9 Amazing Quotes From The Book ‘The Mother of All Questions’ by Rebecca Solnit

‘The Mother of All Questions’ by Rebecca Solnit is a follow-up to her book ‘Men Explain Things to Me’. It contains feminist essays about topics such as silence, the arrival of men in feminism and what makes a planet inhabitable among other discussions. Already a huge fan of her writing style, I loved reading the book. The author’s intriguing observations and analyses as well as her well-researched writing are all reasons to wanting to keep reading more and more of her wonderful writing. So, following are nine quotes from the book that I liked the best.

  1. One of my goals in life is to become truly rabbinical, to be able to answer closed questions with open questions, to have the internal authority to be a good gatekeeper when intruders approach, and to at least remember to ask, “Why are you asking that?” This, I’ve found, is always a good answer to an unfriendly question, and closed questions tend to be unfriendly.
  2. English is full of overlapping words, but for the purposes of this essay, regard silence as what is imposed and quiet as what is sought.
  3. A valued person lives in a society in which her story has a place.
  4. The revolution is for free movement of everyone, everywhere. It is not finished; it is under way; it has changed all the maps; they will change more.
  5. Every day each of us invents the world and the self who meets the world, opens up or closes down space for others within that. Silence is forever being broken, and then like waves lapping over the footprints, the sandcastles and washed-up shells and seaweed, silence rises again.
  6. I care passionately about the inhabitability of our planet from an environmental perspective, but until it’s fully inhabitable by women who can walk freely down the street without the constant fear of trouble and danger, we will labor under practical and psychological burdens that impair our full powers.
  7. Everyone contributes. You could call women dependent, but only if you were willing to call men the same thing.
  8. We need to stop telling the story about the woman who stayed home, passive and dependent, waiting for her man. She wasn’t sitting around waiting. She was busy. She still is.
  9. To be free of discrimination is to be allowed to be an individual assessed on the merits.

Happy reading!

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