Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

by Kate Manne


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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. l

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190933203
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 79,934
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Kate Manne is an assistant professor of philosophy at Cornell University, having previously been a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2011-2013. She works in moral, social, and feminist philosophy. In addition to academic journals, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post,, The New Philosopher, and Boston Review. Her book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny was awarded the 2019 PROSE Award for Excellence in the Humanities by the Association of American Publishers.

Table of Contents

Preface: Wronging Him
Introduction: (Eating) Her Words

Chapter 1: Threatening Women
Chapter 2: Ameliorating Misogyny
Chapter 3: Discriminating Sexism
Chapter 4: Taking His (Out)
Chapter 5: Humanizing Hatred
Chapter 6: Exonerating Men
Chapter 7: Suspecting Victims
Chapter 8: Losing (To) Misogynists

Conclusion: The Giving She

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Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Down Girl, Kate Manne presents astonishingly novel and sophisticated moral theory--exciting if disturbing in its own right--all without ever leaving the real world. She offers the wider public a rare philosophic work which sacrifices neither accessibility nor nuance in exploring a topic which no book of philosophy has ever addressed, yet which impacts everyone. She presents brilliant and totally new ideas that may just revolutionize moral philosophy, and she does it all in plain English. The book is certainly not easy to read, but if you give it some time and effort, you will be more than rewarded. The book's subject--the nature, character, function, and internal logic of misogyny--may be something you don't feel needs further explanation, least of all by a philosopher. Why bother analyzing the concept of misogyny, which is merely a label we use to describe things in the world? If there is misogyny in the world, then we ought to examine the world itself, not our concepts. Manne's work, however, represents a shining example of the power of concepts to illuminate the world anew. By embedding her writing in the real world, Manne demonstrates the importance and timeliness of her work. Throughout the book, she delves deeply into world events, the 2016 U.S. elections playing a starring role. These events have perplexed many, sometimes even years after they've occurred; and it's these events that reveal the need for a careful evaluation of exactly what is misogyny. If, like me, you've found yourself disturbed by, yet persistently unable to explain moments when men attacked women and got away with it, you may appreciate the explanatory power of Manne's exploration of misogyny. The world, you may say, needs investigating; but Manne shows that by interrogating our concepts, we can then turn back to the world with new power and insight, a new lens, and thus a new way to understand what we see. The book is ambitious, terrifying, and exciting, and it may change the way you see the world around you.