A Brief History of Misogyny - The World's Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland

By Jack Holland

During this compelling, strong booklet, the past due Irish journalist and essayist Jack Holland got down to resolution a frightening query: how do you clarify the oppression and brutalization of part the world's inhabitants via the opposite part, all through historical past? the result's an eye-opening trip via centuries, continents and civilizations because it seems to be at either ancient and modern attitudes to girls. Misogyny encompasses the Church, witch hunts, sexual concept, Nazism, pro-life campaigners, and eventually, latest constructing international, the place girls are more and more and disproportionately in danger due to radicalized spiritual ideals, famine, battle, and affliction. greatly researched, hugely readable and provocative, this publication chronicles an historical, pervasive and enduring injustice. The questions it poses care for the basics of human lifestyles — intercourse, love, violence — that experience formed the lives of people all through background, and finally limn an abuse of human rights on an almost unthinkable scale.

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A woman could not leave the house unless accompanied by a chaperone. She seldom was invited to dinner with her husband and lived in a segregated area of the house. She received no formal education: ‘Let a woman not develop her reason, for that would be a terrible thing,’ said the philosopher Democritus. Women were married when they reached puberty, often to men twice their age. Such a difference in age and maturity, as well as in education, would have enhanced the notion of women’s inferiority.

First mentioned by the fifth-century historian Herodotus (the ‘father’ of history), they were depicted as dwelling on the borderlands of civilization, devoted solely to warfare; they sought men only when they needed to mate, and exposed all their male babies, rearing only the females. They are the mirror image of patriarchal Athens. With the Amazons, the fantasy of the autonomous male meets its nightmare opposite, the autonomous female. Men’s fascination with warrior women has a long history, from Classical Athens to today’s comic book heroine Wonder Woman and professional women wrestlers.

24 In rebellion, the tragic heroines cross the boundary between what is acceptable female behaviour and what is not, thereby becoming masculine, even Amazon-like. ’25 The message is mixed, if not contradictory. While the playwrights often convey sympathy with women for the suffering and the oppression that goads them into rebellion, the resulting violence and savagery reinforces the underlying anxiety that women are wild and irrational creatures, eruptions of nature who are a threat to the civilized order created by men.

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