Down Girl

By Kate Manne,

Book cover of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Down Girl as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Kate Manne offers the best definitions of sexism (men thinking they’re better than women) and misogyny (men punishing women for displeasing them) that I’ve ever read. And she brings receipts, showing examples of how these two things play out in everything from novels to politics to crimes to classrooms.

Once I read her book, it was impossible for me not to spot more examples pretty much everywhere I went in the world.

This is not angry feminism, though philosopher Kate Manne’s compelling prose may move you to anger. With surgical precision, Manne cuts through the layers of patriarchy, showing how vilification, mockery, and shaming of women function as “law enforcement” measures in a sexist system. A woman seeking “masculine-coded perks and privileges” may even deserve to be punished according to the “logic” of misogyny. I was fascinated by Manne’s explanations of why so many women voted against Hilary Clinton in 2016. Her analysis applies to racial and LGBTQ+ discrimination as well. When I was researching my book, Manne’s book helped me…

Of the books on this list, read this first. And if you only read one, make it this one. Down Girl changed how I see the world. I continue to consult it in my own writing and teaching. Manne convincingly argues that misogyny is the police force of sexism, meaning a system of structures, practices, and behaviors that enforce and reinforce binary gender norms. In other words, misogyny is not just an individual hatred of women, and this means that men and women alike are capable of misogynist actions. Manne also pays close attention to how race, socioeconomic class, and…

From Joy's list on systems of power and oppression.

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