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READ KINDLE ⚫ Misogyny: The World's Oldest Prejudice ⚣ In this compelling, powerful book, the late Irish journalist and essayist Jack Holland set out to answer a daunting question how do you explain the oppression and brutalization of half the world s population by the other half, throughout history The result is an eye opening journey through centuries, continents and civilizations as it looks at both historical and contemporary attitudes to women Misogyny encompasses the Church, witch hunts, sexual theory, Nazism, pro life campaigners, and finally, today s developing world, where women are increasingly and disproportionately at risk because of radicalized religious beliefs, famine, war, and disease Extensively researched, highly readable and provocative, this book chronicles an ancient, pervasive and enduring injustice The questions it poses deal with the fundamentals of human existence sex, love, violence that have shaped the lives of humans throughout history, and ultimately limn an abuse of human rights on a nearly unthinkable scale The last work of Jack Holland s life is this masterpiece a complete and utter take down of the fallacy of Misogyny and the ravages it has caused human kind Passionate, sincere, incredibly well researched and told with an engaging and approachable tone I can t recommend this enough This work is a credit to humanity and I am also very happy to see that a male feminist ally in the fight to end gender discrimination wrote it I could not admire this book enough It s an essential work of feminist The last work of Jack Holland s life is this masterpiece a complete and utter take down of the fallacy of Misogyny and the ravages it has caused human kind Passionate, sincere, incredibly well researched and told with an engaging and approachable tone I can t recommend this enough This work is a credit to humanity and I am also very happy to see that a male feminist ally in the fight to end gender discrimination wrote it I could not admire this book enough It s an essential work of feminist humanitarian thought How many people have sat down one day and said, Gee, I think I need to learnabout the history of misogyny I did I saw my coworker reading this and expressed interest in it Unfortunately, I don t think the brief part of A Brief History of quite sank in at the time I was expecting something a bit.For anyone largely uninitiated into gender issues or the history of misogyny, I would recommend this book as a good read Holland is a good writer, and he covers the subject compre How many people have sat down one day and said, Gee, I think I need to learnabout the history of misogyny I did I saw my coworker reading this and expressed interest in it Unfortunately, I don t think the brief part of A Brief History of quite sank in at the time I was expecting something a bit.For anyone largely uninitiated into gender issues or the history of misogyny, I would recommend this book as a good read Holland is a good writer, and he covers the subject comprehensively However, the book was difficult to finish It didn t pull me into the analysis of misogyny like I had hoped This book suffers from several oversights or deficiencies that don t detract from the material in the book so much as they prevent the book from achieving its full potential Firstly, it should be called A Brief Western History of Misogyny Jack Holland starts in ancient Greece and Rome and works his way up to Victorian Britain and 1960s America Yes, he briefly detours into pre colonial India and China, and toward the end he turns his gaze on Taliban Afghanistan and the Muslim Middle East Overall, however, his overview of misogyny is written from a Western perspective It s understandable, since most of modern society can trace its roots to ancient Greece and Rome However, I would have liked to hear indetail about the other ancient cultures that contributed to modern society mostly Eastern cultures , as well as a little expansion into tribal Africa.Secondly, Holland s adherence to the historical pattern of development is often at odds with his tendency to draw parallels to the various contributing factors toward misogyny his favourite appears to be dualism This is why I had to force myself through some parts they just felt very dry.Finally, I think Holland over extends his analysis a little too much I do agree when he points out the misogynistic aspects of the Holocaust, of Nazism, of communism, etc Sure, fine However, these mentions feelcursory than other areas of the book I don t think he did these topics justice A Brief History of Misogyny is exactly as advertised It s brief, and it s a history It s comprehensive and informative It s not an incredibly entertaining book, so if you re worried your non fiction enthusiasm is waning, don t read this book right now On the other hand, if you re like me and spontaneously develop a desire to learnabout misogyny, then this book will serve that purpose fine Warning this is a LONG review but I wanted to remember some of the important parts of this book that had meaning to me, so I explain and quote in detail here Although I feel the writing in this book could use a bitediting and refining according to the intro, the author died and his family worked to get this published, so that may be why it is a little rough , I found the topic to be fascinating This book really is a brief history of misogyny and yet, although I know the author co Warning this is a LONG review but I wanted to remember some of the important parts of this book that had meaning to me, so I explain and quote in detail here Although I feel the writing in this book could use a bitediting and refining according to the intro, the author died and his family worked to get this published, so that may be why it is a little rough , I found the topic to be fascinating This book really is a brief history of misogyny and