I was sitting outside the climber's supply shop, Redpoint, in Terrebonne, Oregon, when a local climber came over to me and glanced at the book lying on the table. The book was, "Men Explain Things To Me," by Rebecca Solnit.
It is a book that seamlessly, gut-wrenchingly, weaves violence against women, the slipperiness of knowledge, the mystery of the unknown, the value of getting lost, and feminism, all into one short, yet intense, read. I have met this friendly man before and we have always happily engaged each other in light-hearted exchanges and quick, warm conversations. Upon noticing the book by my side he became curious. I applaud curiosity. He decided to pick it up and went straight for the back of the cover. I told him to flip to a certain section on the inside. Sometimes, the reviews just don't do a masterpiece justice. After he read some parts, under his own urges and desire, he prodded me into a conversation about "Men Explain Things to Me." Delighted, I accepted his invitation into a conversation about the book, society, our perceptions, knowledge, and ultimately, of course, feminism.
This conversation happened outside. The wind was blowing, the wind chimes were ringing, and we were visited by Micayla, a dog.