Books, life the universe

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


I came across, by accident, a little book by Joan Smith called Misogynies: Reflections on Myths and Malice. Well worth reading even though it was published in the mid 90s as it is still relevant today. I'm about half way through it at the moment. Once chapter is a deconstruction of Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent - which I haven't read; and another is about the film Jagged Edge - which I have seen. Both chapters suggest there is an underlying misogyny in both works which is taken for granted by both readers and cinema audiences alike.

But what horrified me most was the description of a court case in which a man killed his wife's lover. He only got three years for manslaughter as he'd been provoked into doing it and was only trying to resume his rightful control of his wife. There is one sentence spoken by the man when questioned about his wife being 'allowed' to go out to work, he said he'd thought it best for her to use 'her bright little mind'. How bloody patronising can you get? The case was in the late 80s not, as you might have expected, in the nineteenth century.

Browsing the Internet as I do I've found there seems to be a growing backlash against women which seems to encompass a sheer virulent hatred of all women. You've only got to read almost any news story which involves women to see the comments made against the sex. You get all the old prejudices coming out such as women should stay at home and look after their kids and stop taking jobs away from the men; education has been feminised so that's why boys don't do well at school; women are always devious and untrustworthy and they only want men for their money. If these comments were only appearing on 'tabloid' newspaper web sites I wouldn't be too concerned but they seem to be appearing on the broadsheets as well. A very worrying trend.

I found a recent story about women not putting enough money into pensions brought out the worst in so many men. There were comments such as: women marry and divorce and get their money that way so they don't need to bother about pensions; women expect to be supported by men; women don't deserve pensions; women are always spending money so they don't have any to put into pensions etc etc.

Something I read recently suggested that misandry - hatred of men by women - doesn't have the same support and never has had. Men irritate and annoy women but in the main women seem more able to say well I don't like that man but it's because of the sort of person he is rather than because he's a man.

Interesting times.

No comments: