the issue.

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

fishgirlMM Member
fishgirl

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 VixenMM Member
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 »

VenusInCancerMarsInScorpioMM Member
VenusInCancerMarsInScorpio

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

Pegasus
Pegasus

YES!The power behind the throne AND the throne.

milleunanotteMM Member
milleunanotte

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.

scorpiodawnMM Member
scorpiodawn

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

LedaB
LedaB

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 »

leogroover
leogroover

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.

GemyogiMM Member
Gemyogi

<3

ReikologyMM Member
Reikology

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. 🙂

GolightlyMM Member
Golightly

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.

rachelMM Member
rachel

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

UniversaliMM Member
Universali

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 😉
http://popgoesthearts.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/madonna-delivers-brutal-truth-during.html?m=1

JacquiMM Member
Jacqui

I did too just 5 minutes ago. Powerful!

Ali
Ali

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

scorpiodawnMM Member
scorpiodawn

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

Ali
Ali

True!

vikingwomanMM Member
vikingwoman

I disagree. She was holding back tears…

Ali
Ali

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.

Ali
Ali

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.

Ali
Ali

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.

milleunanotteMM Member
milleunanotte

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 »

Ali
Ali

Sigh. Perfectly pertinent. Thank you.

GemyogiMM Member
Gemyogi

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!

Kimmy
Kimmy

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 »

sphinxMM Member
sphinx

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.

LiliMM Member
Lili

Living here with teen-splaining-

fishgirlMM Member
fishgirl

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…

hdq
hdq

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.

CentaurusMM Member
Centaurus

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 »

CentaurusMM Member
Centaurus

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

baristagemMM Member
baristagem

Gem-splain!

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

baristagemMM Member
baristagem

*paws the ground*

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

Jokerman
Jokerman

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 »

baristagemMM Member
baristagem

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!

Jokerman
Jokerman

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

PiMM Member
Pi

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.

Jokerman
Jokerman

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.

hdq
hdq

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

Jokerman
Jokerman

Ive always wanted to meet ‘that’ girl.

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

hdq
hdq

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. >:(

Jokerman
Jokerman

EMH’s version is nicely spare in it’s delivery. Have a listen to his Nokerman is is a great song with wonderful mental magery.

rachelMM Member
rachel

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 »

PiMM Member
Pi

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

GemyogiMM Member
Gemyogi

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.

rachelMM Member
rachel

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–

THE TEACHER WAS A PREGNANT WOMAN–LOL

ElectroMM Member
Electro

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.

milleunanotteMM Member
milleunanotte

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 starMM Member
dark star

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

davidlMM Member
davidl

That guy sounds like a total bitch 😉

milleunanotteMM Member
milleunanotte

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.

vikingwomanMM Member
vikingwoman

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.

scorpiodawnMM Member
scorpiodawn

cant wait for crone hood!

FireTryin'MM Member
FireTryin'

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!

LiliMM Member
Lili

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-PilotMM Member
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.