- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 8, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0190604980
- ISBN-13: 978-0190604981
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.5 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny 1st Edition
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"Despite its somber topic, Kate Manne's Down Girl made me very happy, exhilarated indeed by its insight, analytical clarity, and committed engagement with a major issue of justice. I've been thinking and teaching about sexism and misogyny for a long time, but this book opened up fresh perspectives, for example in its convincing distinction between sexism as a set of beliefs and misogyny as an enforcement strategy. Each thoughtful person will have her own sense of where to locate the root of injustice to women, but Manne's cogent argument that misogyny is primarily about the demand that women give support, service, and care is surely at least one big part of the story of our turbulent times." -- Martha C. Nussbaum, School of Law and Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago
"Persuasively defining 'misogyny' as hostile, demeaning, shaming, and punitive treatment of women, Down Girl brings out the misogynist logic of contemporary culture with wit and urgency. In this book 'misogyny' emerges as the law enforcement branch of patriarchy, and thus as a concept that fully deserves a place alongside 'patriarchy' and 'sexism' as a fundamental tool for feminist analysis. Combining conceptual clarity with passionate commitment, Down Girl is indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to understand the ugly strand of hostility to women that has surfaced in recent years in our so-called advanced Western societies." -- Toril Moi, Duke University
"Kate Manne's brilliant Down Girl is a welcome antidote to the view that philosophy is--or should be--detached and otherworldly. In it, philosophy meets reality and the stakes are nothing less than life and death. Drawing on literature, television, film, social media, current events, and scientific research, Manne's unflinching and bracingly original account defines misogyny in terms of what it does: it polices and punishes women for not fulfilling their time-honored role of catering to men's needs and desires. Among its many other virtues, her analysis explains why, even as women are achieving greater equality, misogyny's stranglehold doesn't show signs of loosening anytime soon. A must-read for all who struggle to make sense of contemporary culture and politics." -- Susan J. Brison, Dartmouth College
"Kate Manne has written a deeply moving and powerful book. It is politically engaged philosophical analysis at its best." -- Sarah Song, University of California, Berkeley
"Manne's important new book deploys the tools of analytic moral philosophy to construct an arresting account of the logic of misogyny. It is sure to become a key reference point for future discussions of this vital, but hitherto sadly neglected, topic." -- John Tasioulas, King's College London
"Manne offers us a deep, insightful, and thought-provoking --if depressing-- account of misogyny in America. This is a path-breaking book. It couldn't come at a more auspicious time." -- Ruth Chang, Rutgers University
"Manne's Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny is excruciatingly well-timed, providing a theoretical framework for a phenomenon baring itself before us, perverse and pervasive... Down Girl reminds us that while revealing individual misogynists is hard, uprooting misogyny is much harder." -- Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post
"Manne brings a fresh analysis to our assumed understanding of misogyny and the related term sexism. As a feminist and moral philosopher... not a single book or article-length treatment [in the field] had been devoted to unpacking what it is and how it works. Historians, pay attention. Manne has stepped up to fill this gap... Manne as a feminist philosopher breaks new ground in a field that is in need of new perspectives...Having fought for recognition for the legitimacy of their method, feminist philosophers are firmly committed to excavating the political, epistemological, and moral aspects of gender relations. Down Girl should encourage historians who trace changes in the meaning and the context of language to revisit some of the old standby terms of feminism." -- Lilian Calles Barger, Society for US Intellectual History
"Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny by feminist philosopher Kate Manne... argues that misogyny pits women against each other: the good wife vs. "feminazis." At a time when high-profile sexual predators have been exposed, I can't imagine a more relevant read." -- Carrie Tirado Bramen, Times Higher Education
"Kate Manne's Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny provides an important and compelling analysis of a phenomenon that's everywhere. Out of Manne's thoughtful analysis, of not just much-debated high-profile events but also everyday experiences, emerge insight after insight into the what, why, when, and how of misogyny. Manne also gifts us a marvelous neologism to capture the exculpatory and even empathic attitudes sometimes expressed towards misogynistic men: "himpathy." -- Cordelia Fine, The Big Issue
"This new book from Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University, makes a compelling argument for treating misogyny as a culture-wide system, not just a matter of individual bigotry." -- Max Fisher and Amanda Taub, The New York Times' The Interpreter Newsletter
"It is difficult to imagine a more timely moment for Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. Manne is a professor of philosophy at Cornell University, and she uses the abstract tools of her discipline to parse current events. Her guiding question is as troubling as it is straightforward-to quote the comedian John Oliver: "Why is misogyny still a thing?" Within the parameters that Down Girl sets for itself, the account of misogyny it provides is compelling." -- Moira Weigel, The Guardian
"Cornell University philosophy professor Kate Manne is on a mission to define "misogyny." While we're culturally familiar with sexism, Manne argues in her forthcoming book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny that misogyny has been woefully conflated with sexism though they have different uses. Misogyny, in Manne's estimation, is about "controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the 'bad' women who challenge male dominance." Through the lens of the 2016 election as well as the 2014 Isla Vista killings, the case of serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw, Rush Limbaugh's "slut" rant against Sandra Fluke, and other news events, Manne outlines the danger of misogyny, and explains how we can collectively resist it." -- Evette Dionne, Bitch Magazine
