Men Explain Things to Me & the comments of a feminist


Men Explain Things to Me, and Other Essays was written by Rebecca Solnit - an author of several books and a generous thinker, contributing to the feminist movement. 
Men Explain Things to Me, And Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit
Currently sitting on a hotel balcony, reading the aforementioned essays, the idea arose that I could comment on the first essay, and give my opinions as a feminist and as a millennial teenager living and experiencing the pitfalls of a rather cynical and misogynistic society. 
Chapter 1, Men Explain Things to Me
"Pressing Matters"
Chapter One summarises 'mansplaining,' - when 'men explain the things they shouldn't and don't hear the things they should.' The gendered phenomenon argues that men sometimes explain things to women that women know more about, but the woman's experiences and knowledge are dismissed due to men having the confidence and power to overthrow whatever may be said to them - belittling and berating women.

This chapter hardly describes the scale of the power difference between genders, but it does show that often, some men will patronise women as they feel they have the right to, and women will often be denied credibility.
That being said, I can say with great confidence that I have berated and belittled men over the past few years with the things I've said; unknowingly of course, but after having it pointed out to me a few times I've realised that it's not just a one-sided thing. All genders can belittle and 'mansplain' to all genders, however, there is a pattern that shows it is much more common for men to do it to women which is massively highlighted in the essay.
Equally, I have also experienced being belittled due to my gender and being discredited due to my age and the way I look/dress. In a nutshell, I completely understand what Rebecca Solnit is talking about.

Through my own experience, when I have 'mansplained' or unintentionally berated men, it was because I suddenly became defensive in conversation as I'd felt as though my right to speak, to have value and to be acknowledged had been compromised. Reflecting on those times, I'd maybe jumped to conclusions to quickly and not given the people I was talking to a chance to explain their point, I'd almost expected them to say something attacking my sense of self as that is largely what I've grown up to know that men do... - I was simply waiting for my turn to speak rather than listening, and was waiting to snap back at them and shut them down for making me feel like less than a person. 
The reason I'm saying all this, is because the essay, 'Men Explain Things to Me,' majorly focuses on how men treat women, and doesn't balance the argument by discussing the flip-side. The writing is also based on the idea that there are two genders - male and female, and whether this was due to limited research being done and not enough evidence for patterns to be found within other genders, I don't know. But when reading this essay, which I recommend you do, take it with a pinch of salt, as it mostly consists of a one-sided argument with a few disclaimers thrown in to make sure the reader knows that the author, Rebecca Solnit, does not, in fact, hate men.

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