Definitive Thesis

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A British academic wrote in to the with all kinds of nitpicking corrections and complaints, all of them from outer space.

He carped, for example, that to aggrandize Muybridge's standing I left out technological predecessors like Henry R. He'd apparently not read the book all the way to page 202 or checked the index, since Heyl was there (though his contribution was just not very significant).

And in newspapers, magazines, and television, where women are dramatically underrepresented.

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% of all homicides of women, annually creates about two million injuries, and prompts 18.5 million mental health care visits.

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.

Pelen's class on Chaucer -- "gladly would he learn and gladly teach." Still, there are these other men, too. Very Important was going on smugly about this book I should have known when Sallie interrupted him to say, "That's her book." Or tried to interrupt him anyway. She had to say, "That's her book" three or four times before he finally took it in.And by the way, when her new book comes out sometime later next year, we’ll have a signing/donation extravaganza to celebrate!Tom] 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.Being women, we were politely out of earshot before we started laughing, and we've never really stopped.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.And then, as if in a nineteenth-century novel, he went ashen.That I was indeed the author of the very important book it turned out he hadn't read, just read about in the a few months earlier, so confused the neat categories into which his world was sorted that he was stunned speechless -- for a moment, before he began holding forth again.Right now, Noam Chomsky’s book Today is another Tom Dispatch “best of” -- the return of a piece that has never really gone away by a site favorite, Rebecca Solnit.It’s definitely a TD “classic,” now with a new intro by the author.Last year’s Nobel Peace Prize went to women, two Liberians and a Yemeni, “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Which is to say, that safety and full participation is only a goal.This is a struggle that takes place in war-torn nations, but also in the bedroom, the dining room, the classroom, the workplace, and the streets.


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