Men Explain Things To Me - a book of feminist essays by Rebecca Solnit

Kindle Monthly Deal

This book found it's way on to my Amazon wishlist and sat around there until one day I decided to take a peep at the Kindle Monthly deals (expecting to find a lot of junk I wouldn't be interested in). I certainly was not expecting to find something I was very interested in reading and made a point of paying a few visits to the library in order to find. I believe for the remainder of the month you may be able to download the ebook for $3 - and I would encourage it!
I started this book on the tail end of a vacation, which doesn't mean that it set a positive mood. Yes ma'am, this book is a bummer, but it gave me a lot of introspection to do, and the issues it's covered still niggles me.

This is a collection of essays Solnit wrote over the course of the last 5 or so years, all focused on "subtle" modern feminist issues. Mansplaining being the foremost one - but generally the little things that men don't have to deal with and so have no idea are issues that exist but women deal with regularly and are expected to just buckle down and accept. Some of them seem harmless (like men condescendingly explaining things that you may actually have more expertise in) but they tend to be a symptom of a larger, far more menacing issue. Most importantly, rape. It is 2015 and I should not have to discuss in great detail on my book review blog that rape or sexual abuse is such a problem. When a woman gets raped, there's a high chance that it will be ignored by a lot of people, including the people who are supposed to help and protect her, and this is in America. It's really disheartening!
The lengths women will go to avoid something that men don't even consider are astounding. For a personal example, I have never gone out without at least one friend present. I don't mean shopping for sundries, I mean I've never been to the downtown area in the city where I live after 5pm without a companion. Either another girl or my gay guy friend who would be described as a "bear" in the gay community. Men would typically never, ever think twice about leaving their apartment around dusk and stroll through a "bad" neighborhood to get a burger or see a movie. As a woman I would have to make arrangements with someone, or if that didn't go through, stay locked and safe in my room. Because of the risk of getting raped, mugged, or murdered, even if it's statistically unlikely, I've been conditioned to believe that it's going to happen to me if I don't take precautions. Now why is that?Because regardless of what you may think, the fact is that the playing field for genders (not just in 3rd world countries, mind you) is totally unbalanced.
It was really enlightening. If I hadn't bought it on my kindle, I'd share my copy with all my friends on the school yard until when I got it back it would be tattered and care-worn. This is an important book to read for this generation of feminists!

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