Even in the online gaming arena women face furious harassment and threats of assault simply for daring to participate. Real violence, the most extreme form of silencing and destroying rights, takes a far more dire toll in this country where domestic violence accounts for 30 percent of all homicides of women, annually creates about two million injuries, and prompts 18.5 million mental health care visits.
It’s in Cairo’s Tahrir Square too, brutal gender violence where freedom and democracy had been claimed.
Having the right to show up and speak are basic to survival, to dignity, and to liberty.
I’m grateful that, after an early life of being silenced, sometimes violently, I grew up to have a voice, circumstances that will always bind me to the rights of the voiceless.
He kept us waiting while the other guests drifted out into the summer night, and then sat us down at his authentically grainy wood table and said to me, “So?
I hear you’ve written a couple of books.” I replied, “Several, actually.” He said, in the way you encourage your friend’s seven-year-old to describe flute practice, “And what are they about?When explaining that, though Muybridge had made improvements in camera technology, he had not made any breakthroughs in photographic chemistry. Both Philip Prodger, in his wonderful book on Muybridge, and I had actually researched the subject and made it clear that Muybridge had done something obscure but powerful to the wet-plate technology of the time to speed it up amazingly, but letters to the editor don’t get fact-checked.And perhaps because the book was about the virile subjects of cinema and technology, the Men Who Knew came out of the woodwork.Though I hasten to add that the essay makes it clear mansplaining is not a universal flaw of the gender, just the intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness where some portion of that gender gets stuck.The battle for women to be treated like human beings with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of involvement in cultural and political arenas continues, and it is sometimes a pretty grim battle.The out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered.Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about. I like incidents of that sort, when forces that are usually so sneaky and hard to point out slither out of the grass and are as obvious as, say, an anaconda that’s eaten a cow or an elephant turd on the carpet.The house was great–if you like Ralph Lauren-style chalets–a rugged luxury cabin at 9,000 feet complete with elk antlers, lots of kilims, and a wood-burning stove.We were preparing to leave, when our host said, “No, stay a little longer so I can talk to you.” He was an imposing man who’d made a lot of money.One evening over dinner, I began to joke, as I often had before, about writing an essay called “Men Explain Things to Me.” Every writer has a stable of ideas that never make it to the racetrack, and I’d been trotting this pony out recreationally every once in a while.My houseguest, the brilliant theorist and activist Marina Sitrin, insisted that I had to write it down because people like her younger sister Sam needed to read it.