Elle Armageddon didn’t intend her flowchart “Should You Explain The Thing To The Lady,” to cause an online debate about mansplaining, but that’s exactly what happened when she posted it.
After a man felt the need to give her an unsolicited lesson plan in ascending and descending street numbers, and hearing that her friend had also received an uninformed explanation “foisted upon her,” Elle quickly drew the flowchart thinking it was something “we’d both get a quick laugh out of,” she told WYSK in an email.
As soon as she tweeted out the chart, Elle immediately drew the wrath of some men who missed the point entirely.
“I have no idea why men, specifically, feel ‘targeted’ or ‘attacked’ by it, and assertions that it is ‘sexist’ are fascinating (and laughable),” Elle explains. “I intentionally did not address explainers by gender, because I think unsolicited and/or ill-informed explanations by anyone are rude and obnoxious, but it has certainly been my experience that when you say ‘here’s a tool to help you not be an asshole,’ people who display the behavior illustrated often get very defensive.”
In an ironic twist of fate (although not a surprising one) Elle started to get responses from men explaining her flowchart to her.
@andreabeaty@OaklandElle It seemed to me to relate to the ‘mansplaining’ tag, which I find offensive. Maybe I’m mistaken.
Since posting four days ago, the chart has since been retweeted thousands of times, resonating with women and continuing to be explained by men. Elle sees it as a clear example of how feminism and feminists are often misconstrued and misunderstood.
“I think that part of why a specific type of man has taken this tweet so personally is because misogyny is still extremely prevalent in our culture. Any time a woman, especially a woman who identifies as ‘feminist,’ speaks publicly or is granted a platform, men perceive it as an attack against them,” she said. “A lot of anti-feminist men have yet to recognize that patriarchy negatively impacts us all, and that the goal of feminism is to liberate all of us from oppressive power dynamics, as opposed to inverting the existing structures.”