Dr. Tasha Stanton shares her experience and inspires others to share their mansplaining stories
There is no shortage of mansplaining examples in women’s lives, but this one may just take the cake. Neuroscientist Tasha Stanton was at a conference recently and was told by a male conference attendee that she should read a paper that a certain Dr. Stanton authored. Her three-word response could possibly be the best way to shut down mansplaining forever.
Dr. Stanton, an associate professor of clinical pain neuroscience at the University of Southern Australia, tweeted about her experience at an Australian Physiotherapy Association Conference when she was confronted with a mansplainer. After some idle chit-chat, she said a man she met recommended a paper she should read, clearly unaware of who he was talking to.
“Friends at conferences – please do not assume that the people that you talk to do not know anything,” she wrote. “I just got told that I should read what Stanton et al found about pain.” Then she dropped the bomb. “I. Am. Stanton.” Bless.
Of course, Dr. Stanton said she would never assume he would know who she was, but that it was his condescending tone and assumption that she hadn’t yet “read up” on the subject matter that irritated her.
So, what did he do after she threw down the now-viral response, “I am Stanton?” She tweeted that there was visible shock, “awkward silence, some attempted back-pedaling and then we both had a laugh.” Though the moment was surely an awkward one (well, for him anyway), she took the time to educate him on interacting with colleagues in the future. She told him, “in the future, he might want to be careful not to assume that other people don’t know things…especially when you are at a conference. We all make mistakes (I know I certainly have), but hopefully the message got across.”
After Dr. Stanton posted about the experience on Twitter, she said she’s been floored by the response and overwhelmed by all the other women sharing stories of times they were mansplained to by men who assumed they had no knowledge on a particular topic:
“It was just…this amazing somewhat delicious moment because you just never get that opportunity to actually be like, ‘Hold up there for a second friend. I am Stanton. I’m the one that you just mentioned,'” she told Good Morning America. She also said she didn’t believe the man necessarily came from a negative place, but that it’s still important to call out biases when we see them.
“It’s really important to be able to stand up and call it as it is because that’s not a great way to interact with someone at a conference,” she said. “People will never learn if you don’t call it out.”