After looking at the resources available I chose to read the New York Times article published in 2016 called “‘Nasty Woman’: Why Men Insult Powerful Women.” I chose this one because Cordelia’s character stood out to me as both a reader and a woman, and her actions in this tragedy reinforce the notion that we live in a society where women just can’t ever seem to be right.

A few paragraphs into the article the author begins to discuss men’s discomfort with women in power and their reactions to that feeling. A lot of men have no problem explicitly calling women out. For example, I was shocked when I read on and discovered that Australian senator Bill Heffernan had the audacity to publicly characterize Julia Gillard as someone who has “no idea about what life’s about,” just because she has chosen to remain “deliberately barren.”

However, condescension is another “common tool for deflating powerful women,” and the article’s dive into this topic reminded me of another New York Times article I read, published four years after this one, about “Mansplaining.”

Four whole years later and mansplaining is still relevant enough that it got a whole article. Simply put, mansplaining “describes the act of a man’s unsolicited explaining, generally to a woman, something he thinks he knows more about than she does — occasionally at anesthetizing length — whether he knows anything or not.”

The key here is “thinks.” The problem here is “thinks,” because men can be the furthest from the truth and still have enough influence to silence women today. As a woman in society, there are numerous times that I have been shut down – for the wrong reasons. I’m fine being wrong, but I’m not fine being falsely convinced I am wrong just because men don’t know any better. The result of mansplaining is catastrophic: women are being doubted and limited while men are fueling their overconfidence.

Cordelia was banished for standing up for herself, just like countless other women are today. And it’s wrong.

6 thoughts on “Mansplaining

  1. VERITY F.

    I found it interesting how you connected modern vocabulary such as “mansplaining” to Shakespearean times. Considering how many men are in power all over the world, mamsplaining is something very relevant and very regularly executed.


  2. Nicholas P.

    I like how you connected the sexist ideas to how Lear banishes Cordelia for simply telling the truth that HE doesn’t like. I really like you argument as it not only connects the the articles you read to the reading but it also allowed me to understand and see more instances where this happens in Lear and in life.


  3. Abby H

    I really like how you ended your blog post, connecting the wider idea to you, personally. I thought your post was especially powerful when you described the catastrophic effect of mansplaining, that I totally agree with.


  4. Rachel C.

    I fully agree with your analysis of the poisonous acts of mansplaining. It silences powerful women, and it reflects on how no matter what women do, men will always try to take their authority away from them.



    I really like how you connected a current problem to Shakespeare. I never looked at the perspective that Lear not only did not want to be told his foolish plan was foolish, but that he stayed convinced of it because it was a woman who challenged him. King Lear demonstrates his overconfidence in his power by making constant rash decisions, and when a woman tells him he is wrong, he does not consider that she could be right because he thinks women do not know anything about power. This is a great way of connecting the modern world to Shakespeare and helped me look at the character of King Lear from a new perspective.



    I find it really interesting how you connected King Lear to a modern issue. I completely agree with the part about how Lear banished Cordelia for telling the truth but rewarding his other daughters for lying simply because it was what he wanted to hear. This really highlights Lear’s inability to listen to consider what others have to say.


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