"Down Girl is a must-read and should be in every feminist's library...[L]ong after reading it, I've found myself going back to it, quoting from it and rereading sections. Her analogies used to explain misogyny's many forms, provide much needed clarity; Manne also parses the difference between sexism vs. misogyny. In my opinion Down Girl is destined to become a feminist literary classic alongside the likes of The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf or Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique." -- Jennifer Taylor Skinner, The Electorette podcast
"In her new book, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, Kate Manne examines an unfortunately ubiquitous reality through an intriguing lens. Manne, who teaches philosophy at Cornell, looks at misogyny from the perspective of power: rather than focus on whether individual men are misogynists or feel deep hatred for women, we would do well to spend more time wrestling with the power structures that not only allow for endless sympathy and space for men's poor behavior, but also-most crucially-help teach men that women are supposed to behave in certain ways." -- Isaac Chotiner, Slate
"What We're Reading: A compelling conversation [by Isaac Chotiner, Slate, see above] with Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University and the author of a new book on structural misogyny, may change the way you think about the #MeToo moment. She makes a case for treating the wave of revelations as an opportunity to re-examine a culture-wide system of discrimination, not just individual instances of bigotry and harassment." -- Amanda Taub, The New York Times
"What is misogyny? How is it different from sexism? And why does the male-dominated status quo seem to persist? A new book by Cornell philosophy professor Kate Manne has answers. She argues that misogyny is not about male hostility or hatred toward women-instead, it's about controlling and punishing women who challenge male dominance. Misogyny rewards women who reinforce the status quo and punishes those who don't...This book calls attention to the roles we all play in society, roles that we're assigned at birth and rarely question, and how we punish people-especially women-when they defy those roles." -- Sean Illing, Vox
"In the fiercely argued and timely study Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (Oxford), the philosopher Kate Manne makes a consonant argument [with anthropologist Alan Fiske and psychologist Tage Rai] about sexual violence. "The idea of rapists as monsters exonerates by caricature," she writes, urging us to recognize "the banality of misogyny," the disturbing possibility that "people may know full well that those they treat in brutally degrading and inhuman ways are fellow human beings, underneath a more or less thin veneer of false consciousness...There has always been something optimistic about the idea that our worst acts of inhumanity are based on confusion. It suggests that we could make the world better simply by having a clearer grasp of reality... The truth may be harder to accept: that our best and our worst tendencies arise precisely from seeing others as human." -- Paul Bloom, The New Yorker
"Kate Manne has written an urgently relevant, brilliant but accessible analysis of how patriarchy functions within our context...Brilliant discussions of "himpathy," victim blaming, and other related subjects follow...Manne's analysis is unflinching and, as things stand right now, there is little room for hope that the big picture is going to improve any time soon. This is very highly recommended reading. Hands down, one of the best books of the year." --n Journeying with Those in Exile
"This timely work of practical philosophy argues that misogyny is not defined by any private emotion or motivation-such as hostility or hatred toward women-but rather by a social function-controlling and punishing women who challenge male dominance while rewarding women who reinforce the status quo." --Adil Ahmad Haque, Just Security
"Kate Manne's Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny is the most important book I've read this year... While Manne doesn't solve the problem or give us a neat or hopeful answer, understanding misogyny is an important first step, so we can recognize it and break the silence that enables it." --Skye Cleary, The Reading Lists
"Manne is a superb philosopher. Her feminist critiques are not just compelling but plainly stated. In this study, which I've been eagerly waiting for all year, she analyzes the systematic misogyny and sexism built into our culture and politics. It is a vital work demonstrating just how women are policed and silenced...it is one of the best books I've read this year." --Misanthropester
"A big, ambitious and engrossing book, Down Girl raises the questions we should all be asking...Manne's equanimity and epistemological delicacy further the debate, closing in on predators such as Weinstein and bullies such as Trump with more than good intent. She comes at the problem of misogyny from all angles, tearing it apart." -- The Australian
"This is the type of book that should be required reading for everyone. It uses historical and statistical evidence to prove that misogyny has woven its way into the very thread of society. The book illustrates how it's so ingrained in our culture that people of both genders rarely seem aware of it, much less critical of it. Often, it becomes such a norm in our society, that we fail to recognize its extensive effects on our everyday lives. Which is exactly why this book is so needed...if you're looking for a book to start off your year with, "Down Girl" is an awesome choice. It's informative, eye-opening, and necessary. Leave 2017 behind. Take on 2018 head first with a real knowledge of how our world is currently working, and a better understanding of what you can do to change that." -- Lipstick & Politics
"Manne's book is a forensic and clever analysis which provides the cogs and wheels of how the system of patriarchal policing works, in our minds, as well as in our world... a prescient work, which proves particularly helpful when facing the news cycle each new day." --Times Literary Supplement
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. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Huffington Post, and The New Philosopher, as well as academic journals. Her lead essay for a forum on misogyny in The Boston Review was one of their '25 most-loved essays' for 2016. She has also been a winner of the American Philosophical Association (APA)'s annual op-ed contest.
