Men-Imizing: The Relationship Manipulation Tactic That Silences Women's Voices

By now, you've definitely heard of mansplaining and you've surely heard of gaslighting, but you might not have heard of their newly named lovechild "men-imizing." That's right, there is now an official name for the all-too-common phenomenon of a man utilizing a condescending, oversimplified explanation for his own behavior to excuse any potential wrongdoing to a woman. When this happens to you — whether it's at the hands of your romantic partner or any other man in your life — you're experiencing this manipulation tactic now known as men-imizing.


Since men behaving poorly has long been dismissed and even glorified by popular culture, it can be difficult to spot behaviors like mansplaining and men-imizing in the wild. In his stitch video, TikTok user @himroids explains that this manipulative strategy involves a man taking some responsibility for his wrongdoing, but emphasizing that the woman in the situation made it worse with her response. If you tend to struggle with recognizing male manipulation tactics until well after the fact, let us guide you to becoming a pro at spotting and responding to this problematic technique before you fall victim to its intended effects. 

How to recognize men-imizing

There are two key elements to men-imizing. A man who is men-imizing will always admit to a minor transgression (even when a much larger one has taken place) and will always provide a reason for why that transgression wasn't really his fault. He may even apologize or offer to "make it up" to you without actually admitting guilt. A classic example of men-imizing is a man who is caught cheating. Rather than taking full responsibility for his actions, he proceeds to explain to his partner that he realizes he should have said no, but the other woman had recently experienced a traumatizing divorce and was desperate for comfort. He can't help having a kind heart and besides, it was only one time.


By the end of the conversation, the cheating man's partner finds herself wondering if she is the one who should apologize for questioning his motives in stepping outside their relationship for such a charitable cause. This shifting the majority of the accountability to the woman is the second key element of this tactic. If you spend a lot of time listening to explanations for a certain man's behavior which only leave you more confused and eventually feeling like you're more to blame, you're being men-imized to. 

Responding to men-imizing

The kind of covert manipulation that lurks under the surface of men-imizing is called gaslighting and it can be particularly difficult to notice. This is when someone else purposefully tries to make you feel doubtful of your own judgement or even your sanity. If you're feeling this way after a man in your life has done something that you know is wrong, it may be a sign that you're being gaslit in your relationship. When these frequent attempts at manipulation include explaining away problematic behavior, it's time to address the men-imizing at hand.


Before you attempt to call out a man for men-imizing, prepare yourself for the attempts at manipulation that will undoubtedly follow. Author and character development coach Dr. George Simon explains that you should never accept a minimization of problematic behavior, otherwise you are allowing yourself to successfully be manipulated. Come to the discussion armed with solid examples of the men-imizing that has occurred in the past and consider even bringing a friend (and witness) along for support.

If the man in question refuses to acknowledge that he has been taking part in men-imizing, it may be time to walk away from the relationship for the sake of your own mental health and self-worth.