Down Girl by Kate Manne

Down Girl

Misogyny is a hot topic, yet it's often misunderstood. What is misogyny, exactly? Who deserves to be called a misogynist? How does misogyny contrast with sexism, and why is it prone to persist--or increase--even when sexist gender roles are waning? This book is an exploration of misogyny in public life and politics, by the moral philosopher and writer Kate Manne. It argues that misogyny should not be understood primarily in terms of the hatred or...

Details Down Girl

TitleDown Girl
Release DateNov 8th, 2017
PublisherOxford University Press
GenreFeminism, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Politics, Gender, Womens

Reviews Down Girl

  • Paul
    This is a brilliant academic treatise on man's inhumanity to woman. It should be required reading for every feminist. After a thorough treatment of academic and historical instances of misogyny, the author somewhat despairs of its ever being replaced by egalitarian discourse, much less behavior. I remember reading once that men are afraid that women will laugh at them, whereas women are afraid that men will kill them. Manne reviews several instan...
  • Chris
    If you are human, you should read this book. Manne's book is academic treatise on Misogyny, and is anything but dry. While I'm not convinced she had to include the look at literature (such as her analysis of Mockingbird), but her look at court cases (her reading of the Brock Turner case is brilliant) and politics is well worth the price. Seriously, read this book.
  • Mehrsa
    At first, I resisted her idea that misogyny had nothing to do with seeing women as wholly human, but she convinced me. I also resisted himpathy as an explanation to domestic violence, but she convinced me on this too and on and on. This is an excellent contemplation of misogyny and Manne is a rigorous thinker. I have thought about this book so many times since I read it. It also made me want to rage and scream at the end as Manne sees no hope for...
  • Adam
    Awesome read. Points out a bunch of weird confusing contradictions in gender politics, then explains them. Argues that misogyny isn't about hating women - it's about punishing "bad" women. "good" women like subservient housewives, the "cool girlfriend", etc, don't experience misogyny. Women who go against patriarchal norms (e.g. activists, women working in masculine fields, women who don't give men enough attention/emotional labor/sex/etc) experi...
  • Jocelyn
    All my feminist peeps: You're going to want to read this book. Manne does a fantastic job laying out the (il)logic of misogyny in ways you've definitely experienced and might have reflected on, but haven't seen put together in this way. All my non-feminist peeps: You especially should read this, but you won't.
  • Tonstant Weader
    Update: The author contacted me and told me that the galley I read and reviewed was changed significantly before publication and that many of my criticisms were addressed before publication. I will be reading the published copy soon and may revise my review. Down Girl is a measured consideration of misogyny, not as the simplistic hatred of women, but the structural, systemic structures and beliefs that serve to keep women down, in their place. I...
  • Megsie
    This book is an excellent visitation on how to define misogyny. I found it useful for crystallizing my own thoughts, discussing with other people, and picking apart misogyny so that I could address it even in discussion with the relatively closed-minded. Sometimes the philosophy writing style shone thru (no other discipline uses the word 'contra'!!!!) but I found the level of rigor to be pleasant and enlightening. Recommended reading for those of...
  • Haley
    Read. This. Book.
  • Lisa Marflak
    Fantastic, not only in framing the current state of misogyny and lack of progress in this area, but also opened my eyes to my own limitations and misogyny. Required reading for every feminist.
  • Rachel S
    Brilliant, brilliant book. Highly sophisticated writing that, while somewhat academic in style, is very readable.The most illuminating part for me is, in Chapter 4, with how she clearly break down the underlying dynamics between men and women in contemporary patriarchal society, and how many (men and women) have been conditioned to expect women to give “feminine-coded goods” to men while men are taught to be entitled to “masculine-coded goo...
  • Jules Findlay
    This is an example of exceptional and accessible analytical philosophy. The subject matter is so much needed for these times, and so much appreciated. The method is antithetical to current popular thinkers (Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Steven Pinker et al), who are often mistaken as paradigmatic philosophy by, for the most part, men. Manne takes the actual tools of the philosophical discipline, distilling from descriptive and conceptual inquiry a...
  • Rhonda
    While this book is on a really important topic that more people need to understand, unfortunately it is unreadable. There are many better written and edited books on the general topic of women's place and treatment in the world. Not recommended. I was going to pick out some quotes to illustrate the unreadability, but too hard to choose from the many examples.
  • Morgan Schulman
    I'm giving it four stars because it's very well researched and well written, and organizes things that I have already well learned for sure in my 40.99 years as a woman on earth. However if you are not the type to think about these issues on a regular basis, it should be pretty eye-opening.
  • Holly
    I LOVED this book. It was not an easy or a quick read, but it relied on such interesting narratives and made so many surprising, provocative points that I often stayed up reading well past my bedtime because I truly found it hard to put down.Much of the book was validating and affirming rather than challenging; I've spent a lot of years now attempting to explain misogyny to people who aren't really sure it A) exists or B) harms women all that muc...
  • Mark Lewis
