Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
This little book of essays on feminism is anchored by the essay that coined the term “mansplaining.” I’m grateful to Solnit just for inspiring this fun and accurate neologism and the many stories other women have shared about being mansplained. When she pointed out the condescending way men often assume that they know more than women, obliviously pontificating to women with much more expertise, and told the story so perfectly, she did all of us a service.
The other essays in the book discuss rape and violence against women, the IMF, gay marriage, activism, and Virginia Woolf. Solnit is passionate, knowledgeable, and articulate, aware of how women’s issues interact with problems of capitalism and colonialism. She ends with a note of hope, saying that we can’t despair because the future is never certain. It’s a quick read, and very informative.