Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

Oxford University Press
3
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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
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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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Oct 9, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780190605001
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Gender & the Law
Philosophy / Political
Philosophy / Social
Political Science / Women in Politics
Social Science / Gender Studies
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Every year, thousands of girls and women die at the hands of blood relatives. These victims are accused of committing honor violations that bring shame upon their families: such 'transgressions' range from walking with a boy in their neighborhood to seeking to marry a man of their own choosing, to being a victim of rape. Women in the Crossfire presents a thorough examination of honor killing, an ages-old social practice through which women are trapped and subjected to terror and deadly violence as consequences of the evolution of dysfunctional patriarchal structures and competition among men for domination. To understand the practice of honor killing, its root causes, and possibilities for protection and prevention, Robert Paul Churchill considers the issues from a variety of perspectives: epistemic, anthropological, sociological, cultural, ethical, historical, and psychological. He makes use of original research by analyzing a database of honor killing cases, published here for the first time. Specifically, Women in the Crossfire addresses the salient traits and trends present in honor killing incidents and examines how honor is understood in socio-cultural contexts where these killings occur. The book aims to illuminate causal pathways that combine to produce the tragedy of honor killing. Socialization within honor-shame cultures, factors such as gender construction, child-rearing practices, and adverse experiences prime boys and men to take roles as one-day killers of sisters, daughters, and wives in the name of honor. The book further relies on theories of cultural evolution to explain how honor killing was an adaptation to specific ecological challenges and co-evolved with other patriarchic institutions. The ultimate aim of Women in the Crossfire is to convey promising methods of preventing future honor killings, and to protect girls and women from victimization.
This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl--and a young woman--trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world, of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community that made all the difference.

Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist. Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman--and the first black woman ever--to serve as Secretary of State.
 
But until she was 25 she never learned to swim, because when she was a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor decided he'd rather shut down the city's pools than give black citizens access.
 
Throughout the 1950's, Birmingham's black middle class largely succeeded in insulating their children from the most corrosive effects of racism, providing multiple support systems to ensure the next generation would live better than the last. But by 1963, Birmingham had become an environment where blacks were expected to keep their head down and do what they were told--or face violent consequences. That spring two bombs exploded in Rice’s neighborhood amid a series of chilling Klu Klux Klan attacks.  Months later, four young girls lost their lives in a particularly vicious bombing.
 
So how was Rice able to achieve what she ultimately did?
 
Her father, John, a minister and educator, instilled a love of sports and politics. Her mother, a teacher, developed Condoleezza’s passion for piano and exposed her to the fine arts. From both, Rice learned the value of faith in the face of hardship and the importance of giving back to the community. Her parents’ fierce unwillingness to set limits propelled her to the venerable halls of Stanford University, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the university’s second-in-command. An expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, she played a leading role in U.S. policy as the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Less than a decade later, at the apex of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, she received the exciting news--just shortly before her father’s death--that she would go on to the White House as the first female National Security Advisor. 
 
As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother’s cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling.

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