    I hit the wall on this book at about page 50. Perhaps I'm just a philistine, ill-equipped to handle the academic tone, the esoteric allusions, and the deft opaqueness the author seems to prize. I was met by this couplet just before I drove over the cliff."I take it that a social milieu counts as patriarchal insofar as certain kinds of institutions or social structures both proliferate and enjoy widespread support within it--from, for example, the...
  • Kristine
    Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny by Kate Manne is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early November.A difficult read, to be sure, but more and more necessary in the case of recent cases about sexual harassment, assault, and rape - it clarifies misogyny as a debilitating process that is policed, enforced, upheld, rationalized, and justified, whether overtly or covertly, in order to subordinate women and uplift men as a dominant, privileged and ...
  • Anne-Kathrin
    Generally, I liked the idea of the book and enjoyed reading most parts of it. Since I thought a lot about it (already a plus!), I am going to post a lengthy comment in case someone is interested in how I arrived at my "verdict". For me, the two most noteworthy positive things were: a) KM offers an account of misogyny that isn't spelled out in terms of what is in people's minds, but with respect to their actions. The question whether there is a br...
  • Josh Friedlander
    Per its author, this is the first book written on misogyny, a subject Manne has some expertise in: in an interview, she relates being one of three girls going to classes at an all-boys' school, where her locker was covered in misogynistic slurs and fish oil, and being advanced on by a group of boys holding condoms they'd ejaculated into. She is also an MIT- and Harvard-trained philosopher who currently lectures at Cornell.This book is not fun to ...
  • Vagabond of Letters
    Tl;dr if you're not an equity feminist with all the Leftist trappings, you're a sexist misogynist who doesn't see women as fully human and are aiding and abetting violence against women (if not engaging in it yourself, which is equally likely according to Manne).Smh.
  • Alan Mills
    Donald Trump broke into national consciousness during the GOP primaries by making outrageous comments. In August, 2015, he attacked the began the first GOP presidential debate with horrible comments about one of the moderators of the first debates, Megyn Kelly. Toward the end of the campaign, a tape of him bragging about sexually assaulting women was released. Yet he won and has now served as president for a year. Kate Manne’s book Down Girl, i...
  • Joshua Stein
    As is often the case, a little disclaimer is warranted. I've had some social interaction with Kate Manne, including some discussion of the content of the book and the authorial choices while I was reading.Manne's Down Girl is an instructive and accessible piece of writing on a problematic and potent topic. There are a few technical areas where I think philosophers and other academics (myself included) would do well to follow Manne's model. The mo...
  • Shannon
    God. Damn. As a person who studied philosophy at a quasi-monastic Catholic liberal arts school where the curriculum gave us a thorough exposure to the grand old male authors of yore dunking on women casually and as a matter of course, while featuring exactly zero feminist texts---or any texts for that matter---that even ADDRESSED misogyny, this book has been like another liberal education in itself.
  • Wendy
    " Women may not be simply human beings but positioned as human givers when it comes to the dominant men who look to them for various kinds of moral support, admiration, attention, and so on. She is not allowed to be in the same way as he is."This is a difficult book. Difficult for me, anyway. For two reasons. Firstly, I have lived through every word of her book. Whilst for some that would be affirming, our stories recreated in another voice, I fe...
  • Michael Licciardi
    This book offers, elaborates upon, and defends a theory of the kind of misogyny that we all ought to be concerned with and discussing: misogyny as a system of social ( / political) enforcements of gender norms, sustained by sexist/patriarchal ideology. Under these norms, women are expected to bear the majority of care-related/care-giving duties in their interpersonal relationships, and in society, more generally. Consequently, the effects of miso...
  • Jean-Marie
    Happy Mother's Day to me! I made sure to set aside some time today to finish this excellent book. It puts into words what many women have intuitively known, felt and experienced. The acknowledgment is a salve to a lifetime of gaslighting. Some reviewers expressed being uneasy with the academic tone of the book. While it didn't bother me, I wonder if it will keep some from consuming this important and topical read. It's worth the time and effort a...
  • Jennifer Mangler
    Manne really made me think with this one, both about society in general and myself in particular. This is an academic book and requires a different kind of close reading, but it was so worth it.
  • Sharad Pandian
    I didn't intend for this to be such a long review, but this was a tricky book to rate because it almost seems like it was written by two different people- an excellent analytic philosopher and a somewhat inept culture critic.I. What worksShe starts off by creating a compelling general framework where she argues that society should be thought of as patriarchal in the specific sense that men are allowed to be human "beings" while women are expected...
  • Erin
    What do we mean when we use the term misogyny? This was a very interesting investigation on the term of misogyny and how it’s meaning has changed over the years. The author’s theories, backed up with statistics, first-hand accounts, and observations, are not only convincing but incredibly informative. As a woman, I have experienced misogyny firsthand. That being said, the author points out ways in which misogyny has affected not only my life ...
  • William
    Really solid philosophical exploration of the warped logic that fuels misogyny.