yet, although I know the author could have gone into so muchdetail, there are still so many examples of misogyny packed into this little book it could make your head spin Holland begins his history with the ancient Greeks He doesn t just arbitrarily choose this period to begin with, though he affirmatively argues that this is the right beginning of misogyny I don t know if I buy that and I know other reviewers have taken issue with the Western bias as well But I let it pass because, as I mentioned earlier, this is a brief history and I don t take it to be a complete treatise on the matter and because Western history is most relevant to my own heritage.Let me point out just a few things that struck me about the book For one, and this was probably na ve, but I was shocked by the severe misogyny of the long extolled Greek philosophers, especially Aristotle I was angry that we learn about these great thinkers in school, with no mention of thepernicious side This is nothing unique, of course school children are notoriously taught a gilded version of history For example, Aristotle taught that semen carried the human soul, and women played a merely nutritive role in the human creation process Further, the full potential of the child is reached only if it is born male if the cold constitution of the female predominates, through an excess of menstrual fluid in the womb, then the child will fail to reach its full human potential and the result is female For the female is, as it were, a mutilated male, Aristotle concludes This irritates me because he just pulls this conclusion out of thin air, and yet it goes on to dominate thought for nearly 2,000 years, greatly influencing social behaviors and Christianity along the way So, I found myself struggling on how to feel about these men, and many, many others throughout history who are famous or great for one reason or another, but who carried and or perpetuated horrible views about women or Jews, or blacks, or what have you Take Washington and Jefferson great founding fathers, but both slave owners or King great civil rights leader, but a philanderer I guess you just have to acknowledge people as being merely human no one is perfect, and perhaps we ought to look at each person in the context of their time in history because we are all victims to our time It is a question of gradation there is a line to be drawn, somewhere, when a person has gone too far to any longer be held up as admirable Maybe we ought to just reserve our severe judgment for those whose views have not only been merely a reflection of their time, but have harmfully promoted and furthered those views I don t really know the answer.Back to the book The next thing that struck me was learning a littleabout the history of Christianity, in terms of its misogyny It all begins, for some reason, with a train of thought perpetuated by the likes of St Paul, early Christian writer Turtullian, and St Augustine all perhaps influenced by early classical thinkers , rejecting the body its needs and desires as inherently evil and a hindrance to greater knowledge of God and to salvation one of Christianity s newly created ideas Marriage was seen as a necessary evil to at least reign in bodily sexual desires, but sanctity was identifiedandwith virginity These views worked themselves especially harshly on women women was bound to suffer because of our nasty habit of blaming that which we desire for making us desire it And of course it didn t help that it was woman that caused the original downfall of man in the first place, according to Genesis So as just one resulting example, women must dress modestly to avoid tempting men who can t help themselves Gosh, does this sound like a familiar idea even today So this actually brings me to the point I found most interesting the exaltation of Mary at least within what would eventually became the Catholic church It was just really fascinating to me to see how this actually came about it was really such a snowball effect This is just to summarize after Jesus dies, people are left to sit and think about it all and men inevitably begin coming up with explanations for everything First they argue and decide that Jesus was both man and God something Jesus never really said outright So, if Jesus is God, that means Mary has to be the mother of God The Gospels mention Mary being a virgin at Jesus birth, but because of the nasty feelings about sex going around, it seemed unfitting that the Mother of God had defiled herself ever in such a way so it was determined that Mary was always a virgin Also, they decided it was unsuitable that Mary should have suffered a fate as human and base a death, so they decided that she ascended into heaven, body and soul, instead of dying Later, people decided it would be unbefitting of the Mother of God to have been born with original sin like the rest of us shmoes, so it was decided that Mary was the only human being other than Jesus to have been born without original sin the Immaculate Conception It took hundreds of years after Jesus death to come to all of these conclusions most of which have no basis in Jesus teachings or the Bible In fact, the author calls Jesus views on women revolutionary, and of course in many ways the status of women did improve somewhat with Christianity In the end, the glorifying of Mary created quite a problem for real women, though How is anyone supposed to live up to that standard of perfection It is impossible, and women are continued to be seen as evil, sexual impediments to Godly salvation The best a woman could do was to remain a virgin and these thoughts remain today to a large extent , thus denying women one important aspect of their being their sexuality Skipping far ahead to the end of the book, I just wanted to point out that I liked Holland s conclusions on the subject He quotes Steven Pinker in saying that there is no incompatibility between the principles