Monday, October 19, 2015

Nonfiction Book Review

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

 In feminist circles, the term "mansplaining" -- which refers to the patronizing, condescending language that men sometimes lapse into when they talk to women -- has become a cultural touchstone and the topic of countless recent blog posts and think pieces. Though she didn't coin the phrase itself, author and activist Rebecca Solnit launched the concept of mansplaining into the mainstream with her excellent 2014 essay collection Men Explain Things to Me. The book begins with the titular essay, in which the author relates a series of comic anecdotes about overconfident men assuming they know things their female counterparts don't. But it soon becomes clear that she has more than just linguistics on her mind. As the book progresses, Solnit wades into darker and murkier waters, exploring the link between gendered language and the habitual ways in which women are literally silenced, victimized, and devalued -- through spousal abuse, rape, and misogyny-fueled murders. Some essays are more abstract than others, and connections between topics are sometimes tenuous (an essay about Virginia Woolf seems particularly nebulous). Luckily, these minor missteps are offset by the urgency and grace of Solnit's writing style, which remains grounded and confident throughout. By turns sobering and scathingly funny, Men Explain Things to Me is a slim but challenging book, one that has rightly earned a spot in the contemporary feminist canon. -- Romi Pekarek Smith

Monday, October 5, 2015

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Is your business prepared in the event of a cybersecurity breach? Now is the time to take stock of your cybersecurity health, including the importance of securing information through best cybersecurity practices, identifying your risk and the types of cyberthreat, and learning best practices for guarding against cyberthreats.
Learn more from the U.S. Small Business Administration on how to protect yourself from a cybersecurity breach, and join the SBA webinar Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work on Thursday, October 8, 1-2 PM Central Time.