Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny Review

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 women generally. 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 U.S. 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 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.

Title:Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny
Edition Language:English

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Paul

    This is a brilliant academic treatise on man's inhumanity to woman. It should be required reading for every feminist. After a thorough treatment of academic and historical instances of misogyny, the a...

  • Chris

    If you are human, you should read this book. Manne's book is academic treatise on Misogyny, and is anything but dry. While I'm not convinced she had to include the look at literature (such as her anal...

  • Mehrsa

    At first, I resisted her idea that misogyny had nothing to do with seeing women as wholly human, but she convinced me. I also resisted himpathy as an explanation to domestic violence, but she convince...

  • Adam

    Awesome read. Points out a bunch of weird confusing contradictions in gender politics, then explains them. Argues that misogyny isn't about hating women - it's about punishing "bad" women. "good" wome...

  • Jocelyn

    All my feminist peeps: You're going to want to read this book. Manne does a fantastic job laying out the (il)logic of misogyny in ways you've definitely experienced and might have reflected on, but ha...

  • Emma Sea

    there's an interesting adapted excerpt from this here, highlighting the link between insecure bodily boundaries and misogyny...

  • Tonstant Weader

    Update: The author contacted me and told me that the galley I read and reviewed was changed significantly before publication and that many of my criticisms were addressed before publication. I will be...

  • Megsie

    This book is an excellent visitation on how to define misogyny. I found it useful for crystallizing my own thoughts, discussing with other people, and picking apart misogyny so that I could address it...

  • Haley

    Read. This. Book....

  • Lisa Marflak

    Fantastic, not only in framing the current state of misogyny and lack of progress in this area, but also opened my eyes to my own limitations and misogyny. Required reading for every feminist....