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on June 9, 2014
I've read this essay and others by Solnit all prior to their inclusion in this slim little tone with the exactly right-sized lettering on its cover. I am hugely adoring of her writing, so this review is less about the essays themselves (all fantastic) than the fact that it is a discrete volume you can, and should, be toting around in public.

Ladies, read it on the subway.

Two nights ago I was coming home from a lovely summer's walk to a favorite bookstore, where I snapped up the book. I took it out of my bag at 10:30 p.m. on a sublime Saturday night in New York, on the G train.

I was standing, but a Latina woman with her daughter on her lap craned her neck to try see the title of the book. Next to her, two other women who seemed to be out on the town for the night, were whispering to each other, "what does it say?"

The Latina woman cocked her head further and spoke up, "Men Explain Things..."

I spun on my heel and showed off the cover.

"'Men Explain Things to Me.' It's great."

"What is it about?" asked one of the women out on the town. I could tell by the tilt of her eyebrow that she thought its premise was dubious. She did not want Things Explained to her.

I scooched over to where they were sitting, and gave them a short precis of the essay's key narrative moment, closing with: "and you ladies know what she's talking about right? Has that ever happened to you?"

"Mmm-HMM." "You know it has." And a few little cheers and murmurs erupted from the half-dozen women in the train car. We all smiled. I went back to the book, and the women who were out on the town started talking about how Frankie was doing the exact same thing last week, and had no idea what he was talking about.
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on June 2, 2014
I may understand, a little, the perspective of my wife, daughter, granddaughter, and other women I know and don't know after reading Rebecca Solnit. Thank you!
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on August 6, 2014
This book was really good. It opened my eyes to a lot of information of which I was sadly unaware. But a fair warning: It is very upsetting. I got angry and depressed after I read this and realized how pervasive is the subjugation of women in our society. It gave me the courage to stand up and not let people silence me.
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on July 5, 2014
Love this book! Truly a manifesto of feminism for our era. The opening story is so familiar, a wonderful example of mansplaining - you have to laugh out loud. When Solnit connects it to the violence that silences women, it blows you away. Spoiler alert: my favorite bit was her theory of conservatives' vehement objection to marriage equality, that it threatens their belief that marriage must subordinate the female. Read this book!
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on August 13, 2014
Feminism is not about women hating men! It's about women and men addressing the power imbalances that affect us all. Rebecca Solnit's essays in this work draw attention to the problems that we all face as humans and suggest solutions.
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on May 27, 2014
Rebecca Solnit is one of the greatest writers of our time. In the wake of the horrific Isla Vista Eliot Rodger killing, this book is vitally important to understanding the culture of male privilege, sexual entitlement, and misogyny that is unfortunately ubiquitous to ALL women.
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on July 1, 2014
I put art first in the title because Solnit manages to make art out of feminist ideology. Don't get me wrong, I love feminist ideology all on it's own. I wouldn't have bought the book otherwise, but this author has such a unique voice and such a penchant for creating, that something magical happens in this book. It gets raised to the level of art. Because it is art, it gets into places inside us that an ideological expose wouldn't. It seeps into our consciousness before we have had time to think and enlightens us. This is such a graceful book. I found myself putting it down, even though I was very involved, just to let it wash over me. I am thereby only halfway through but this is a wonderful, wonderful read.
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on June 12, 2014
Immediately read and passed along. Pretty salient as misogyny (domestic AND political) and violence ramps up against girls/women more and more. Interesting to read an articulate voice that gives good structure to what many people are facing, thinking about, etc.
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on June 9, 2014
I was deeply impressed by Solnit's writing in an essay I found online, and dived right into to this collection of essays.

I, too, have been in the position (and more than once or twice) where a man who DOESN'T know as much as I do about a subject, launches right in to explain it to me. Pontificates on and doesn't listen, and the author makes a strong point that silencing women - or assuming they have nothing to say - is as big a problem, in its own way, as rape and marriage inequality. They're all based on the same assumption, that women are here to serve/listen/be the receptacles for men, not fully human in our own right.

What I didn't care for: the photos were fabulous, but tiny, and even on my Kindle Fire, I couldn't increase their size to see them better. :(. It IS a short collection (130 pages) and the price (over $8.50) seemed a little high for the page count. Also, though the Virginia Woolf essay was interesting, it didn't seem to fit - the pace/tone felt less angry and outraged, and more philosophical and slow.

All the same, it was an interesting and thought-provoking read, and I recommend it - especially for male readers, it may open your eyes a little bit to life on the other side.
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on July 10, 2014
Fantastic book. Best read of 2014. Rebecca nails it. This should be required reading in all high schools. How can anyone think that equality or fairness exists between men and women? I'm now going to read her other books; she impresses me as a majorly important voice. The essays in the book are tied together with her thoughtful reflections on a series of photographs of women. I've been a feminist since the 70s. Women face a tougher, crueler world today than they did back then, and this book is one of the few rays of understanding and honesty in the happy-talk conformist mediated mess of contemporary publishing. I can't recommend it enough. Bravo, Rebecca.
11 comment36 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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