Men Explain Things to Me

Men Explain Things to Me

by Rebecca Solnit

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Overview

In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

She ends on a serious note— because the ultimate problem is the silencing of women who have something to say, including those saying things like, “He’s trying to kill me!”

This book features that now-classic essay with six perfect complements, including an examination of the great feminist writer Virginia Woolf ’s embrace of mystery, of not knowing, of doubt and ambiguity, a highly original inquiry into marriage equality, and a terrifying survey of the scope of contemporary violence against women.

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in DisasterA Field Guide to Getting LostWanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608464579
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication date: 04/14/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 130
Sales rank: 148,841
File size: 302 KB

About the Author

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in DisasterA Field Guide to Getting LostWanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.

Table of Contents

Men Explain Things to Me 1

The Longest War 19

Worlds Collide in a Luxury Suite: Some Thoughts on the IMF, Global Injustice, and a Stranger on a Train 41

In Praise of the Threat: What Marriage Equality Really Means 59

Grandmother Spider 69

Woolf's Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable 85

Pandora's Box and the Volunteer Police Force 109

Image Credits 125

Acknowledgments 127

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Men Explain Things to Me 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally, a definition and indictment of the patriarchal culture that still pervades business, politics, and daily life. Everyone should read this. Read it twice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading Ms Solnit's work because she makes me think and challenges my assumptions
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Rebecca Solnit is indignant. And she has every right to be. She also has a sense of humor, which effectively leavens her anger. But make no mistake—her articulate and evocative writing in this collection of nine previously published (mostly online) essays is fueled by a keen sense of social justice, especially (but not exclusively) as it pertains to gender. Perhaps best known for the title essay, she relates the frustratingly bizarre and insulting social interaction that occasioned her writing it. This edition includes a coda that addresses the rise in the use of the term "mansplaining," for which she disavows complete credit while helping to focus the meaning of the word. Like any effective writer, Solnit supports her arguments (and there are many worth noting) with facts, details, and references. Unfortunately, for anyone wishing to follow up on these references, she omits documentation of her sources, explaining in the Acknowledgments that doing so would have resulted in innumerable “ponderous” footnotes. She does mention that the source citations are available in the online versions of these essays, which is a minor inconvenience. Despite the brevity of these essays (none exceeds 20 pages), they are indeed powerful and eye-opening declarations. Just try to read “The Longest War” without getting peeved. “Cassandra Among the Creeps” is likewise infuriating. She also provides some much-needed context for the #MeToo movement (which originated after this book’s publication in 2014) with her analysis of the #YesAllWomen movement in the essay of the same name, subtitled “Feminists Rewrite the Story.” One motif that informs every essay in this collection is Solnit’s belief in words, the power they wield, and the power afforded to those brave enough to use them. If you want to know what feminism sounds like in the 21st century, read this book.