Down Girl by Kate Manne
The Logic of Misogyny

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Within the parameters that Down Girl sets for itself, the account of misogyny it provides is compelling. So I mean it as a compliment, as much as criticism, when I say I wish Manne the analytic philosopher could have engaged more with other feminist traditions...
-Guardian

Synopsis

Misogyny is a hot topic, yet it's often misunderstood. What is misogyny, exactly? Who deserves to be called a misogynist? How does misogyny contrast with sexism, and why is it prone to persist --or increase-- even when sexist gender roles are waning? This book is an exploration of misogyny in public life and politics, by the moral philosopher and writer Kate Manne. It argues that misogyny should not be understood primarily in terms of the hatred or hostility some men feel toward all or most women. Rather, it's primarily about controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the "bad" women who challenge male dominance. And it's compatible with rewarding "the good ones," and singling out other women to serve as warnings to those who are out of order. It's also common for women to serve as scapegoats, be burned as witches, and treated as pariahs.

Manne examines recent and current events such as the Isla Vista killings by Elliot Rodger, the case of the convicted serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw, who preyed on African-American women as a police officer in Oklahoma City, Rush Limbaugh's diatribe against Sandra Fluke, and the "misogyny speech" of Julia Gillard, then Prime Minister of Australia, which went viral on YouTube. The book shows how these events, among others, set the stage for the 2016 US presidential election. Not only was the misogyny leveled against Hillary Clinton predictable in both quantity and quality, Manne argues it was predictable that many people would be prepared to forgive and forget regarding Donald Trump's history of sexual assault and harassment. For this, Manne argues, is misogyny's oft-overlooked and equally pernicious underbelly: exonerating or showing "himpathy" for the comparatively privileged men who dominate, threaten, and silence women.
 

About Kate Manne

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Published October 9, 2017 by Oxford University Press. 362 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Moira Weigel on Dec 20 2017

Within the parameters that Down Girl sets for itself, the account of misogyny it provides is compelling. So I mean it as a compliment, as much as criticism, when I say I wish Manne the analytic philosopher could have engaged more with other feminist traditions...

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