Want to read this book. I’m intensely and permanently interested in misogyny, and where it comes from and why it’s so pervasive and universal and chronic and hard to get rid of.

You see, darling, I could have said, lots and lots of grown-up men don’t like women. For as long as there have been two genders, men have made enormous efforts to enforce and institutionalise the oppression of the female. Even in a supposedly enlightened and “post-feminist” society such as ours, hatred of women stinks out the whole shooting-match like a bad drain. Young women are bitches and sluts who absolutely force men to rape them by not wearing enough clothes. Old women are either invisible or grotesque, and when they get too old to shag, they have the temerity to take a man’s money if he goes off in search of something fresher.

Because men, of course, as we all know, never get too old to shag, hence all those Hollywood movies (written directed and produced by men) featuring men in their sixties and seventies pairing up with gorgeous women in their twenties. Harrison Ford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen, they’re all out there collecting the glowing glimmering sparkling women age 25. Women are not people but consumer goods – when they get a little worn and chipped you’re supposed to trade them in for a newer one. Misogyny is pervasive and universal and chronic and hard to get rid of.

Every year, an estimated 5,000 women are murdered globally by their own relations for damaging the family “honour”. Millions of girls have their clitorises cut off and their labia stitched together. Millions more are expected to go about their lawful occasions shrouded from head to foot.

Millions are forcibly married to men not of their own choosing. Millions are aborted. Many millions are raped, beaten, coerced, exploited, overworked and underpaid.

This prejudice, he says, is the oldest of the lot, and runs so deep that it is almost invisible. “Was there,” he wonders, “a women’s history BC — ‘before contempt’?” If so, he has not found it…Misogyny is “a Gordian knot of interwoven dependencies” and can be attributed to the basic natural differences between men and women. But as Katharine Hepburn says in The African Queen, “Nature, Mr Allnut, is what we are put into this world to rise above.”

Damn right. Be careful not to hold your breath while waiting though.

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