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Publisher's Summary

In a timely and incisive follow-up to her national best seller Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit offers sharp commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more. In her characteristic style, Solnit mixes humor, keen analysis, and sharp insight in these 11 essays.

©2017 Rebecca Solnit (P)2017 Tantor

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Worthwhile!

This book is amazing.

This book has opened my eyes to my own feminist movement and I hope for many people to read this book to be aware of misogyny as a whole.

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Yes!

How can such a tiny book pack such a punch and have me ruminating for months after the last page is read?

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  • Geoff Rothschild
  • 2019-09-26

words (and the way they’re pronounced) matter.

i’ve downloaded many books recently read by narrators who egregiously mispronounce alarming numbers of words. this plea- to make it stop- goes out not only to the narrators in question, but to whomever is in the booth. kindly get a clue. IT’S A FREAKING AUDIO BOOK. IT’S KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Shielding C
  • 2021-08-13

Rambling, SWERFy, Dated

I found myself annoyed pretty quickly by Solnit's stream-of-consciousness style. Some people might very much enjoy all the poetic-sounding musings loosely connecting a wide variety of personal and pop-culture events, but I found myself frustrated by the vagueness of points she was making. Her ruminations on "silence," for example, keep changing the definition of silence in a way that made it difficult for me to assess what point she was trying to make. It seemed at times to be a free-association exercise.

This wouldn't have bothered me so much if her work fell purely into the categories of poetry, memoir, or creative expression, but she also makes serious arguments about contested issues. Her commentary on porn and prostitution (her word) is a prime example. Sex workers' rights is a very important topic she knows to be divisive. Get as poetic as you like about the nature of male violence when you know everyone is pretty much on the same page, but when you're outlining an argument that porn isn't actually speech I think you owe it to your feminist audience to be crystal-clear on your position.

Solnit's poetic and rambling style provides her cover to avoid accountability when she strongly implies, for example, that young women who watch porn aren't prepared to fend off sexual assault, and that the sex workers leading the sex workers' rights movement are white and middle-class with no experience of coercive working conditions. (She doesn't say this directly, she implies it by mentioning that she knows a few sex workers who are white and middle class and not coerced before reminding us that trafficking does exist - as though her sex-worker friends would need her to explain this.)

Ultimately, her Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminism is why I gave her work two stars, but I will add that many of her pop-culture analyses have NOT aged well. It was funny in a sad way when she praised the great male feminists Aziz Ansari and CK Louis, for example. I gave an audible groan when she described the final reckoning against Bill Cosby that surely proved the progress feminism has made. Maybe if she had any friends in the sex industry with experience being poor and nonwhite and familiar with workplace coercion (or if she weren't so eager to erase such knowledge from sex workers she does know) she would have known better than to believe everyone who calls themselves an ally.