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Whose Story Is This?: Old Conflicts, New…

Whose Story Is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters (urspr publ 2019; utgåvan 2019)

av Rebecca Solnit (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1516138,774 (4.03)2
"Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of color, non-straight people are telling other versions, and white people and men and particularly white men are trying to hang onto the old versions and their own centrality. In Whose Story Is This? Rebecca Solnit appraises what's emerging and why it matters and what the obstacles are."--… (mer)
Titel:Whose Story Is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters
Författare:Rebecca Solnit (Författare)
Info:Haymarket Books (2019), 192 pages


Whose Story Is This?: Old Conflicts, New Chapters av Rebecca Solnit (2019)


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Her writing is so strong, honest, emotional and at the same time analytical and so... clever! I love reading anything from Rebecca Solnit. Reading her words makes me feel stronger and clears the doubts that sometimes appear. She turns up that gas light, and keeps it steady with her unfaltering voice, revealing so many truths.
Although I find them all very good, and some exceptional, the essay that most resonated with me was All the rage. ( )
  flydodofly | Aug 30, 2020 |
I love listening to Rebecca Solnit's essays on my commute to work because she excels at summarizing the world's events into a feminine and liberal perspective. I do not think the two should be dichotomous perspectives, but that's my worldview. If you think it's not your responsibility to fix the world, then you need to fix yourself. ( )
  kerryp | Jul 4, 2020 |
What I love about Rebecca Solnit is that she unflinchingly speaks about the many ways our world is profoundly messed up--but she also always, always leaves me feeling hopeful. ( )
  the_lirazel | Apr 6, 2020 |
I see this as a 150-page long analytical monograph about sexism before, during, and after metoo. During my reading I took notes. I'd made exactly 150 notes when I finished, which says something about how this book engaged, horrified, and enthralled me.

Solnit's writing style is quite closely connected to those of Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn; the subject matter may seem scary and dire, but they manage to wring optimism and point out critical things that make you think twice, even a third time around.

Solnit writes tersely and yet conversationally; one can easily inject most of the sentences that she ends paragraphs with into any conversation and come out sounding like Oscar Wilde.

One measure of how much power these voices and stories have is how frantically others try to stop them.

Comfort is often a code word for the right to be unaware, the right to have no twinges of one’s conscience, no reminders of suffering, the right to be a “we” whose benefits are not limited by the needs and rights of any “them.”

Perhaps the actual problem is that white, Christian, suburban, small-town, and rural America includes too many people who want to live in a bubble and think they’re entitled to, and that all of us who are not like them are considered menaces and intruders who need to be cleared out of the way.

One of Solnit's key benefits is how she calls out people for what they have done. In this sense, one could call her a historian that won't allow history to be written by the hamfisted majority.

Newspapers and magazines have often been the attack base against women and other assailed parties, and she won't let them rest. Just see these two examples on the Atlantic and the New York Times, respectively:

One way we know whose story it is has been demonstrated by who gets excused for hatred and attacks, literal or physical. Early in 2018, the Atlantic tried out hiring a writer, Kevin Williamson, who said women who have abortions should be hanged, and then unhired him under public pressure from people who don’t like the idea that a quarter of American women should be executed for exercising jurisdiction over their own bodies. The New York Times has hired a few conservatives akin to Williamson, including climate waffler Bret Stephens. Stephens devoted a column to sympathy on Williamson’s behalf and indignation that anyone might oppose him.

This misdistribution of sympathy is epidemic. The New York Times called the man with a domestic-violence history who, in 2015, shot up the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing three parents of young children, “a gentle loner.” And then when the serial bomber who had been terrorizing Austin, Texas, was finally caught in March 2018, too many journalists interviewed his family and friends and let their positive descriptions of the man stand, as though they were more valid than what we already knew: he was an extremist and a terrorist who set out to kill and terrorize Black people in a particularly vicious and cowardly way. He was a “quiet, ‘nerdy’ young man who came from ‘a tight-knit, godly family,” the Times let us know in a tweet, while the Washington Post’s headline noted that he was “frustrated with his life,” which is true of millions of young people around the world who don’t get a pity party and also don’t become terrorists.

