Julie Christine's Reviews > Men Explain Things to Me

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2015, social-political-commentary

I need some time to absorb this before I can write a quality review, but reading Men Explain Things To Me filled me with nauseating recognition, righteous, helpless anger, and yes, that last djinni in the bottle, hope.

I'm really struggling to channel my outrage over the kidnapped girls in northern Nigeria and the world's continued apathy over the subjugation of women and girls everywhere. In reading METTM and reliving all the stupid, maddening ways I've been condescended to, all the times I've felt my safety comprised by a man, and comparing this to the terror women live in daily, I just don't know where to go. Rebecca Solnit does not offer the answers, but she makes a very cogent case why feminism is a struggle for human rights, why it should matter to us all.

It's also a beautiful thing that I read this after I read my first Virginia Woolf, a few weeks ago. Solnit makes me hunger to read more Woolf. I'm also ready to read more Rebecca Solnit.
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Reading Progress

September 2, 2014 – Shelved
September 2, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 16, 2015 – Started Reading
January 17, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
January 17, 2015 – Finished Reading
March 9, 2015 – Shelved as: social-political-commentary

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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message 1: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl Yes, feminism is (should be) a struggle for women's rights. Feminists are actually women's rights advocates, and yet, the name sometimes depicts something else. Also, some who label themselves feminists, seem to not really appreciate the struggle that women around the world face. The issue of women's rights is not simply a talking point where one labels oneself a feminist simply for discussion. For some, women's rights is as simple as the right to their own bodies as they walk down the street. Women's rights is a MAJOR problem that is not to be downplayed by people arguing over silly things in the name of feminism. There, I've gone and said it. As you can see, this is an issue near and dear to my heart…

Thanks for the start to a provocative and reflective review. I need to look into this book. I've also purchased Roxanne Gay's book as well.


Francesca Marciano Please read The Art of getting Lost and The faraway nearby. Solnit is a magnificent writer and those two books are unmissable. So inspiring.


Julie Christine Francesca wrote: "Please read The Art of getting Lost and The faraway nearby. Solnit is a magnificent writer and those two books are unmissable. So inspiring."
These and Wanderlust are on my list, Francesca - thank you! I love her voice.


Julie Christine Cheryl wrote: "Yes, feminism is (should be) a struggle for women's rights. Feminists are actually women's rights advocates, and yet, the name sometimes depicts something else. Also, some who label themselves femi..."

What do we talk about when we talk about Feminism? We should be talking about the issues Solnit and Gay raise-this continued marginalization of women and the violence that pervades so many women's lives--the tendency is to believe it really can't be that bad, since women are fully engaged in education and the work force.

Solnit really drives home how desperate it remains for many, and that's just in this country. Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn's Half the Sky is an extraordinary read, too--if you haven't already. And so full of hope.

I believe that lifting up women and girls - ensuring access to education and health care, freedom from oppression, delaying the age of first child, engagement in their country's economic system - is the single most important way to combat poverty, improve a country's economic and political stability, and yes, even combat religious extremism and terrorism.

We have so much work to do.

I love discussing this with you, Cheryl! You inspire me.


message 5: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 18, 2015 07:03AM) (new) - added it

Cheryl Julie wrote: " I believe that lifting up women and girls - ensuring access to education and health care, freedom from oppression, delaying the age of first child, engagement in their country's economic system - is the single most important way to combat poverty, improve a country's economic and political stability, and yes, even combat religious extremism and terrorism. "

Brilliant and empowering words, Julie!

I did read Kristoff's book and really loved it (just realized that it is another book I've never marked read on GR). Plus, I'm a big fan of what both he and his wife do for women around the world. I follow his column and am aware of most of what he does online to create awareness.

Thanks for reminding me that I need to continue to be aware of books like these that are out there. And thanks also to Francesca for the mention.


message 6: by Sahaj (new) - added it

Sahaj Would you recommend this to a man!? I felt a little embarrassed at first, but finally I added it to my 'To-read' >'may'be' shelf!


Julie Christine Sahaj wrote: "Would you recommend this to a man!? I felt a little embarrassed at first, but finally I added it to my 'To-read' >'may'be' shelf!"

Without equivocation, Sahaj. A good read for all adult humans!


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