Mansplaining explained… by 17th-century art

One writer's unusual way of turning the joke back on men

You crack a joke and bask in the raucous laughter. Then some bloke tries to explain your joke back to you. Sound familiar? Well, one Detroit-based writer’s now found a brilliant way to turn the joke back on men. By Emma Irving. 

This story begins, as most good stories do nowadays, on Twitter. 

Nicole Tersigni was scrolling through her timeline when she came across a bloke explaining a woman’s joke back to her (shock horror). Looking for a way to needle him back, she googled “woman surrounded by men” and stumbled upon a 17th-century oil painting by Jobst Harrich, of a woman baring one breast in the middle of a scrum of bald men.

Then she combined the image with a caption: “Maybe if I take my tit out they will stop explaining my own joke back to me.”

Where it all began…

Tersigni was onto something. She kept tweeting, playfully capturing everyday instances of misogyny, and quickly went viral. 

Just over a year after that first tweet, Tersigni’s vision leapt from social media to print with a book of the captioned art – and we can’t get enough of it. 

Men to Avoid in Art and Life was published yesterday, and it’s everything you want from a coffee table book and more. It’s relatable, incisive, and witty – plus, you can feel smug because it doubles as a gallery tour. 

What are your worst experiences of mansplaining? Share them with me at emma@thismuchiknow.news