I used to think feminists were insane. I actually thought they were overblown, volatile, superfluous, and – get this, “asking for it.” I thought they hated men. I thought they wanted to destroy men. And, as ignorant as a turnip, I thought feminists were Satanists. (Gulp. Did I actually admit that?)
It was what I was taught. Until, I decided to think for myself.
After years of life’s experiences and recovering from my indoctrination, I realized what I believed was not true. The truth is some men hate women, want to control them, and even silence them. Why else would they do what they do to women? Did you know that one in three women will be raped in her lifetime; a woman is beaten every nine seconds in the United States; and if that were not appalling enough, spouses are the leading cause of death of pregnant women (again in the U.S)? I came to the conclusion that I agree with author Rebecca Solnit: “We treat the physical assault and the silencing after as two separate things, but they are [the same], both bent on annihilation [of women].”
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit is a short compilation of seven brilliant essays covering how men literally explain things to women, the global injustice and violence women face, a compelling reiteration of the insidious cultural beliefs that make women invisible, thoughts on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its downfalls, an examination and commentary of twentieth century feminist Virginia Woolf’s take on mystery and ambiguity, the fight for marriage equality for the LGBTQ community, and a final essay on how men who get it know that feminism is not a scheme to deprive men but a campaign to liberate us all.
I found Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me fascinating, engaging, and creative. Her writing is first-rate. I highly recommend this reading to anyone interested in feminine theory, the violence women experience, or patriarchy.
A bit about the author, Rebecca Solnit:
Rebecca Solnit is a best-selling writer on various subjects. An activist, feminist, and historian, she is the author of twenty books about civil society, popular power, uprisings, art, indigenous history, environment, pleasure, social change and insurrection, politics, hope and disaster, memory, and most recently, The Mother of All Questions. She is also a Harper’s contributing editor. Rebecca is a product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school.
To learn more about Rebecca Solnit, or to purchase Men Explain Things to Me, visit her website, RebeccaSolnit.net.
Join the Women’s March on January 20th or 21st, 2018, at a city near you. The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs, and events.
Women’s March believes women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights. We must create a society in which women – including black women, native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer, and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments. Download the full vision and principles of Woman’s March PDF here.
For more information, visit WomensMarch.com.
For further reading on the treatment of women, read my other blog, #MeToo.