of feminism and the possibility that men and women are not psychologically identical Holland explores in the book the fact that trying to argue that men and women are exactly the same, which many feminists have done in the past, can be just as harmful to women and is really just another form of misogyny in that it denies women their unique traits He continues in his quote in saying that equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of human beings are interchangeable it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group Example just because women, as a whole, are not as physically strong as men does not mean that those who are qualified should be denied a place in the military, if they so desire As my own personal side note I think it is also important, of course, not to give credence to inaccurate average properties such as that women are less intelligent than men Continuing with this idea, we shouldn t denigrate things that are considered female the solution is not to reject beauty, but to reject misogyny, as the author puts it One final conclusion that I liked was Holland s argument that the women s right to choose is not only central to their own integrity, but to the very roots of what makes us human and distinguishes us from other primates Think of how much better things are when women are allowed to choose their partner, be allowed to control when they have sex the right to say NO , to control their own property, and to vote My final comment is that one thing I found lacking with the book was an explanation of why there is misogyny in the first place This book is really just a collection of examples Perhaps it is too difficult to really get at the root of why or how this began, and that still baffles me I know humans are always suspicious of the other such as other races, religions, nationalities, etc But with women being half the world s population, why is gender discrimination historically so one sided Was it really just because men are physicallydominant and began asserting their control and their will and their supposed superiority at the most early phases Who knows Can a history of misogyny ever be brief This book is in some way a well articulated examination of characteristics of Western civilisation, its culture and heritage Jack Holland is travelling through time and states that the sense of woman as the Other , the antithesis of man, emerges powerfully from the dramas While Greek misogyny is based on fears of what women might do if they were free to do it , he compares it with the Romans, who inherited the Greek preoccupation with female virtue Can a history of misogyny ever be brief This book is in some way a well articulated examination of characteristics of Western civilisation, its culture and heritage Jack Holland is travelling through time and states that the sense of woman as the Other , the antithesis of man, emerges powerfully from the dramas While Greek misogyny is based on fears of what women might do if they were free to do it , he compares it with the Romans, who inherited the Greek preoccupation with female virtue, and linked it to the honour of the family and the welfare of the state The book is addressing the dilemma of good and bad girl, which seems to arouse lust and therefore shape different cultural paradigms Genesis is now central to the belief of two billion Christians in 260 countries that is, one third of the world s population have inherited a myth that blames women for the ills and sufferings of mankind The moral universe of Judaism has deeply affected the development of misogyny among Christians too It was dominated by a sense of sin, a concept unknown to the neighbouring Greeks and Romans Along with sin came a sense of shame of the human body, something completely alien to the world of the Greeks and Romans Some of the main questions and topics that regard misogyny are Christian hostility to sex, disparagement of the married state and obsession with virginity As a role model for women, Mary set contradictory if not downright impossible standards for them to meet representing as she did the apotheosis of passivity, obedience, motherhood and virginity She served as a constant reminder that women were inadequate because of their own, very human, nature Her sexlessness was a rebuke to their sexuality, her obedience an encouragement to believe that the norms of social relationships had divine sanction, her virgin motherhood a miraculous state beyond the reach of merely human females Without any doubt, the witch hunt craze shaped further intellectual, moral and social changes This was the utter sexual obsession about women, which served as a tool and concern with finding the evidence that the demons actually existed.As modern time redefined the relationship between men, their governments and society, the status of woman was also affected Misogynists deploy anti make up propaganda in every age, withor less the same tedious lament The National Socialist line followed the same theme of Kinder, K che, Kirche children, kitchen, and Church that the other conservative parties extolled The true German woman rejected lipstick, high heels, and nail varnish in favour of becoming a sort of primordial milkmaid, according to the ideal of party experts The author is portraying a number of examples that illustrate how women have been dehumanized through restrictive definitions of what their true role supposedly is and in making sure they are confined to it He is concluding that in a sense all misogynists, from Plato and Aristotle, to Tertullian and St Thomas Aquinas, to Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Hitler, have in one way or another sought to prove that it is possible for man to reassert the uniqueness of his relationship to God or to the cosmos or however he chooses to describe the ultimate truth he identifies with his destiny Great book Everyone should find time to read it