Ok, but when it’s condescension that is overwhelmingly done by men to women, and it happens all of the time, the shoe does fit. It’s a whole lot less likely that a man will “explain” another man’s book to them, or that a woman who once went to space camp will think they can explain things to a male astronaut — real things that have happened to women by men.

Many women deal with that shit every single day, and the more powerful they are, the more they experience it because patriarchy is a dominance hierarchy where you have to constantly joust for a position, and by traditional metrics, women “belong” lower down the pyramid of power. Words get invented to describe dynamics that used to be considered acceptable behavior, or at least the kind of behavior someone with more institutional power could get away with.

“When you extrapolate out a system that is based in the historical domination of men over women, weaker men, and children to the rest of the cultural landscape, you get a society that is obsessed with how it rates in relation to those around them. You also get a society where many members feel completely justified in using bullying and violence in order to keep certain people or demographics in their perceived place.”

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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