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And if you've ever wondered why the actions of a woman have infuriated you, annoyed you, shocked you, or just seemed wrong, deceitful, cold, or out of place, but you can't put your finger on exactly why...you should read this book.
I also was very impressed with the precision and accuracy of this voice. Professor Manne carefully presented not only the contours but also the limits of her analysis. Her writing shows a tremendous respect for the reader.
Kate Manne’s book Down Girl, is perfectly timed (despite having been in the works for many years—she swears Trump’s election is not just a marketing ploy to sell more books). Down Girl examines the concept of misogyny—deconstructing some of the common definitions, proposing one of her own, and examining the application of her definition in a variety of contexts, including (among many others) examining the tv show Fargo, Rush Limbaugh’s attack on the Georgetown Law Student who dared to make the case that contraceptives should be covered by health insurance, two high profile crimes, and concluding with an analysis of the role misogyny played in the recent presidential election.
Kate Manne is a professor of philosophy at Cornell, but you should not let that scare you away. While this is real philosophy, it is (almost) jargon free, and highly readable, even for those with zero background in philosophy (full disclosure: my undergrad major was Ethics and Political Philosophy 40 years ago, but am in no sense a philosopher).
To risk over-simplifying Prof. Manne’s thesis, she defines misogyny as a system of customs and actions designed to signal to women that they should “stay in their lane” and not compete for what have traditionally been coded as jobs (which I am using loosely to include all social roles) reserved for men. She rejects the view that misogyny is defined by the motives of the men in question, and instead suggests that the key is examining the impact of the actions and social structures on women—do they have the effect of signaling to women that they are out of line? Do they impose a cost on women not borne by men in similar situations? If so, they are examples of misogyny, regardless of the intent of the actor. Viewed this way, people who perform acts furthering misogyny can love their wives, mothers and girlfriends, without contradiction). Note that this allows women to engage in actions which constitute misogyny as well.
It is important to note the limitations of Prof. Manne’s book. Early on, she explicitly states that she is not qualified to address—and will not examine in any detail—the very important issues of the intersection of race and misogyny, or the special case of how misogyny intersects with the struggle by transwomen for equal rights. That said, in the final chapter, she does discuss race, and its interplay with misogyny, in the context of examining Trump’s victory over Clinton.
But it is the earlier chapters of the book which I found to be the most thought provoking. Prof. Manne rejects the idea that misogyny depends on pretending that women are somehow less human than men—rather, they are viewed as serious competitors for male coded jobs who—precisely because of their full humanity—must be slapped down. I am not sure that I agree. Using John Rawls’ framework of the “veil of ignorance,” you must consider the possibility that you would fill any of the “fully human” slots once the “veil” is removed, and are thus motivated to develop moral rules which would benefit you, regardless of your future position in society. However, you need not consider the impact of your proposed moral rules on those who are viewed as less than “fully human,” as you can be assured that you will not fill one of those slots. It is in this sense, that the ethical rules applicable to non-human animals are generally considered less compelling than those applicable to humans. Applying this formula to misogyny, if you adopt a moral rule which allows misogyny to exist, then you presumably don’t believe that you will be assigned a role as a woman—otherwise, why would you purposely inflict handicaps on yourself? In this sense, I think that racism and misogyny both depend on some level on the assumption by those in power that women (and non-white people) are not fully human.
To be clear, my argument against Manne on this point in no way detracts from my admiration of Professor Manne’s book—it adds to it. I love books that engages me in this sort of thought process. It is why I chose an undergraduate major in philosophy, and it is an exercise I (and I suspect many people) engage in only rarely after we leave college. Reading Down Girl was for me an excellent way to regain that habit.
I haven't finished the book yet, but I was sharing this book on social media, and I saw it hadn't received a review yet. I wanted to say something positive for the book so that more people would buy it and review it.
The book has the precision of academic writing, but the accessibility of a news magazine like the New Yorker or the Economist (although it falls more on the academic side of things). It discusses the importance of properly defining misogyny, and thinking about patriarchal structures in a way I haven't heard before. Manne is very careful and precise, and her points are really helping me understand myself and how I can benefit people (I am a white straight male).
I haven't finished the book, and I'm enjoying it and benefiting from it. I wish I were more expressive so I could encourage you to read it. I'd say read what you can and go search for that interview if you want to know more before you buy.