Mansplaining is a core tenet of today’s woke world.
For the uninitiated, if a male brimming with patriarchal power explains something to a woman, it represents a demeaning, dismissive tone. It’s condescension, and it should be avoided at all costs.
We saw the term passed around like a hacky sack following the Harris/Pence Vice Presidential debate Oct. 7 by major media outlets.
Here’s just one example: ‘Critic’s Notebook: Kamala Harris Rises Above a Mansplaining Mike Pence in Vice Presidential Debate’
The Hill, USA Today, Vox and other outlets also weaponized the word against the current Vice President.
A sane observer could look at a political debate and sense condescension from both sides. Heck, it might be hard to talk policy without sounding smug.
Still, the woke Left could have a point, in theory. Maybe men in our society DO talk down to women during open dialogues.
Let’s be open-minded, eh?
It doesn’t take much brain power to recall similar mixed genre exchanges where no one threw down the “mansplaining” card.
When was the last time Vox defended Nikki Haley against a male critic? What about First Lady Melania Trump? Gov. Kristi Noem? Dana Loesch? Kellyanne Conway?
The card gets hidden, Penn & Teller style, if the person being critiqued is a conservative – or aligns with President Donald Trump.
We recently saw two glaring examples from the world of entertainment that should put the “mansplaining” canard down for the count.
The first comes courtesy of talk show legend David Letterman. The former CBS and NBC superstar famously slept with members of his staff, an act all but ignored in the post-MeToo frenzy.
Letterman retired from the late night grind, but he still talks to famous folks via his Netflix series, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.” The show’s new season started earlier this month, featuring high-profile guests including Kim Kardashian West.
How did Letterman treat the reality show superstar? Why, he lectured her for daring to work with President Donald Trump on prison reform, that’s how.
The curvaceous star helped spring several people out of prison, with the help of Orange Man Bad. That wasn’t sufficient to save her from a Letterman lecture.
Kardashian West is a very powerful figure, culturally speaking. Letterman, though, is an icon, and he used that stature and his Netflix clout to belittle her about that partnership. Letterman, awash in Trump Derangement, fired off this word salad question:
“But do you feel that what is being done on behalf of sentencing reform now via this current administration in any way allows the balance of democracy back in a corridor of viability?”
The reality starlet essentially echoed the audience’s reaction – huh? To be fair, he’s only been asking questions professionally for 30-odd years.
So Letterman took a second swing.
“I’m grateful for what you’re doing, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about the current administration,” he says.
HuffPo cheered how Letterman “grilled” her about the Trump connection. Refinery29, one of the wokest web destinations, recalled their exchange without defending Kardashian West.
Letterman, say it all together now, “mansplained” to her.
And no one said a word. Not a syllable.
Why? Kardashian West isn’t a conservative, but her partnership with President Trump stripped her of liberal bona fides. So “mansplaining” wasn’t on the table.
Something similar happened with Kirstie Alley.
The Emmy-winning “Cheers” alum belatedly hopped aboard the Trump Train. She also has spoken out about the Oscars’ manufactured attempts at diversity and other politically incorrect stances.
And she’s paying the price for it.
Consider this cyber-lecture from Judd Apatow, arguably the most powerful comedic force in Hollywood. The “Knocked Up” auteur mocked Alley’s Trump support, saying, “Shelly Long (sic) was way funnier than you,” comparing Alley to her “Cheers” predecessor.
Screenwriter Bruno Amato joined the attack, saying, “Trump got a quarter million people killed quickly, Kristie, you’re right about that.
Alley, at 69, has virtually no power in modern Hollywood. The industry is often cruel to older women as is. Alley’s recent work load has been modest, to be kind. And her open Trump support likely killed any chance of working on mainstream projects, at least for now.
So why mansplain to her for sharing a simple political position, one roughly half the country holds?
Once again Google “Kirstie Alley” and “mansplaining” and you won’t find much, if anything, from major news sites following the attack.
Why? Because she’s now a pro-Trump figure, undeserving of any woke protection. Or maybe they’re sore because Alley mocked the notion on Twitter not too long ago, saying, “Any adult who uses the phrase ‘He’s mansplaining’ can’t be good in bed.”
Still, shouldn’t her status as an older female in Hollywood demand others protect her via the phrase? Apparently not.
“Mansplaining,” like so much about woke culture, isn’t about empowering women or striking a blow against The Patriarchy. It’s about power for progressives, to be used and discarded as necessary.
We should thank Kardashian West and Alley for reminding us of just that.
Christian Toto is the editor of the Colorado-based HollywoodInToto.com.