Down girl The logic of misogyny

Kate Manne

Book - 2018

'Down Girl' is a broad, original and far ranging analysis of what misogyny really is, how it works, its purpose, and how to fight it. The philosopher Kate Manne argues that modern society's failure to recognize women's full humanity and autonomy is not actually the problem. She argues instead that it is women's manifestations of human capacities - autonomy, agency, political engagement - is what engenders misogynist hostility.

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Location Call Number   Status
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New York, NY : Oxford University Press [2018]
Main Author
Kate Manne (author)
Physical Description
xxiv, 338 pages ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 309-325) and index.
  • Preface: Going Wrong
  • Introduction: Eating Her Words
  • Smothering
  • Silence
  • Vocal Changes
  • Aims
  • Nonappearance
  • Overview1
  • Regrets
  • 1. Threatening Women
  • The Isla Vista Killings
  • What Kind of Question Is "What Is Misogyny?"
  • What Misogyny Might Be
  • 2. Ameliorating Misogyny
  • Rush Limbaugh on Sandra Fluke
  • An Ameliorative, Intersectional Proposal
  • The Metaphysical Dependence of Misogyny on Patriarchy
  • The Varieties of Misogynist Hostility
  • The Epistemology of Misogyny
  • (Latent) Misogyny as a Disposition
  • Misogyny as Systemic, and as Itself Part of a (Much) Larger System
  • The Analysis Exposes Underlying Moral Characteristics of Misogyny
  • Misogyny Can Exist with or without Misogynists
  • No Man's Island
  • 3. Discriminating Sexism
  • Sexism vs. Misogyny
  • Misogyny and Sexual Objectification
  • The Art of the Smackdown
  • Loving Mothers, Erasing Others
  • Withholding (from) Women
  • Misogyny as Backlash
  • 4. Taking His (Out)
  • Misogyny and Entitlement
  • What She Has to Give
  • His for the Taking
  • Taking Lives: Shame and Family Annihilators
  • Looking Ahead
  • 5. Humanizing Hatred
  • Humanist Thought in Action
  • Clarifying Humanism
  • The Trouble with Humanism
  • A Socially Situated Alternative
  • Dominating People
  • Women, All Too Human
  • 6. Exonerating Men
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • Boy Kills Girl
  • Testimonial Injustice as Hierarchy Preservation
  • Himpathy
  • Locker Room Talk
  • Misogynoir in Action: The Daniel Holtzclaw Case
  • 7. Suspecting Victims
  • On So-Called Victim Culture
  • What Is a Victim? The Rose of Moral Narratives
  • (Down)Playing the Victim
  • Independent People: A Case Study
  • 8. Losing (to) Misogynists
  • When a Man Competes with a Woman: Comparative Gender Biases
  • Social Rejection Is Mediated by Doisgust
  • Espressions of Disgust toward Hillary
  • How Disgust Sticks
  • Keeping One's Distance
  • Care-Mongering
  • Gendered Split Perception
  • Faking It
  • Conclusion: The Giving She
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Review by Choice Review

This book's subtitle promises an examination of contemporary misogyny. Manne (philosophy, Cornell) surmises that women are still implicitly required to serve as laborers--emotionally, physically, psychologically--in ways most men are not. She distinguishes between sexism and misogyny: misogyny upholds patriarchal social norms whereas sexism justifies them. Manne disagrees with labeling misogyny "dehumanizing," arguing that women must be viewed as human to fulfill their expected role of givers. But her thesis seems reliant on an ontological humanism (the recognition of other minds) rather than a Kantian moral position of the autonomous self. Manne covers a wide expanse of current events, including Donald Trump's misogyny, Mike Pence's religious antiabortion position, and the misogynistic treatment of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. But at times, Manne seems to be preaching to the choir, so the book can seem more partisan than philosophical. Writing before the #Metoo movement, the author describes the "testimony injustice," the marginalized experience because of an "economy of credibility" that predetermines some as more trustworthy than others when it comes to sexual assault (this leads to "himpathy"). In the conclusion, Manne writes "So I give up." Perhaps future editions will address the current shift toward holding sexual assaulters accountable. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. --Margaret Alison Betz, Rutgers University, Camden

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.