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It's A Man's World: How an Army General 'Mansplained' Liza Soberano

Mansplaining, explained by women.
by Ara Eugenio
Oct 23, 2020
Photo/s: Instagram/lizasoberano
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Who's trending on Twitter? #Parlade. He's the three-star general whose message to actress Liza Soberano ignited an online debate on the culture of men telling women what they should do.

Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade, an outspoken critic of the left, called on Soberano to be careful with her dealings with women's group Gabriela, or else she'll suffer the "same fate of those killed." Fellow actress Angel Locsin said such thinking was centuries old.

"How 1920's. A man calling out a woman on how she should advocate women's rights," Locsin said in her Instagram stories.

Gabriela said the officer was "red-tagging" the actress and he had no right to "mansplain" her. "And why do they seem so afraid of women using their platform to defend other women?" Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said. 

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What is mansplaining?

"It's when you’re talking about something you’re knowledgeable about and a guy will come in and explain to you as if he still knows better, even if he doesn't or doesn't know anything about it at all," said Nathalie Verceles, a professor at the UP Center for Women Studies.

The word is a mix of two common words: "man" and "explain." But it's meaning is far more complex and old,  as it is long happening, according to the New York Times.

As it is often put, it's when men explaining something to women in a condescending and patronizing tone, which ultimately attempts to discredit women's opinions and abilities. It happens in work places, schools, social media, and even at home, Verceles said.

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How did Parlade 'mansplain' Liza? 

It's not exactly as direct as how mansplaining is usually done, but it is an extension. 

"He still appears to think that he knows better than her, just because she’s a woman. The way he addressed Soberano, he's denying her the possibility that she actually knows better, when he said this is what she should do instead of associating herself with Gabriela," said Verceles. 

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According to Rebecca Solnit, author of essay, “Men Explain Things to Me" which first articulated the phenomenon, the act of mansplaining actually bores a deeper problem than just men talking down women in everyday conversations.

It crushes young women into silence” by telling them “that this is not their world," said Solnit. It trains women into doubting and limiting themselves self-doubt in order to make spaces for a man's over confidence and penchant for authority, she said. 

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"Obviously they don’t care how well-versed you are. All they care about is they want to exercise power over you," Verceles said. 

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