I started reading this while on vacation with friends. The first essay rang so true that I read part of it aloud to two of the men I was with. They missed the point entirely. I sighed, and went back to reading.
I found this to be a frustrating, yet important, read. As a woman, I have encountered too many instances where a man thinks I need something explained. That as a woman, clearly I should defer to his manly expertise. However, I never considered the roots of this phenomenon, or the true depth this problem runs. The long held belief that men are superior to women, and as a result can control our lives. That men can control our voices, our actions, and ultimately control if we live or die. This was a very thought provoking read that I highly suggest to all women AND men. Feminism too often these days is confused or garbled or straight out degraded out of its true meaning: equality. Solnit gets straight to the point, offering a plethora of examples of how women's voices and bodies are still controlled by men, and how this gender inequality must stop.
Powerful collection of essays.
An excellent collection of essays that anyone interested in learning more about the effects of our culture on women should read. While some essays are rather blunt, others require more thought as she delves into historical context behind sexism and gender roles. Overall a short book and a great read.
Joins the growing shelf of feminist memoir/essays, alongside recent standouts like "Bad Feminist," "We Were Feminists Once," "The Argonauts," and "Shrill."
The title essay gives me LIFE. Solnit takes something small and amusing (a Man Explaining Things To Her) and reveals the undercurrents that mansplaining shares with violence against women. It's a short book, but allow yourself time to pause and think, because you'll want to do that a lot. A few of the essays veer into less inspiring academic territory, but if you are like me, you'll YES, MAMA your way through the whole thing.
A good collection of essays highlighting woman's place in the world, the war to quiet women and the power of ideas. Solnit doesn't bash men; she writes persuasively that equality is good for all of us, and we all have work to do in fighting gender stereotypes and confronting violence against women. Hundreds of years of women essentially being their fathers' or husbands' property doesn't leave societal consciousness immediately--changing views about gender issues and civil rights takes many lifetimes. We can't stop speaking up.
I would give this book somewhere between 3 and 4 stars; I did enjoy it but I'm not clamoring to buy my own copy to read over and over. It is thought-provoking, experience-affirming, and says some really important things about our culture, feminism, and power. I think the three strongest essays are the title essay, 'The Longest War,' and the final essay, 'Pandora's Box and the Volunteer Police Force.' They were both timely, bringing up aspects of women's experiences that are very relevant, and timeless, not relying too heavily on "current" (which at time of reading means "two or three years old") news events. I also enjoyed the essay on marriage equality; I would be interested in knowing what Solnit would add to this essay in the wake of this summer's Supreme Court rulings.
The essay on Virginia Woolf was the weakest part of this book for me. The tone and subject of this essay did not seem to fit well with the others. Also, being mostly unfamiliar with Woolf's writings, I think a lot of Solnit's arguments and comparisons went right over my head.
loved this - many laugh-out-loud-in-recognition moments
will be reading more Solnit
A bit depressing reading as a man but the essays rang true. Quality was uneven. A couple of the essays were excellent. Most were good and there was one that I wish I had skipped over
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