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130 pages, Paperback
First published April 14, 2014
"violence doesn't have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender."
The online world is full of mostly anonymous rape and death threats for women who stick out - who, for instance, participate in online gaming or speak up on controversial issues
Here is that road , maybe a thousand miles long, and the woman walking down it isn't at mile one. I don't know how far she has to go, but I know she's not going backward, despite it all - and she's not walking alone.
”So, I hear you’ve written a couple of books?”
I replied, “Several, actually.”
He said, in the way you encourage your friend’s seventeeen-year-old to describe flute practice, “And what are they about?”
. . . I began to speak of only the most recent . . . “River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West,” my book about the annihilation of time and space and the industrialization of everyday life.
He cut me off soon after I mentioned Muybridge. “And have you heard about the very important Muybridge book that came out this year?”
He was already telling me about the very important book—with that smug look I know so well in a man holding forth, eyes fixed on the fuzzy far horizon of his own authority. . . .
So Mr. Very Important was going on smugly about this book I should have known when [my friend] Sallie interrupted him, to say. “That’s her book.”
. . . . And then, as if in a nineteenth-century novel, he went ashen. That I was indeed the author of the very important book it turned out he hadn’t read, just read about in the “New York Times Book Review” a few months earlier, so confused the neat categories into which his world was sorted that he was stunned speechless—for a moment, before he began holding forth again. Being women, we were politely out of earshot before we started laughing, and we’ve never really stopped.
"Having the right to show up and speak are basic to survival, to dignity, and to liberty."
"We have far more than 87,000 rapes in this country every year, but each of them is invariably portrayed as an isolated incident. We have dots so close they're splatters melting into a stain, but hardly anyone connects them, or names that stain. In India they did. They said that this is a civil rights issue, it's a human rights issue, it's everyone's problem, it's not isolated, and it's never going to be acceptable again. It has to change. It's your job to change it, and mine, and ours."
Here, let me just say that my life is well sprinkled with lovely men, with a long succession of editors who have, since I was young, listened to and encouraged and published me, with my infinitely generous younger brother, with splendid friends of whom it could be said--like the Clerk in The Canterbury Tales I still remember from Mr. Pelen’s class on Chaucer--"gladly would he learn and gladly teach."Solnit is respected as a feminist writer, and Men Explain Things to Me is a compilation of her essays, some previously published elsewhere, exploring various feminist issues. The book is a highly intelligent and serious work. (The “hilarious” descriptor in the summary is inaccurate.) One of her most enjoyable essays is the one she opens with, an anecdote that underscores well men’s too-frequent condescending behavior toward women.