Review

Review: Men Explain Things To Me And Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit

“Filling in the blanks replaces the truth that we don’t entirely know with the false sense that we do.”

Genre: Nonfiction
Pages: 130
Published: May 20, 2014
Rate: 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads Synopsis

Rebecca Solnit’s essay ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term ‘mansplaining’, and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time – one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyoncé Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit’s feminist writings.

From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as ‘issues’ at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.

Disclaimer: I got sent a copy of Men Explain Things and Other Essays by the publisher for review. This however does not affect my opinion of the book or my review.


My Take

Men Explain Things To Me And Other Essays is a collection of 7 essays which I found illuminating, thought – provoking, and enlightening with a sense of humour. The title essay was definitely my favourite which was all about the authors experience of mansplaining. There’s an essay on Virginia Woolf that I quite liked as well.
Some of the essays read academic to me and I had to re-read them to better understand what she was saying but this didn’t take away from the book, in my opinion.

“Most women fight wars on two fronts, one for whatever the putative topic is and one simply for the right to speak to have ideas, to be acknowledged to be in possession of facts and truths, to have value, to be a human being.”

I liked the fact that Rebecca Solnit seemed quite aware of her own privileges while still discussing sexism and misogyny in an understandable way. By the time I was through with the book I felt sad, angry and empowered.

Men Explain Things To Me is one of the books I recommended for Nonfiction November as I loved it very much.

What’s your favourite essay collection?

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