Chauvinism: an attitude of superiority toward members of the opposite sex, according to Danny Webster. It’s a serious blemish on the Brotherhood of Man’s report card. Every woman has experienced chauvinism at one time or another. What women may not know is, when all the ladies have left the room, the mansplaining doesn’t end — chauvinism turns to bro-vinism.

What is Brovinism? Brovinism is next best thing to chauvinism when there are no women around for men to assert their perceived superiority upon. The dynamics of brovinism dictate that a single superior man (or a wolf pack of superior men) be quickly formed, and an inferior man or group of men be identified. You see, men do not limit their need to feel superior to only members of the opposite sex—women are just a go-to target that men in need of being superior can have some common ground on. Taking women out of the picture does not lesson a chauvinist’s need to feel smarter, stronger, faster.

If you are a building maintenance worker who finds yourself left in the midst of a group of company Presidents and CEOs, you might as well leave the room with the women—you are the next victim on the list. Interestingly, if you are a CEO who finds himself in a group of building maintenance workers, you are now the one who is inferior, despite whatever status value society has placed on your job title.

The practice of mansplaining is not reserved for only women either. Men love to mansplain to other men. If a carpenter were to ask his brovinist mechanic friend, “Hey, what might cause my car to have a really bad vibration in the front end?”, the mechanic friend would not simply state that he thought it was a tire problem. He would most likely explain to the carpenter what a tire is, and what its function is on a car. A brovinist mechanic would not only assume that a carpenter’s knowledge of cars is inferior, but is most likely non-existent. “Oh, thank you. We carpenters were wondering what those round black rubber things on cars were that seem so popular these days.”

Early Mansplaining. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Job titles and skills are just one subject that men can utilize towards their incessant need to feel superior to other men. If you want to get right into the power source – the nuclear reactor of brovinism – you’ll find that manliness – chest-pounding manliness – and a man’s need to have the most of it, is at the core. Men need to feel their masculinity is superior to other men around them.

I like cream and sugar in my coffee. I prefer cat ownership over dog ownership. I don’t like to watch sports. Together, these three statements almost always leave me near the bottom of the manliness leaderboards. These three statements ring like the funeral dirge for my masculinity in the ears of any nearby brovinist pigs. Any one of these statements by themselves can instantly turn me into brovinist pig fodder, and collectively, they seal my fate.

Real men drink their coffee black—if you insist on using sissy creamer, it better not be flavored. If your unmanliness is so great that it demands that your coffee creamer be flavored, it better not be pumpkin spice flavor. A man drinking pumpkin spice is liable to end up getting Man-slaughtered. Cats? What kind of man would choose a cat over a manly dog? Man’s best friend. Even the term Crazy Cat Lady is brovinistic. It presumes that no self-respecting man would ever be unmanly enough to hoard cats, and thus, there is no need for the gender-neutral term Crazy Cat Person. And a man who doesn’t like sports? Fuggett-about-it. My manliness is not only inferior, it is non-existent whenever in the presence of pitbull-owning, black coffee-drinking, sports fanatics.

Credit: Flickr / numberstumper

There are numerous ways to lower your manliness credit rating and leave yourself vulnerable to brovinistic attacks:

  • Drive a Prius as opposed to a Corvette or a four-wheel drive truck? Your manliness is inferior.
  • Accidentally admit you watched and enjoyed a movie that didn’t include explosions, machine guns, Marvel superheroes, or cars that turn into ass-kicking robots? Your manliness is inferior.
  • Fail to flip off and swerve aggressively at a car that cut you off in traffic? Your manliness is inferior.
  • Choose mushroom and feta cheese frittata over steak and eggs? Your manliness is inferior (mainly because the word frittata doesn’t sound the least bit manly).

When compiling the collective man’s honey-do list of needed self-repairs, racism, chauvinism and intolerance towards any other group of humans for any reason are certainly at the top, but my hope is that once we’ve gotten past all of those, we might be able to spend a little time addressing the problem of brovinism. My greatest fear is that when we do finally move past all of the others, it won’t be due to any lessening of man’s need to be superior, and the gap left by abandoning the others will cause a dramatic increase in brovinism. I hope not, but regardless, I’m not giving up pumpkin spice, my kitty-cat, and my aversion to sports. I am not a brovinist, and I refuse to change in order to move up in the man superiority rankings.

Perhaps us non-brovinists should band together. Yes! I could be like the Geek in Sixteen Candles—I could be King of the Dipshits! Just don’t tell the other guys I’ve seen Sixteen Candles, though, ok?

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