When I was reading Men Explain Things To Me it was in the wake of the breaking of the Cosby scandal. What a sad, prescient, serendipitous and truly appalling thing it is to have this fantastic ‘sequel’/companion volume and to be reading it in the wake of the breaking of the Weinstein, post-Trump scandal/s.
Solnit tells us, in these essays, that it’s going to take time. That’s already sadly clear – as much as we could say that conversations are happening, that the tone has shifted, that it’s ‘different’ now it feels, if not the same, then still largely embarrassing.
Anyone running a “Not all men” line is more than missing the point.
And as a man I’m not about to start lecturing you – or anyone, that is – on why they should read this book and what they might get from it. These are smart and fearless essays, brilliantly written (of course) and aching with a frustration and sadness. They are head-held-high missives that you should want to read.
And I’ll say no more for any fear of being disingenuous or seeking to claim any authority. I love Solnit’s writing and this book feels hugely important. Not only one to read but to re-read, to buy as a gift, to share, to encourage the men and women in your life to read.