Mansplaining is genius. I love her writing – her focus. Since my blog is Mindfulness at 70, I find her commitment to mindfulness exemplary. She is always looking and listening and monitoring how she really feels about what she sees and hears. She is a watchdog for feminists and environmentalists; she is a very interesting person.
She is, of course, not my real BFF. I just wish I could spend some time with her. I read her current posts and have read some of her books. I don’t agree with everything, but her opinions are always thoughtful and grounded in fact and observation. She seems to have lived an interesting life full of unique and common experiences. She’s an intellectual with a lot of street cred.
I really got into Ms Solnit when I stumbled across “mansplaining”. I’ve been railing against it since I was 10 years old and now I had a great name for it. Men always taking the floor and explaining (in many wrong ways) to women in all aspects of life. Hogging all the comments in a meeting, forcing Elizabeth Warren to shut-up in the US Senate, interrupting women. The list goes on and on.
This “mansplaining” is, of course another embodiment of aggression against women. It is not physical and it does not involve sexual violation — yet it is part of the culture’s categorization of women. We are second. The man needs the job more than you. She would not shut up and listen. She was asking for it. All part of the on-going war to keep women in their place.
Can “mansplaining” be that much of a problem when we have so many incidents of sexually inappropriate behavior and sexual violence? Yes, it all comes from the same place. Men are entitled to behave this way. To speak this way, to touch this way. To demand they remain in charge. To hang onto power.
Solnit states, Are people finally making the connection between sexual misconduct and men’s perpetual domination of most professional spaces. I do hope that sometime someone who’s having a high-profile creep masturbate at her takes out her camera-phone and makes the career-killing humiliating video or even livestreams it. The perps do this to prove that they’re powerful and she’s powerless, powerless too often even to get people to listen and believe. That they are invulnerable and beyond accountability, and too often they have been right.
I hope we are making the connection and that we concentrate on overall equality rather than punishing individual “famous” men who transgress. We need , we must, do better.