Jun 09 2014

Men Explain Things To Me

Women in the audience – picture this – you’re at a party and find yourself in a conversation with a man who proceeds to dominate the conversation on a topic that you happen to know a lot about. Except that the man who’s talking at you, has made the assumption that he knows far more than you because, perhaps simply because he’s a man.

Perhaps he makes you question your own expertise with the force of his apparent authority. Or perhaps you see right through him. In any case, it’s a scenario that most women have at some point or another in their lives found yourselves in, whether you are an academic or a student, a computer technicians or a teacher, stay-at-home or working mother, a young woman or senior, a powerful politician or a factory worker.

These days there’s a term for that experience – it’s having something “man-splained” to you. I certainly have had that experience many times and my guest Rebecca Solnit has also had it, so much so that she has written a book called Men Explain Things to Me. “Mansplaining” is a sexist phenomenon that is one end of a spectrum, on the other end of which is physical violence against women.

GUEST: Rebecca Solnit has written more than a dozen books about politics, art, history, the environment, and much more, and has won a number of awards, and is a contributing editor Harper’s and a frequent contributor to Tom Dispatch

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