Rebecca And Novel And Essay

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Being women, we were politely out of earshot before we started laughing, and we’ve never really stopped.It wanted to be written; it was restless for the racetrack; it galloped along once I sat down at the computer; and since Marina slept in later than me in those days, I served it for breakfast and sent it to Tom later that day. It still seems to get reposted more than just about anything I’ve written at Tom Dispatch.com, and prompted some very funny letters to this site.None was more astonishing than the one from the Indianapolis man who wrote in to tell me that he had “never personally or professionally shortchanged a woman” and went on to berate me for not hanging out with “more regular guys or at least do a little homework first,” gave me some advice about how to run my life, and then commented on my “feelings of inferiority.” He thought that being patronized was an experience a woman chooses to, or could choose not to have–and so the fault was all mine. Young women subsequently added the word “mansplaining” to the lexicon.Young women needed to know that being belittled wasn’t the result of their own secret failings; it was the boring old gender wars.So lovely, immeasurably valuable Sam, this one always was for you in particular.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?He was already telling me about the very important book–with that smug look I know so well in a man holding forth, eyes fixed on the fuzzy far horizon of his own authority.Here, let me just say that my life is well-sprinkled with lovely men, with a long succession of editors who have, since I was young, listened and encouraged and published me, with my infinitely generous younger brother, with splendid friends of whom it could be said–like the Clerk in I still remember from Mr.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.

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