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05 March 2015

Comments

Solnit is more of a Second Wave writer, or at least is old enough to have perspective on feminism. That perspective is missing from some of the younger set. I liked her book. (And it was short!)

Along with worrying about your boys, teach them how to treat people (including women). There's no way to eliminate physical and sexual violence entirely. There will always be people who are mentally or morally broken. But most acts of violence are committed by more-or-less normal people. That kind of thing IS preventable.

Teach your children well: that's how I always conclude my thoughts on social issues. As I don't have any children, you'll have to do it for me.

Also: http://9gag.com/gag/3449786/rape-prevention-tips

Lesbrarian,
Hey, we both liked the same book! And yes, thank you for reminding us, it's short, so there's really no reason not to read it.

Yes, I will do what I can to teach the boys. This is what I find myself praying for them: please don't let them be hurt, and please don't let them hurt others. Kind of a negative prayer, but negativity is just too natural to me, I suppose.

Excellent link, too, thank you. How ridiculous those rules look, when addressed to the other side.b

That paragraph you quoted is a good one. It reminds me of my own college experience. There wasn't a formal rule, but women were pretty much never supposed to walk alone after dark. If you found yourself out alone, there was a service you could call to get a walk home. Never occurred to anyone to tell the men not to go out. Then again, there was an unspoken feeling that the potential rapists were anonymous men hiding in the dark, not our fine men.

Funny thing was, there was a very high-profile date rape case there when I was a student (like cover story of Newsweek high-profile), and this was not the kind of rape we were typically warned about, even though it's certainly more common. Rape prevention was mostly about carrying whistles, not being out alone after dark, and knowing where the emergency call boxes were around campus (and knowing which ones tended to be out of order).

Teresa,
Solnit is a good writer. And she has that ability that all great writers have (in my opinion) to make you look at something completely differently. A "crystallizing moment" is the phrase I think I'm looking for here. She is good at creating crystallizing moments.

There's another one earlier on when she laments all the energy women put into getting themselves from point a to point b with the least risk and worry, and when they talked with men about that, men were appalled at the sheer amount of time women spend thinking about this kind of stuff. Another great essay.

The point you make, about the rapist always being seen as the unknown and not our fine men, is a good one, and she somewhat addresses that as well. And, oh my god, out of order call boxes, of course. There's priorities for you.

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