Here are three of my favorite posts from last month….
Jealousy can squash us as artists. Or, says Summer Pierre, it can instruct us — even give us “marching orders” for what we should do next.
Via Christine at Quasi Agitato, history professor Anders Henriksson compiles a history of the past, from the European Middle Ages through World War II. The editors of The Wilson Quarterly posit that the exercise was “an act of vengeance” — perhaps. I wonder if it may have been an act of celebration. Yes, many of the passages are ridiculous, such as:
History, as we know, is always bias, because human beings have to be studied by other human beings, not by independent observers of another species.
Italy, of course, was much closer to the rest of the world, thanks to northern Europe.
But much of the language is such vivid and surprising nonsense that it reads like accidental poetry, and to me, the conclusion is moving. I won’t give it away here. You’ll have to read it yourself.
Via another friend, Rebecca Solnit at Mother Jones explains the problem with men explaining things:
Yes … people of both genders pop up at events to hold forth on irrelevant things and conspiracy theories, but 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. Some men.
Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.
Generally I get annoyed — OK, I’ll admit it, enraged — by this behavior. Solnit goes much deeper, connecting the problem with men explaining things to the social, legal, and political disempowerment of women.
Next week I’ll be back to posting favorite links every Monday.