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A Mary Take on “Mansplaining”…

…And other patriarchal behaviors

Something’s come up for clients and friends in recent months, and given that I’ve been talking about relationships a lot lately in the context of accelerating our healing, I’m feeling the need for a public service announcement on it.

This topic is a bit tough and I don’t want this to be experienced as male bashing, especially since the Seven Sisters community is blessed with the presence of more and more Sacred Men…so I’m consulting Mother Mary as I write this to assist.

The issue has to do with a term someone coined a while ago, “Mansplaining.” And I have humorously coined a few related terms myself (although what they describe is serious):


I’ll start by saying these are generally unconscious, patriarchally dictated, and therefore sometimes automatic, ways of communicating that men can engage in. They can be hurtful to anyone (including the speaker), but they can especially be hurtful to women.

Mansplaining, according to Merriam Webster (yes, this is so real that it’s made it into the dictionary), is explaining something to a woman in a condescending way that assumes she has no knowledge about the topic [IMPLICATION: when she usually does].

Manterrupting is a man’s verbally jumping on top of the woman who is speaking without waiting for a natural pause in the conversation. It’s characterized frequently by a full rerouting or takeover of the conversation, or it may be the start of a “mantradicting” jag.

Mantradicting is the habit of contradicting or correcting the woman who is speaking, without engaging the kind of care needed when expressing a different view, and/or without using “I statements” that have the man take responsibility for any feelings that may be provoking the contradiction. This is particularly hurtful when it involves correcting a woman, especially about her own experience, or about topics that she actually knows more about than the man (which the man is not making the effort to assess or acknowledge).

Mantificating is the man’s full taking over of the conversational space, going on overly long about his knowledge on a topic, without engaging the woman relationally in volleying fashion (“what are your thoughts, your experience with X…”). Sometimes it involves sheer excess talking (overtalking) about anything at all, and the use of large blocks of time.

Mantellectualizing is often combined with mantificating, and takes place when the man talks in prolonged fashion in a mentally oriented way about a given topic, even an emotionally based one. Often men can use up half or more of a total conversation talking in this way without checking in as to whether the woman is interested, and without moving into a more heart- or empathy-based communication.

Manscluding is the phenomenon of men talking mainly to the men in the room, or of dominating group spaces with their thoughts, questions, or opinions, resulting in women not getting their fair share of the floor.

Manlighting: A highly toxic and usually unconscious manipulation technique that consists of the man questioning a woman’s sanity and discrediting her perceptions and memories in order to make her doubt her own judgement.


This is not to deny that woman can dominate space and engage in any of these behaviors. We could list a whole series of unsavory woman-related terms (womaneering… etc). Women’s shadow is alive and well, too, yes.

But my focus here is on all of this as the predominantly male phenomenon it still is. It’s where, as I see it, male chauvinism (aw, remember that word?) has gone to burrow among people who think that sexism is a relic of the past.

Women of all ages are encountering it, not just the “feminists” of the older generations.

What would Mother Mary do and say about all this? As I tune into her, what I feel is that this is all something to be healed as we aim to move into the New Earth, where we want the Sacred Marriage to be the order of the day.

It’s about becoming more aware of our energy and actions and how they affect others. And it’s about how to use our power, verbal or otherwise, in more integrated ways that don’t impinge on others’ space and that actually reflect respect and even cherishing of the person before us.

Conscious men, we’re calling on you to take a look to see if any of what’s been discussed here resonates, and to take some steps to become yet more conscious.

Conscious women, we’re inviting you to determine whether any of what I’m describing here is going on in your life. Because often when we experience these behaviors on the part of men, it registers under the surface as a kind of inner blow that we don’t even realize is happening.

We may be blindsided and know we suddenly feel like crap, but don’t quite know why. We may end up thinking something’s personally wrong with us, even that we deserve what’s being fed to us or that we need to “toughen up” in some way… or that we need to manhandle the space in turn to get the airtime we need. Or we may think that whatever weird dynamic we’re in with this man is personal to our relationship.

Women, we’re being invited ~ with as much Mary love as we can ~ to recognize patterns that may be taking place with the males in our lives, recognize that they may not be personal to either of us, and bring it to their attention as a pattern that’s on its way out along with patriarchy. (Working with a skilled couples’ therapist can be very helpful when this is taking place in the context of a love partnership).

Allowing these things to go on does not serve you, the men in your life, or our planet.

For a spiritual approach to love, you can now access the course Sacred Relationship & Sexual Healing with Magdalene & Jesus on demand HERE.


    • Abha

      Thank you for this explanation.
      You really nailed it down.
      It is funny , just yesterday I had a conversation with a men I met for the first time ( my friend’s new boyfriend ) and felt not well the whole day afterwards. Woke up this morning still not feeling well and with that conversation in my head trying to figure out what really happened there. Then I came across this article.
      What I recognize is – talking in a condescending way assuming I know nothing about the topic , taking huge amount of space in conversation wihout awareness of the other , making fun of serious things ( like wounds and traumatic experiences ) , talking predominantly from “the head” with no emotions included .
      All together it felt disrespectful and there was no real exchange in conversation , I felt quite drained out afterwards and with a slight feeling that someting is wrong with me .
      Came acoss this kind of behaviour many times, it is deeply rooted in the part of the world where I live ( east and central Europe ) but I encountered it also in conversations with people from other parts of the world and also many times in conversations with woman.
      Thank you Marguerite for taking this important topic out to the light to be seen and acknowledged . It is a healing mirroring to me .

    • Louise

      Excellent new terms and precise definitions. I’ve experienced all of them so am grateful you are manifesting needed knowledge and understanding. To see your work expand brings me joy!
      Blessings Dear One

      • Marguerite Rigoglioso

        Louise, great, and thanks for the feedback… good to know if these new topics are resonating!

  1. Elle

    I dated someone who did many of those behaviors, but only in a group. Our conversations alone were fine. Since we’re not together now I’m not sure if he ever was aware.

    • Marguerite Rigoglioso

      Elle, interesting… perhaps some men feel the need to appear extra assertive in group settings…

  2. Angela Buckley

    For sure this needs healing. Thank you.

  3. Mark Salavitch

    Excellent piece providing clarity for men interested in moving past these types of interactions. I am one of those so thank you for this information. This is an excellent guide for awareness that can lead to changing behaviors…

    • Marguerite Rigoglioso

      Thank you, Mark. I’m glad it struck the right chord.