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Lit Review - "Spreading Misandry"

It's pretty clear what this book is about from the cover. It is the first in what was planned as a trilogy by the authors. It's a good read, and the ideas seem familiar, as if already conceived, just not expressed.

What trilogy? you stop me to say. That would be Spreading Misandry(2001), Legalising Misandry(2006) and Transcending Misandry (?), which doesn't appear to have been published yet. Don't assume that it's a necessary box set, though, the third sounds fishy; the authors probably shouldn't assume to know whats best.
Why is it so hard for authors to resist pontificating? But I digress ....

As I said, Spreading Misandry is the first in the series and I found it solid. Well worth a read.
Yet, it could be better.

Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young are both Canadian Religious Studies Academics connected to McGill University in Montreal, Canada (Katherine Young, at time of writing, is a professor there). This connection to religious studies has been a major stumbling block for the book, which is very unfair, but many people won't read it and/or are put off by this simple fact, concerned about appearing retrogressive by associating with anything religious (even indirectly). There are christian references, of course (but this is valid; denying the cultural influence of the Bible would be absurd) which is understandable, given their background, and at least they have expertise in the subject. The other thing, more concerning their style of argument than anything else (referring to all their books now), is that they appear (to me) to be too quick to refer to the Nazis. Maybe it's just me, but this is one of my top personal peeves, and I find it jarring and unnecessary.

However, this is kind-of beside the point. The book lists a series of artifacts (cinema, tv programs, newspaper serials, etc), and explains the narrative behind them in a way which, once read, seems obvious. The ideas presented are to be held up against other examples by the reader as a new way of seeing, rather than as a static "proof". Criticism of the book regarding it's lack of relevance (ie. all the examples are from the 90s, 80s and earlier) misses the point. The ideas presented are readily observable in the same media today and even more so in new social media, which wasn't around when the book was written.

What I would criticise, however, is that the authors have limited themselves to a general time frame. They argue that this is a developing phenomenon since the 1990s, that it is recent. Our opinions diverge here and I would argue that this is misleading. The general cultural misandry they expose is historically applicable, and not limited to the 1990s onwards. What is important, though, is the saturation level of this misandry since the 1990s, with the development of digital technology. Previously, it was something which society "could handle", but the digital age has created a form of hateful substance abuse - perhaps misandry on steroids, if you like - and it is the recognition of this which makes the book important.

But that's just my opinion.

Here are some more lengthy reviews of "Spreading Misandry" on amazon .
Here is a list of recommended books if you need something for the weekend.

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