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'We should have the right not to like men': the French writer at centre of literary storm

(60 Posts)
xxyzz Thu 10-Sep-20 15:10:23

www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/10/french-writer-book-pauline-harmange-i-hate-men-interview

Quelle surprise!

OP’s posts: |
Jux Thu 10-Sep-20 18:29:00

What worries me about that is that it opens the door to misogyny. If women can hate men and celebrate that, then men can hate women and celebrate that.

What we really want is for those things to be shameful, isn't it? That we don't judge people because they are black, or Protestant, or women. Or men.

xxyzz Thu 10-Sep-20 19:05:04

But she's not actually saying she hates men. She's saying she fears men. Because they commit most violent and sexual crime. Which seems quite reasonable, really.

Yes, the book title is a bit goady. But it's not at all the same as just expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class. It's just a call for society to recognise the ways that men often attack women. And the impact this often has on women.

At least the publicity may open up the debate a bit.

OP’s posts: |
KihoBebiluPute Fri 11-Sep-20 14:41:08

Just read the Guardian article and wondered if there was a thread on this. It looks like an interesting book. Yes the title is very provocative and I recognise your concerns @Jux but yes it does seem to be saying that women need to be liberated from the pressure to appease, submit, evade and tolerate male violence and misogynistic culture, and free to express and act on a general distrust of men who haven't yet proven themselves to be one of the good guys (and acknowledging that the good guys do exist).

FloralBunting Fri 11-Sep-20 14:48:49

Yes, it's a provocative title. But I'll be concerned about the terrible fallout from women who faced the brunt of patriarchy saying they hate men when there are negative consequences for men as a result.

Women face consequences daily because of misogyny, even unto our deaths. When a woman gets angry enough about that to say she hates men, a few male egos and their pride is a bit dented. There's no comparison.

nibdedibble Fri 11-Sep-20 14:54:07

The title’s more like ‘oh god men, I hate them’ in an exasperated way and tbh I don’t know a woman who hasn’t felt that. They are AWFUL and an absolute menace to society whilst also being individuals who are lovely and good to be around. If we can’t discuss the damage that toxic masculinity does then how does that look for women?

Also: news flash. Men are going to carry on with their ingrained and constant misogyny...this wee books not opening any doors, those doors are being held open for men and they get a glass of champagne and a goody bag on entering them.

roarfeckingroarr Fri 11-Sep-20 15:21:05

FloralBunting

Yes, it's a provocative title. But I'll be concerned about the terrible fallout from women who faced the brunt of patriarchy saying they hate men when there are negative consequences for men as a result.

Women face consequences daily because of misogyny, even unto our deaths. When a woman gets angry enough about that to say she hates men, a few male egos and their pride is a bit dented. There's no comparison.


Exactly

DeliciouslyFemale Fri 11-Sep-20 15:32:58

”I am married to a man, who is great and really supports my writing. But in general I mistrust men I don’t know,” Harmange said.

Actually, other than my late husband and my sons, I feel like that. But naturally I will be accused of hating men, because of a childhood spent being abused by them and being in an abusive relationship as a young woman. Not to mention the harassment, sexism and groping on public transport, night clubs, etc by men. No doubt it is my fault that don’t trust men, not the fault of the men who treated me in such a way and the so called decent men, who stood by while knowing what was happening. There are decent men, but since I don’t know who they are, I’ll continue to centre the protection of women and children, at the expense of their hurty feelings.

MichelleofzeResistance Fri 11-Sep-20 15:38:31

Reminds me somewhat of those posts that often appear about MiLs, where a woman could explain that her MiL has burned the house down, eaten both children and kicked the dog, and sooner or later a poster will still say accusingly "You don't like her".

Not much liking people who treat you like crap is quite a healthy thing to do really. It's just that in some situations, it's not considered a naice thing for a good girl to do.

Jux Fri 11-Sep-20 15:58:45

Yes, you're right -- all of you. I should have looked more closely and actually considered before I spoke! I'll admit to feeling rather cross about the world, yesterday. More bright and sunny today!

Women face consequences daily because of misogyny, even This unto our deaths.
This. I agree with this. Yes we should get angry.

Stripesgalore Fri 11-Sep-20 16:08:04

She’s French. They are passionate. Maybe it doesn’t translate well.

She raises many important points in the article.

Very few women hate men. They just want men to go away and stop harassing them. I really don’t think about men other than the ones I am related to.

nibdedibble Fri 11-Sep-20 16:43:55

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and I think I probably do hate ‘Men’ whilst loving and liking some of them. But I do always fizzle inwardly with anger when they don’t (as the saying goes) check their privilege. And sometimes I tell them to get a grip and ask themselves how what they’ve just said looks like from a woman’s pov.

I’m nearly fifty and I’m just tired of them. I have excellent female friends and I often think if dh were to drop dead or bugger off with a younger model, I would be appropriately sad/livid/lost and then my life could be female centred and to hell with men.

I just think, they’ve had their chances to be better, they won’t do it, I haven’t got long left really, so...fuck em!

nibdedibble Fri 11-Sep-20 16:44:51

(I’m definitely going to buy that book btw.)

