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Search tags: Men-Explain-Things-to-Me
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review 2018-10-11 14:56
Men Explain Things to Me: A Ranting Review
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

I'm a firm believer in the rights and empowerment of women.  I'm actually a firm believer in those things for any human which is why this "new classic" of feminist literature rubs me the absolute wrong way.  It is everything that I fear about modern feminism which is to say that it strays so far into generalizations that it devolves into men bashing. It actually doesn't stop there and goes on to bash entire political parties.  While it makes some legitimate points and has a plethora of statistics, they are not worth the effort to wade through the hatred that seems to bleed off every page.

 

Intellectually, I don’t understand how the new feminist movement has strayed so far from the original.  Take, for example, the three most oft cited legacies of the women’s movement: the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, suffrage, and prohibition.  Rose Schneiderman, who perhaps gave the most rousing speech regarding the Triangle tragedy in 1911, talked not specifically about women but about the atrocities of all factory workers, including men, women and children. It would help usher in labor reform in the US that still stands today.  The right for women to vote? It was actually initiated by a man in 1878. It was only 40 years later when women banded together (with men!) to make it a reality. And prohibition, perhaps the historical event most frequently attributed to women, actually started as religious reformation by rural Protestants.  When women took up the banner of prohibition, it was not merely for their own sake but for the sake of the the family unit as a whole and the perceived degradation of American moral values. My point being that feminism, in its original carnation, was about the rights and empowerment of all. Men and women worked together to impart changes that have altered the entire history of our country and changed the fabric of society into what we know today.  To forget that basic tenet is to cause a gender division that divides nations rather than accomplishing a lasting legacy that benefits all.

 

To generalize the genders as this book does only adds fuel to a simmering fire without offering any suggestions for solutions. Men are not all evil.  Women are not all saints. Respect for individuals and the empowerment of all individuals seems to have been forgotten in this new crop of feminist literature (including this book very specifically) and, sadly,  it's our society as a whole that will pay the price for that apathy.

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review 2018-06-01 00:53
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
Men Explain Things To Me - Rebecca Solnit

This book is a collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit, all more or less on feminist topics. The essays are well written, and I did get a bit of kick out of the story of the man who decided to tell her about her own book without realizing that she was the author. I'm not sure how much any of the essays will stick with me though, so I'm only giving it 3.5 stars.

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review 2018-03-12 00:26
To be a Woman in The World
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

So very good. I suggest that you read this if you have time. It's fantastic and there are so many stats that will make your head swim. To be a woman in the world means you are intrinsically in danger. Most of that danger comes from men and even from well-meaning men who just can't help "explaining" things to women.

 

It's hard to be at work in the position that I'm in it having to report to men who don't know as much as me about a subject, but often feel the need to tell me that something that I told them was totally not working in the way that it should be. And all cases it has been shown I was still right, they were still wrong, they just took very shity directions. I swear 90% of my job is now just responding to complaints about things that would be resolved if people would slow down and actually listen to me the first time when I spoke to them.

 

Solnit does a great job of breaking this up and focusing on key things surrounding violence against women, rape, rape culture, sexual harassment, and even why conservatives seem to have it out for women issues. 

 

"Every woman knows what I’m talking about. 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."
 
"About three women a day are murdered by spouses or ex-spouses in this country. It’s one of the main causes of death for pregnant women in the United States. At the heart of the struggle of feminism to give rape, date rape, marital rape, domestic violence, and workplace sexual harassment legal standing as crimes has been the necessity of making women credible and audible."
 
"Most women fight wars on two fronts, one for whatever the putative topic is and one simply for the right to speak, to have ideas, to be acknowledged to be in possession of facts and truths, to have value, to be a human being."
 
Rape culture is now the topic of the day due to the me too movement, Women's March initiatives, and Hollywood's Time's Up cause. One hopes that these are not just flash in the pan social media blitzes and that there are going to be more thought and discussion on how to include all women as well as women in every industry. 

 

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text 2018-03-11 16:30
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

Would recommend everyone read this. It's not long and it took me over an hour to read.

 

Solnit breaks things down and gets into violence against women, patriarchy, rape, rape culture, sexual harassment, and conservative ideology that's mostly push back against women having a right to say what we can and can't do with our bodies/lives. 

 

Full review later. Want to get started on another book before I head to see A Wrinkle in Time.

 

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text 2018-03-11 16:05
Reading progress update: I've read 62%.
Men Explain Things to Me - Rebecca Solnit

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