Getty Images | Ani Kolleshi

Man Gets Roasted After Trying To Mansplain Female Anatomy To Female Gynecologist

Amy Pilkington 21 Feb 2019

Mansplaining is a spectrum.

On one end, you have the well-meaning guys who put their feet in their mouths when they speak without thinking and explain something fairly universal. They may not even realize that they're making an assumption based on gender.

On the other end, you have the dumb-dumbs who try to explain women's issues to women.

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Forget cultural forces that form assumptions about women's knowledge of sports or cars, or say that men can't know how to cook or do laundry.

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No, I'm not talking about that can of worms.

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I'm talking about guys who think they know more about things like periods, menopause, and female anatomy than the people who actually have personal experience with those things.

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I'm usually against the typical Twitter pile-ons, but with five words, Paul Bullen earned those clapbacks.

Twitter | @Chinchillazllla

The tweet was in response to an article shared by The Guardian, which featured an interview with a photographer who took pictures of 100 women's vulvas.

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The Guardian tweet had a lot of the expected sort of comments.

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There were lots of people praising the project, but many just reacted with disgust. Which is fine, because that's exactly why the project is so important and powerful.

In that midst, Bullen's comment stuck out like a sore thumb.

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"The correct word is vagina," he wrote. Which isn't just mansplaining, but also wrong.

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For the photographer to have taken pics of 100 actual vaginas, that camera would have had to be way more invasive. You know, because the vagina is the inside part, not what you see when a woman opens her legs.

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Eye rolls and responses came fast, as can be expected.

Twitter | @Chinchillazllla

But it wasn't until Dr. Jennifer Gunter weighed in that he decided to dig his hole deeper.

Not only is Dr. Gunter an OB/GYN, she has also written a book called The Vagina Bible.

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So she knows what she's talking about. Also, she's a woman, so she's already a step ahead of him.

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Bullen, whose Twitter description reads "editor, writer, teacher" was apparently making a semantic argument.

Which is possibly the most pointless argument, since in the end, it doesn't matter at all.

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He replied that her expertise wasn't even required in this instance.

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You see, because everyone just calls women's genitals "vagina," then The Guardian should have used that word. He's advocating that colloquial use is more correct.

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Which, in any other situation, I might find refreshing.

Twitter | @Chinchillazllla

More often, people argue the opposite and insist that exact dictionary definitions and grammar rules trump colloquial usage. Even though the dictionary is just an archive of word usage and not a list of rules.

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For example, the correct past tense of "sneak" is "sneaked".

Unsplash | Pisit Heng

But that sounds super weird and everyone just says "snuck" instead. And they aren't wrong just because it's colloquial.

Merriam-Webster even wrote a whole article just about snuck. Because they are the best nerds.

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However, when it comes to women's bodies, cultural taboos have muddied the waters.

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We don't refer to their whole genital area as "vagina" because it's convenient. The reason "vulva" isn't in common usage is due to generations of women's bodies being seen as shameful enough to not merit educating people about correct names.

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That's why the photography series in the article is an important part of fighting against the stigma around women's bodies.

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And it's pretty clear that Bullen didn't actually click through to read the article he was "correcting".

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If he had, he not only would have read about the issues, but witness 100 examples of actual vulvae.

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How much do you want to make a bet that he's argue that the correct plural is "vulvas"? Come on, you know he would, and he'd be right about colloquial usage.

But that's mostly because no one understands female anatomy enough to worry about plurals.

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I mean, we all know the difference between a scrotum and the testicles.

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And so it should be just as easy to remember the difference between a vagina and the vulva. It's not just about everyday usage. Not knowing the correct names for your own parts can cause confusion during medical diagnoses.

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Of course, Bullen couldn't just let that be the end.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

In response to another person accusing him of mansplaining, he tried to correct that word usage too!

He admits to not liking the term at all, but tries to say that just because he's a man explaining something, it doesn't count. Dr. Gunter had a rebuttal for that too.

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Mansplaining is correcting a woman when not asked or when the woman is actually an expert on the subject.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

Guess what Bullen's semantic argument falls under! There are not enough facepalms for this.

And guys, I know it's hard to hold back those "Well, actually..." urges, but it'll save you a lot of grief if you don't do it for anything related to women-specific body issues. Because we're kind of the experts on that.

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