DeliciouslyFemale Fri 11-Sep-20 16:59:48

I hope it’s translated into English. I love the thought of it becoming a best seller. grin

WeeBisom Fri 11-Sep-20 17:42:18

I've seen a lot of men say the title is 'misandrist', but it's a common trope to accuse feminists of being 'man haters'. Reductress posted a satirical article years ago on the theme of how women can't discuss feminism without caveats about how much they loooovee men (https://reductress.com/post/im-a-feminist-but-i-love-men-and-want-to-fuck-them-and-just-listen-to-me-i-promise-im-not-even-mad/)

So this title hasn't just sprung out of the ether. It's a direct response to the accusation of 'man hating'. Incidentally, I also remember a few years ago that Facebook and Twitter were in uproar about the hashtag 'men are trash'. It's misandrist and MEAN, cried the men. But the hashtag was created by completely fed up South African feminists in response to a wave of kidnapping and murders of young women - the final straw was the rape and murder of a young feminist who was found burned to death in a field.
The message seems to be that men can treat women like shit, and will throw a hissy fit every time a woman expresses that she doesn't like men very much.

DillonPanthersTexas Fri 11-Sep-20 18:22:05

Yes, the book title is a bit goady. But it's not at all the same as just expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class . It's just a call for society to recognise the ways that men often attack women. And the impact this often has on women.

Sadly any nuance will be lost because most people see the title, roll their eyes, form a negative opinion along the lines of it 'expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class' and not buy it. The moment you have to explain a title like that you have rightly or wrongly lost your audience already.

Poota Fri 11-Sep-20 18:31:42

DillonPanthersTexas

*Yes, the book title is a bit goady. But it's not at all the same as just expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class . It's just a call for society to recognise the ways that men often attack women. And the impact this often has on women.*

Sadly any nuance will be lost because most people see the title, roll their eyes, form a negative opinion along the lines of it 'expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class' and not buy it. The moment you have to explain a title like that you have rightly or wrongly lost your audience already.

I completely disagree. Grabbing a headline and creating a conversation is excellent strategy.
And I suspect some people think this kind of thing is primarily meant to be persuasive to men. It's not - like a lot of the conversation in FWR, this kind of thing is consciousness raising for women. I genuinely don't care if men remain hostile to the idea of feminism, it's not for them. And it's no bad thing to resist couching feminist ideas in sweetness.

Persuasive argument has it's place, undoubtedly. But there is also a place for be unapologetically angry.

nibdedibble Fri 11-Sep-20 18:32:18

DillonPanthersTexas

*Yes, the book title is a bit goady. But it's not at all the same as just expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class . It's just a call for society to recognise the ways that men often attack women. And the impact this often has on women.*

Sadly any nuance will be lost because most people see the title, roll their eyes, form a negative opinion along the lines of it 'expressing an irrational hatred of a whole sex class' and not buy it. The moment you have to explain a title like that you have rightly or wrongly lost your audience already.

It’s not a good translation of the title. It’s got nuance. But I suppose the essence is the same 😁

nibdedibble Fri 11-Sep-20 18:34:45

WeeBisom

I've seen a lot of men say the title is 'misandrist', but it's a common trope to accuse feminists of being 'man haters'. Reductress posted a satirical article years ago on the theme of how women can't discuss feminism without caveats about how much they loooovee men (https://reductress.com/post/im-a-feminist-but-i-love-men-and-want-to-fuck-them-and-just-listen-to-me-i-promise-im-not-even-mad/)

So this title hasn't just sprung out of the ether. It's a direct response to the accusation of 'man hating'. Incidentally, I also remember a few years ago that Facebook and Twitter were in uproar about the hashtag 'men are trash'. It's misandrist and MEAN, cried the men. But the hashtag was created by completely fed up South African feminists in response to a wave of kidnapping and murders of young women - the final straw was the rape and murder of a young feminist who was found burned to death in a field.
The message seems to be that men can treat women like shit, and will throw a hissy fit every time a woman expresses that she doesn't like men very much.

Interesting post. I did it myself. I guess I look at dh and I know he’s endured hours of me trying to give him a window into all this...hating the fact that he doesn’t know to do that himself. I don’t hate him but I hate his part in the larger machine.

CardsforKittens Fri 11-Sep-20 20:41:41

I don’t hate men. I just haven’t encountered very many who are worth my time or attention. I don’t generally bother talking to them unless I’m being paid to, because so few of them seem to be prepared to listen to women. I think I need to read this book grin.

stumbledin Sat 12-Sep-20 00:38:02

There's an earlier thread about this hear www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/4017883-French-Essay-I-Hate-Men-sales-soar-after-attempt-to-ban-it

DiggerDave Sun 13-Sep-20 01:34:50

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DeliciouslyFemale Sun 13-Sep-20 01:48:13

I believe men suffer the large majority of violence but can still see why women find us intimidating.

Who is inflicting the violence on men? You might want to think about that.

I'm sure I read that testosterone increases the fight or flight response so maybe that's why we feel less afraid.

You feel less afraid because you are more certain of defending yourself. Men are afraid women will mock them, women are afraid men will kill them. Big big difference.

DeliciouslyFemale Sun 13-Sep-20 01:50:50

That said, I do agree with the posters on the other thread saying you'd never get away with using this title with another group like ethnic groups.

2-3 women a week are not murdered by ‘ethnic groups’. They’re murdered by men.

You haven’t got a bloody clue, what MANY women go through at the hands of SOME men.

DiggerDave Sun 13-Sep-20 01:57:54

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