Mansplaining On Rebecca Solnit’s Men


Explain Things to Me (METTM) Background/Context Patronize: treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority. Patriarchy: a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. (root: Greek patriarkhia, “ruling father”) In METTM, Solnit makes the case that small patronizing acts correlate to larger, global problems—that the baseline, default attitudes (many) men have toward (most) women ripple out into society in subtle ways to maintain women’s powerlessness. Solnit expresses (i.e. argues for) this idea by exploring general and specific instances of female confinement and disappearance, voicelessness, exclusion, disenfranchisement, abuse. Course Objectives that relate to this assignment: By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate composition skills, producing sustained essays of sophisticated analysis and argumentation that reflect critical thinking in a style both rhetorically effective and conventionally correct. You will explore a line of inquiry and limit the topic appropriately, and you will establish and state a unifying thesis or proposition. And, as always in essays for this class, you will use examples, details, and other evidence to support or validate your thesis and other claims. Prompt Write an essay (1,500-1,800 words) that argues for the importance/relevance of one of Solnit’s themes in relation to the prevalent images and attitudes (of and about women) in your known world. Use research to establish the terms of your argument, and use a minimum of 8 quotes from METTM to make your points/back up your claims. Prewrite/freewrite/brainstorm/plan: Explore and define the depictions of—and implicit or explicit role-assignments that correspond to those depictions/expectations—women in your general sphere of experience. The book is really about the effects of the various power imbalances between men and women. What power-imbalances directly affect you? How do you argue that point? Search for quotes. Requirements An outline/essay plan that includes a thesis, at least 4 quotes from METTM, topic sentences for at least 4 body ¶s, and a list of potential outside sources (minimum of 3). Completion of this outline/plan is not optional. You must turn it in before you take the midterm. Outline/plan DUE by 10pm, 3/27. The outline is due turned in as a separate assignment. Please DO NOT turn the outline in as an essay submission. Turn it in HERE. Three outside sources that cover distinctly different material (i.e. referring to three different social media sites to make one point does NOT constitute three sources). Cite all sources in MLA (and include a properly formatted Works Cited page—10 points). MLA document format: (see MLA Handbook and/or Purdue OWL link) typed, double-spaced, serif-font (Times New Roman or Cambria), 1” or 1.25” margins, name/pg.# on header. Introduction You may choose a two-part intro—a creative/reflective paragraph about your own experience in the patriarchy might be a good way to set up your argument. The second paragraph, if you go with a two-parter, should do the work of a standard intro (meaning: name the author/book, explain or set up the general direction of the paper, and include a thesis).

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