If I were a recipe, two of my main ingredients would be French and feminism. It’s why my little feminist heart was so moved when C and I stumbled across an intersectional feminist rally this afternoon in Brussels, right outside of Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert. That beautiful feminist spirit then followed us into a bookstore, where we found a book that was everything I’ve ever needed. I picked it up, read the blurb, and caved. I impulse bought it for 21.49€, but god, it was so worth it.
Barely 4 pages in, I knew that I’d fallen in love with the book when I read, “Being told that, categorically, he knows what he’s talking about and she doesn’t, perpetuates the ugliness of this world and holds back its light.” Men Explain Things to Me encapsulates everything about why I want to study feminism. Solnit’s prose is just so quotable, so eloquent, so alive that it resonates with every one of my salty feminist heartstrings.
I’m only on page 52 of 124, but I know this book is going to go right up there with Émilie du Châtelet’s Discours sur le bonheur as a feminist work of art that’s indelibly painted its way onto the canvas of my worldview.
Ironically, after the book blew my mind, C and I ran into this pizza owner who epitomized everything wrong with mansplaining. Look, butthead, we didn’t need your little cabbage-brain telling us that you support Trump because he “wants to improve the economy, not make war” and that you want progress so badly you’re willing to watch society regress. (Did he realize that how asinine that sounded? Probably not. I doubt he could hear anything over his white privilege and the fact, that to quote Solnit, he had his “…eyes fixed on the fuzzy far horizon of his own authority.”) C and I were so done that we paid for our water, got up, and left without a word even though we’d already ordered our food.
So to everyone who thinks that “Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians,” well, I won’t deny the destroying capitalism part, but nobody asked for men to be born with privilege and women to have to die for it.