There are almost 2,000 YouTube comments on the video for Thick’s hard-rocking feminist anthem “Mansplain.” The overwhelming majority of the commenters are men complaining about the song and unintentionally showing why the song needs to exist.
With its mix of fast and raw punk rock and pop-punk melody, “Mansplain” is classic Thick. The lyrics recount the all-female trio’s experiences as women in music. From men touching their gear without asking, men assuming they don’t know what they’re doing on stage, men telling them how to perform, men assuming they’re the girlfriends and not the band—it’s painfully relatable to any woman working in the music industry.
As a female music journalist, I’ve experienced these condescending and dismissive comments firsthand. And I know many women in the field who have as well. But the people commenting on the video don’t believe mansplaining exists. They think Thick should smile more and shave their armpits. In the commenters’ eyes, the real problem is Thick’s “female privilege,” which makes just as much sense as the men’s right movement.
Thick Drummer Shari Page tells BTRtoday the negative comments started flooding in after online alt-right/anti-feminist YouTube personality Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of Akkad posted the video to his Facebook.
“It was crazy to put out a song where the negative comments fully kept proving the point,” Page laughs. “Men hating women like that will never make sense to me—I mean, no one would be in this world if they didn’t come out of their mother’s vajay jay.”
Bassist Kate Black says it’s been hard to accept it all, but in the long run, the comments make her even prouder of what they created.
“It’s definitely not good for my mental health to read all of the comments, but at the end of the day these are people who are mobilized by an alt-right YouTuber and are not at all representative of reality or of the people we want to be a part of our community—I’m proud we pissed these people off.” she says. “It’s also really telling that all the commentary is on YouTube where users are relatively anonymous, whereas all of the [Instagram] comments, DMs and texts I’ve received have been positive and encouraging.”
Even before the video was officially released Thick joked about the future of the video’s comment section. They posted a clip from the video one day before the release, saying “Get your YouTube comments ready.”
Thick Frontwoman Nikki Sisti isn’t surprised by the reactions. “It still doesn’t feel good to read all the hate. I overlooked that we come from a community of people who share the same values and are aware of patriarchal dynamics,” she says. “But at the end of the day, I just don’t care if we pissed off a bunch of people—unsubscribe them from our lives, please.”
Page says the comments help prove that the song needs to exist. “It just keeps proving the point of the song more and more,” she says. “Overall, I want people to know if anyone is getting bullied, know that the bullies are suffering inside and don’t let them bring you down and ruin anything you love doing.”
Though the YouTube comment section is overrun by 4chan lingo and sexist negativity, there were still a few commenters supporting the song. Even with all the hateful comments, when it comes down to it, Thick got hundreds of men to write paragraphs to prove the point of “Mansplain,” which is definitely a win for feminism.