In Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit takes on the conversations between men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't. The ultimate problem, she shows in her comic, scathing essay, is female self-doubt and the silencing of women. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of 14 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 Harper's Magazine contributing editor.
©2014 Rebecca Solnit (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Loved this book. As a feminist, it confirmed many of my feelings, but it also taught me some new things, and I also think it could be accessible to some open-minded moderates and even conservatives.
But the performance was terrible. This reader was so perky-sounding, reading nearly every word with an audible smile on her face. Even when reading rape and murder statistics!! Not a fan of the performance.
"Perfection is macho. And boring. I like to see the hand of the maker." - Dutch designer Hella Jongerius
Solnit is incredible!
Solnit is a great feminist thinker who brilliantly links deep ecology with a radical and urgent understanding of inequality and sexism.
Bell's singsong voice and inappropriately high tones while speaking about rape and the horrible consequences of sexism was incredibly annoying. As Bell read grim statistics on rape, domestic abuse, and physical violence, I couldn't help but think that she was smiling. The gleeful tone in which she read was off putting and counter to the message.
teacher, mother, wife, friend
This book gets right to the point, of sexism. At first with some funny stories, then on to the continuum of misogyny and degradation of women. This is well worth reading, and not just for women.
It's not really about characters. It's more of a non-fiction essay.
There is a laugh aloud scene where an important gentleman tries to explain her own book to the author (because she needs to know about the very important book that was recently published on the same topic that she has chosen).
It's more about gritting my teeth and nodding my head. The world is so full of men who think that they know better than women. In all incidents, this is an annoying reality that we accommodate everyday, but sometimes it is dangerous to life and limb.
This is a short and pithy book. I would like to have heard more, but really she said what needed to be said. Short and to the point.
Say something about yourself!
I would absolutely make this book required reading. But I can't really recommend it as an audiobook because the narrator is so ill-fitting that it's distracting and imposes a vastly different impression than the one you can reasonably assume the author intended.
The narrator sounds like she's selling spa packages on a hotel channel. Totally inappropriate for the subject matter and authorial voice.
This book turned out to be so much more than playful anecdotes about male condescension. Men Explain Things to Me was a powerful account of the state of women's affairs nationally, here in our back yard, and throughout the world.
Unfortunately, I felt the narration and delivery were completely inappropriate and did not do this book justice. Bell read off soul crushing statistics and tales of rape with a bubbly cheerfulness that made me cringe. It was painful to get through this audio book for that reason, making me wish I'd just read it the old fashioned way...on my Kindle :)
Although I did not give it five stars overall- the story is worth five if not more. There are a lot of hard-hitting topics that drive the point home and covers the entire spectrum of female inferiority in today's culture and society. There were some stats that were hard to stomach and almost made me want to stop reading but ultimately the message was worth it. These are unpleasant truths that need to be told and read and understood by all.
On a very separate random note unless I hear the narratoris voice doing the audio recording; I feel like I tend to not like the books more with a different narrator. It's almost as if a friend was telling an acquaintance my story but passing it off as their own- there's a kind of ingenuity that isn't there.
Otherwise great book and I will definitely listen to it again to catch anything I may have missed while being squeamish!
In this case, I wish I had read the print version.
I think a reader should at the minimum learn how to pronounce all the words. Her mispronunciation was distracting and pulled me away from feeling as if I was hearing the voice of the author. I could deal the voice quality, which others have mentioned, But I'm quite sure that Rebecca Solnit knows how to pronounce "Junta" while its clear her reader had never heard of the word or concept before.
This book got me thinking of the concept of emasculation. I can't think of a similar concept for women. To emasculate; to make a man feel like less of a potent person. Women are already supposed to feel less important than a man by virtue of their gender. So if a man "effeminates" a woman he is "putting her in her (rightful) place" rather than taking something away that was rightfully hers; her potency, her adult person-hood.
I look forward to continuing to read Solnit, an agile writer and thinker, but will make sure that Bell is not the reader. She's perky and cute, and at times you can almost hear her giggle. What were the editors thinking?
I love audiobooks.
Why in the world would they get such a cheeseball commercial non threatening voice actor for a serious book??? I wish I'd read it on paper instead. God, I hate to say it but I almost wish you had been read by a man, if I had to choose between a man and this person's voice.
Yes, in fact it's so full of content that I will most likely listen several times.
I recently listened to Shrill by Lindy West, and I think there are some similarities here. Although Solnit's book is more scholarly, it is no less passionately felt than West's.
The essay called "Men Explain Things to Me" was absolutely my favorite!
Rebecca Solnit is brilliant. Brilliant at seeing life as it truly is, from the unique perspective a feminist woman in the United States. But her perspective isn't limited to that. She champions indigenous peoples, gays, lesbians, the transgendered, and so many more. So you may think, then, that is book is simply a collection of potshots at the male gender. It is not. Solnit uses research and events, both current and historical, to represent her points.
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