IN the modern day, women are able to call out patronising, oversimplified explanations of subjects they’re already expert on delivered by men wearing too-tight trousers.
But this phenomenon is, to borrow a phrase from the mansplainers, ‘more complex than someone like you probably realises’. A recent archaeological find revealed an instance of oblivious male-to-female condescension as early as the time of Queen Nefertiti.
Nefertiti reigned as Queen of Egypt for over two decades. This prominence had little significance, however, to a pyramid builder who felt it necessary to enlighten the Great of Praises.
Egyptologist professor Denys Finch Hatton said: “Steles recovered from noble tombs offer a fascinating insight into the Egyptian court. The respective expressions of delusion in the worker and complete disgust in the Queen are as clear as a photograph.
“Further research indicates that this regrettable exchange occurred following a project to expand the buildings of the city of Akhetaton.
“The hieroglyphics available record the builder repeatedly impressing upon the Queen that it would mean ‘lots of big rocks’ and ‘actually take a while’, before spending a considerable amount of time explaining that a pyramid narrows at the top.
“The Queen’s response is harder to make out, but our translators are confident in the general gist being ‘is this fucker serious right now?’.
“It’s a remarkable piece of social history. Especially as we now have an answer to the mystery of the corpse found in a claypit with its tongue cut out and its cavities filled with hungry scarab beetles while he was still alive.
“Of course, it must be preserved. I was just telling my colleague Dr Donna Sheridan how these carvings are very old and delicate and that hieroglypics are not pictures but a form of writing. That’s her over there, saying ‘can you believe that prick?’
It is believed to be 1292BCE, the end of the 18th Dynasty, when a mansplainer first belatedly realised the brutally sarcastic comeback he had received from an Assyrian woman was not actually a sincere compliment.
Next week: to 1660, when Samuel Pepys decides to write a fake diary for a laugh.