The Daily Beast got it right with a subhead about a recent right-wing terrorist, the one who blew himself up in his home full of bomb-making materials: “Friends and family say Ben Morrow was a Bible-toting lab worker. Investigators say he was a bomb-building white supremacist.”

Like other exceptional writers, for example, Chavisa Woods and Susan Faludi, Solnit displays shining talent and craft for providing sobering text:

And then there are the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. We’ve heard from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women about assaults, threats, harassment, humiliation, coercion, of campaigns that ended careers, pushed them to the brink of suicide. Many men’s response to this is to express sympathy for men. The film director Terry Gilliam was the voice of the old ways when he said, “I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon, who is a decent human being. He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!” Matt Damon has not actually been beaten to death. He is one of the most highly paid actors on earth, which is a significantly different experience than being beaten to death. The actor Chris Evans did much better with this shift in perspective, saying, “The hardest thing to reconcile is that just because you have good intentions doesn’t mean it’s your time to have a voice.”

But the follow-up story to the #MeToo upheaval has too often been: How do the consequences of men hideously mistreating women affect men’s comfort? Are men okay with what’s happening? There have been too many stories about men feeling less comfortable, too few about how women might be feeling more secure in offices where harassing coworkers may have been removed or are at least a bit less sure about their right to grope and harass. Men are insisting on their comfort as a right. Dr. Larry Nassar, the Michigan State University doctor who molested more than a hundred young gymnasts, objected, on the grounds that it interfered with his comfort, to having to hear his victims give statements during his criminal trial, describing what he did and how it impacted them. These girls and young women had not been silent; they had spoken up over and over, but no one with power—sometimes not even their own parents—would listen and take action, until the Indianapolis Star reported, in 2016, on the assaults by Nassar and many other adult men in gymnastics. It was not the women’s story until then. It seldom is. Or was.

Solnit also digs deep into journalism and how it's locked into the American politics of late:

Imagine that we were, decades ago, a society that listened to women, and that the careers of Harvey Weinstein, James Toback, Bill Cosby, Les Moonves, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Louis C. K., and so many others had been stopped in their tracks. Hundreds of lives would be better, but also the very news and entertainment world we live in might be different, and better. Jill Filipovic noted, in 2017, “Many of the male journalists who stand accused of sexual harassment were on the forefront of covering the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.” She notes that “these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status” and speculates on how it influenced the election.

Feminism and capitalism are at odds, if under the one women are people and under the other they are property. Despite half a century of feminist reform and revolution, sex is still often understood through the models capitalism provides. Sex is a transaction; men’s status is enhanced by racking up transactions, as though they were poker chips. Basketball star Wilt Chamberlain boasted that he’d had sex with 20,000 women in his 1991 memoir (prompting some to do the math: that would be about 1.4 women per day for 40 years). Talk about primitive accumulation!

The president of the United States is someone who has regularly attempted to enhance his status by association with commodified women, and his denigration of other women for not fitting the Playmate/Miss Universe template is also well known. This is not marginal; it’s central to our culture, and now it’s espoused by the president of our country.

All in all, this is a very needed book. Solnit provides the old, the current, and ways to see soberly into the future with all the might and positivity that we can, to topple misogyny and arm ourselves intellectually.

One sentence I come back to again and again is James Baldwin’s: “It is the innocence that constitutes the crime.” He’s talking about white people in the early 1960s ignoring the violence and destructiveness of racism, their opting out of seeing it. ( )
1 rösta pivic | Mar 21, 2020 |
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"Who gets to shape the narrative of our times? The current moment is a battle royale over that foundational power, one in which women, people of color, non-straight people are telling other versions, and white people and men and particularly white men are trying to hang onto the old versions and their own centrality. In Whose Story Is This? Rebecca Solnit appraises what's emerging and why it matters and what the obstacles are."--

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