The Mother of All Questions

The Mother of All Questions

Book - 2017
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In a timely follow-up to her national bestseller Men Explain Things to Me , Rebecca Solnit offers indispensable 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 characteristic style, Solnit mixes humor, keen analysis, and powerful insight in these essays.
Publisher: Chicago, Illinois : Haymarket Books, [2017]
ISBN: 9781608467402
1608467406
Branch Call Number: 305.42 SOLNIT
Characteristics: 176 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Calzada, Paz de la - Illustrator

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sloanelm
May 07, 2018

This is a wonderfully researched and written set of essays on sexism and how men hate and fear women so much that they (yes, yes, not all men) want to kill women. This is current, and depressingly reminiscent of books written by women 30, 40, 50 years ago. And the violence against women (and others who do not fit gender norms) goes on. Solnit: “Even when the evidence (of sexual abuse) was overwhelming some still hurled abuse and threats at the victims and found ways to deny the merits of their stories… (because) to believe them… would be uncomfortable, and many speak of comfort as a right, even when – especially when – that comfort is built upon the suffering and silencing of others.” I read this on the day that Camille Cosby ‘stood by her man’ after his conviction on just a small sample of his long career drugging and assaulting women. Solnit includes the new venue for violence against women: the internet. I was introduced to Lewis’s Law (‘all comments on feminism justify feminism’), which reminded me of some wisdom I’d seen previously: “Feminism: Latin for don’t read the comments.” Solnit’s analysis of the Isla Vista massacre was chilling. “the misogyny, the killer’s furious sense that women owed him something, that he had a right to whatever pleasure and adulation they could deliver.” “But the dead are still dead, the bereaved are still grieving, and the setup is still ripe for more murders.” And then we had the horrific use of vehicle as weapon in Toronto, the perpetrator in that act of gender terrorism citing his admiration for the perpetrator of Isla Vista. I reject the term they’ve created for themselves because it disappears the essential ingredient of gender. Solnit: “Of course, Margaret Atwood had made the same point as Louis C. K. much earlier and more pithily when she remarked, “Men are afraid women are going to laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” Read this, and expect to be moved.

t
themarypoppins
Aug 09, 2017

All Solnit added b/c of NYT profile.

i
Indoorcamping
May 25, 2017

One of those books, like everything Solnit writes, that you find yourself quoting for the next week (or month) after putting it down. Such a thick book, in the way that well-thought out, well-edited, well-written, well-crafted ideas are so solid you can't just skim through lightly waiting for the bus. I found myself re-reading paragraphs to make sure I understood exactly, as I wanted to make sure I could repeat her examples and conclusions when conversing with friends or when the situation seemed to call for a little elevation. And, being female, the situation always seems to call for something elevated, something Solnit.

My husband, being a retired law enforcement kind of guy, isn't the perfect demographic for this book, but I've overheard him quote her ideas as well. That's how good she is. What you expect from the woman who gave us "mansplaining?"

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