Synopses & Reviews
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.
"This slim book seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez hums with power and wit." Boston Globe
"[Solnit's] ability to make a landscape into a text is present in every piece of writing shes ever done, and especially here. Solnit understands that our minds are also landscapes, that they are uncharted territory and we must constantly have something left to discover within ourselves. When men explain things to me, personally, its like feeling someone else draw up the borders of my brain. When 'men explaining things' becomes a concept, we react so strongly because its a map that we can use to bring us back to ourselves. The terrain has always felt familiar, but Men Explain Things To Me is a tool that we all need in order to find something that was almost lost." National Post
"Where opponents would argue that feminism is humorless and superfluous, Men Explain Things to Me is a compelling argument for the movement's necessary presence in contemporary society. It approaches the subject with candor and openness, furthering the conversation and opening a new Pandora's box that's apt to change the way we talk about women's rights." Shelf Awareness
"It is feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions." Salon
"A necessary read in these fraught times. Starting with the title essay, which went viral and inspired the ever-useful term mansplaining,” Solnit writes powerfully about the ways in which power is wielded in today's society, and brings awareness to the staggering inequalities that we wrestle with on a daily basis." FlavorWire
"Sharp-witted and bold... quintessential Solnit." Publishers Weekly, "Things We Like This Week" Blog
"Sharp narratives that illuminate and challenge the status quo of women's roles in the world. Slim in scope, but yet another good book by Solnit." Kirkus Reviews
"I can't place this book as anything less than a brilliant, varied, and thoroughly enjoyable read and definitely an addition to my list of feminist faves. With that, I urge you to get to your favorite bookshop or library and snag a copy of Men Explain Things to Me. Pull up a chair, brew something tasty, and venture into the wilderness of what a changed world might look like." Lip
A landmark essay that went viral, inspired the word mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments.
About the Author
Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of fourteen books about civil society, popular power, uprisings, art, environment, place, pleasure, politics, hope, and memory, most recently The Faraway Nearby, a book on empathy and storytelling. She is a Harpers contributing editor.