Men Explain Things to Me

Rebecca Solnit attempts to exit a party when a certain “Mr. Very Important” tries to impress her with knowledge of a “very important book” he hasn't even read. It takes Solnit several repeated explanations to get through to him that she is the author of the book in question. The man is speechless. Punctuated with such witty and clarifying moments, the San Francisco-based writer, historian and activist's bestselling collection of essays—Men Explain Things to Me (originally released in 2014, with updated paperback coming out this month)—takes on issues of gender, power and “mansplaining” in America. Solnit deciphers entrenched gender inequalities, capturing exemplary moments of the feminist struggle—from women being constantly discredited in conversation, to being silenced by death threats and unable to report sexual assaults. Despite the serious nature of the book's content, it's potent with optimism as it looks toward the future of an evolving feminist movement. With the recent federalization of marriage equality ushering in changes to the traditional view of marriage, Solnit's work is a welcome voice in the ongoing movement for gender equality.