Men explain things to me, and to other women, whether or not they know what they're talking about. Some men. Every woman knows what I mean. It's the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men's unsupported overconfidence.
I've had this happen to me; haven't we all? It happened today, in fact, when I wrote a message to someone who not only missed the point by a country mile but, after assuring me that he took my concerns very seriously, used the occasion to boast about his experiences and lecture me about the Great Importance of his Field. What else can you do, but say, with the cutting irony of a Miss Manners, "Thank you for setting me straight"?
I have to say, however, that the particular combination of stupidity and arrogance that drives some individuals to patronize others under the guise of instruction isn't exclusively a guy thing. Although I have been instructed in this way by some males, including a male relative who said he would send me his first-year paper on author X (a person I've written about) so I could "learn from it," such a drive to instruct is an equal-opportunity curse.
So it's not just stupid and arrogant men who explain things. Stupid and arrogant women explain things, too. You can argue with them, but they won't get it. Your best defense is to get away from them. In the meantime, practice this response:
"Thank you for setting me straight."
[Edited to add: Unlike the Mr. Arrogance who lectured Solnit, I've read her book, and it is very good.]