An Interview with Kimberly Knight #Satire

Posted May 1, 2017 @ 6:00am | by Tripp

I have been watching the issue of "mansplaining" find its way hither and yon on teh intertubes and feel I need to offer my two cents on what mansplaining is actually about. One particular mansplaining interlocutor is Kimberly Knight, a self-professed lesbian-type person. She has inspired my own thinking and is, by virtue of her own more than evident confusion, the subject of the same. This is the official transcript of a videochat-thing interview I conducted with her recently on the subject of her being a lesbian-type person and how she needs to better understand other’s public perception of the same. 

TH: Kimmy...may I call you Kimmy? You strike me as a Kimmy. 

KK: Well, I would rather...

TH: Kimmy, I've been following you online for some time now, and though you seem to be a most capable woman, I also feel that you are missing some aspects of your lesbianism and it's relationship to mansplaining. As your occasional on-line acquaintance and a self-professed ally in the cause of feminism, it is incumbent upon me to help clear up any confusion. I would hate for you to be misunderstood by others. I hope you don't mind. 

KK: Truthfully, this is just the...

TH: Great! Let's get started. How do you define mansplaining? I assume it has something to do with your feminist philosophy and your tenure working at the girls' school outside Atlanta. 

KK: I am a feminist. Yes, and it’s certainly connected to my feminism. But my feminism is based first and foremost in my experience as a woman. It’s rather simple.

TH: Actually, I’ve heard it’s very complicated. I would hope you would not overly simplify something so important. 

KK: If, by “complicated” you mean “insanely simple and...”

TH: No, I mean “important and complicated” like football or the infield fly rule. I’m not talking about health care and other simple stuff. 

KK: Right…And, um, it’s “Woman’s College.”

TH: Whatever. So, what is your problem with men explaining things? 

KK: I don’t have a problem with men explaining…

TH: Sure you do. I’m trying to explain something to you right now and you’re trying to shut me down. I’m an ally! 

KK: Now, hold on, Tripp. 

TH: You make an issue of it all the time. Please don’t yell at me. 

KK: I’m not yelling. 

Here there is a profound silence and though she said that the link just dropped, it’s clear that she disconnected our conversation. After several attempts, I managed to connect with her again.

TH: Thank you for continuing to talk with me. I’m sorry that things became so heated before. I did not realize just how sensitive you are about this issue. 

KK: Is that all you have to say? I’m sensitive? 

TH: Well, clearly you are. You disconnected. I didn’t. And we still don’t have a good definition of mansplaining to work with here. 

KK: A definition? After this, you still think we need a definition? 

TH: Yes, actually, I do think we need a definition. It’s unclear to me that “mansplaining” means much more than “when a woman doesn’t like what she hears a man say.” That’s incredibly condescending, don’t you think?

KK: That’s not mansplaining, Tripp. Please, you asked me to define the term. May I? 

TH: Okay, for you, let’s try to start over. Would you be kind enough to define mansplaining?

KK: Sure. I have a lot to say about this.

TH: Great. That’s why we’re here. Go ahead. You have the green light. 

KK: Mansplaining is as much what a man is doing as it is how it makes a woman feel, both equally valid parts of the process when a conversation takes the turn of a man explaining...

TH: A woman’s feelings? Hold on now, are you saying that...

KK: palpably condescending tones,

TH: Now this is just ridiculous. You don’t under...

KK: what he presumes the woman does not know or understand. It can happen in any type of discussion from political to how to load the dishwasher.

TH: What do dishwashers have to do with any of this?

KK: It also seems to happen a great deal when a man is trying to explain aspects of misogyny that he cannot understand because he has never experienced it. The two underpinning elements...

TH: I’ve experienced anger and hatred. Try and be a man this day and age...You don’t understand what I’m trying to get at...

KK: ...are a starting posture that assumes a woman's ignorance and inferiority (and the man's paternalistic right to 'splain things) and a social location that is oblivious (or worse, apathetic) to a woman's social location.

TH: Wait a minute now…What sweet new hell is “social location”?

KK: It is at it's most cutting when a woman is smart, clear and unapologetic for having the audacity to express herself.

TH: This is my interview, maybe you should apolo...

KK: Women may use “mansplaining” to abruptly stop a conversation that was clearly never a dialogue in the first place.

TH: I beg your pardon?

KK: It has the unfortunate effect of shaming the mansplainer so no further conversation is likely possible.

TH: This is bullshit.

KK: The 'splainer often harrumphs and just calls her a shrew,

TH: If the shrew fits…

KK: ...bitch,

TH: Your word.

KK: ...feminist bully,

TH: We’re done here.

KK: ...or fat,

TH: I’m trying to help here. 

KK: ugly

TH: You don’t...

KK: dyke.

TH: understand. Listen. I’m trying to help you here. And now you’re being cruel to me? I’m on your side. This is ridiculous. How do you expect people, men like me who are on your side, to understand if you keep interrupting and telling us what to think? This is embarrassing. I’m done here.

And with that our conversation ended. Reader beware, I share all of this with you so you understand the deplorable nature of dialogue on this subject. And I fear that women may never understand how it is that we allies can help free them. Disappointingly, we never even got to the stuff about her being a lesbian-type person. I have lots of helpful ideas about that. 

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