Currently Reading: Men Explain Things to Me

The non-fiction streak continues into the new year with Men Explain Things to Me, a slim blue volume of seven essays by Rebecca Solnit. I consider it a good sign when seemingly disparate, random, yet memorable pieces of information that I’ve come across at some point or another are suddenly hanging out in the same room. Maybe, I wonder, there is actually a rhyme and reason to what I consume; maybe there is a common theme among the things I know. Maybe. Within the first few essays I came across a reference to Idle No More, a grassroots movement among Canada’s Indigenous peoples that I heard about at a talk on campus last fall, and then “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” which I inexplicably learned in a communications course ridiculously titled “Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy.”
Thus far, Solnit’s essays have pointedly addressed violence against women, global economic injustice, and marriage equality. I’m sure there is much more to come. The title essay recalls the author’s experience of a man condescendingly explaining to her about a book that she herself had written, but branches out into the much larger issue – and danger – of silencing women. Solnit dedicates this book to “the conversations that don’t end,” so here’s to learning a bit more about those conversations.

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