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Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture Hardcover – November, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press (November 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773522727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773522725
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,656,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Perhaps it was inevitable that equal time should have been granted to those who claim that modern popular culture is biased against men. Nathanson (Over the Rainbow: The Wizard of Oz as a Secular Myth) and Young (religious studies, McGill Univ.) use an extensive appendix of antimale bias in film, television, and even greeting cards to show that in the past ten years, the pendulum has swung too far. Equally challenging is their notion that academic elites (i.e., feminist idealogs) are to blame. The problem with their approach is twofold. The potential examples of both misogyny and misandry probably run nearly neck and neck in film, television, and music today. Moreover, it is in the very nature of these media to describe conflict, especially gender conflict, as their core subject matter. The entertainment beast is such that somebody has to be the bad guy excuse me person, and hence the authors' sincerest wish that Hollywood end the war between the sexes is not likely to be fulfilled. Academic libraries may want to add this title to balance their collections in the interest of rigorous academic fairness. Jeff Ingram, Newport P.L., Newport, OR
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Genuinely intelligent and insightful. Spreading Misandry is provocative in the very best sense and will help point the way toward social harmony and away from bickering and fingerpointing." Donna Laframboise, author of The Princess at the Window: A New Gender Morality "An important book. Nathanson and Young do a good job on introducing the average reader to the positions of various intellectuals as they relate to this moral issue and to moral issues in general." Charles H. Long, emeritus, religious studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

Customer Reviews

While some of the misandry emanates from men, much of it comes from feminists as well.
S. Bayley
And so singular and distinct is the authorial voice in the book that one can only gasp in admiration that it was in fact written by two authors.
david hallam
I should like to thank them both for opening my eyes and my mind to the dimensions of a problem to which I have given only scant attention.
Paul Bernatchez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Hot One on October 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely enlightening! Just about any man who is honest with himself already realizes that male bashing is an allowable pastime within out pop culture. Not long ago, I walked into my front room to find my son upset at his favorite cable cartoon channels. He told me glumly that every man on there was stupid or incompetent or evil. I sat down with him, and sure enough, he was right. The big stupid guy looking for a date, but the women all physically assaulted him. The superhero girls saving the stupid city mayor (who has a smart and capable female assistant who really runs the city). The girl crime fighter, with a comic sidekick boy, who repeatedly needs rescuing. Yep, it's so blatant that a 12 year old could see it!
But how deep is this? Did my son merely fixate on a few anomalous exceptions? This book goes to great length to show just how widespread misandrous (anti-men) expressions have become in our culture, and how we got here. Don't read this book for yourself, read it for your sons and grandsons. There's something insidious going on here, and if you care for the young men who will inherit this country, then you need to get alarmed at the world that is being made for them.
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80 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Martian Bachelor on December 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(...) this book (in spite of a few small flaws) is perhaps the best thing dealing with men's issues to come down the pike in the last couple of years. And that includes Warren Farrell's last two books, the first of which, "Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say", deals with much the same topic (though it's nevertheless distinct in its particulars). The critique Nathanson & Young offer up is absolutely devastating and one can only hope that it opens up an entirely new field of badly needed criticism because, as extensive as the book is, it barely touches the surface when one stops to think about it. For example, the immensely popular "Frazier" TV show isn't even mentioned, and Seinfeld only appears in a footnote -- so there's much material yet to be mined, especially at the rate the garbage is being produced for dozens of channels.
One weak spot I noticed was the tendency to analyze works from the early 90's rather than more recent offerings. I got the impression much of the material had sat on the shelf for a long time and it made me wonder why this was, so it would have been nice to have had some explanation of this, perhaps in the preface. Because of the ephemeral nature of "hits", I wasn't sure that I'd even heard of some of the films they go into great depths on. This was only a minor drawback, but I did wonder why, if they were going back in time some, they ignored, for example, the mid-80's (`85?) Best (sic) Picture "Out of Africa", which seemed a prime example of many of their themes (which also touch on race), while perhaps trying too hard to make their case on one or two other films. No matter, I'm being picky. No book as impassioned as this could be absolutely perfect.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By S. Bayley on October 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This excellent book presents convincing evidence of the pervasiveness of misandry (contempt for men) in popular culture. Written in a very scholarly manner and carefully documented, it analyzes numerous movies, cartoons and tv shows to prove this point. The reader is clearly shown how men are ridiculed and insulted in virtually every advertisement, cartoon and movie by individuals (male and female) who feel duty-bound to put men down at every opportunity.

Some readers wonder why so few men complain about this kind of treatment. The reason is clear. Western culture has a double standard whereby women may complain endlessly, but men must keep their mouths shut. It is not macho for a man to complain. Thus if a man dares to complain about misandry, he is likely to be reviled as a whimp, a whiner or a male chauvinist pig. Faced with such vilification, is it any wonder that men are reluctant to speak out? They know full well that they will never be taken seriously.

While some of the misandry emanates from men, much of it comes from feminists as well. All this and more is addressed in this well-written book. It should be required reading for all social science students.
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By david hallam on March 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Finally, a lucid, beautifully written book which takes seriously the politically inconvenient but dead true fact that current Western culture is awash in misandry. Type 'misandry' on your Word program and it will tell you that there is no such word. If Nathanson and Young's book gets anything like the readership it deserves, 'misandry' won't be a non-word much longer.
The thinking on display in 'Spreading Misandry' is so clear, so apt, so free of cant, that even the most militant ideological feminist ought to be able to read it with something approaching delight.
And so singular and distinct is the authorial voice in the book that one can only gasp in admiration that it was in fact written by two authors. Moreover, since one of them is a man, the other a woman, readers can have real hope that the spread of misandry can be stopped by men AND women acting together for the sake of that old friend of humankind 'the common good'.
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