Review: Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates

 


Title: Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All

Author: Laura Bates

Published: 2nd March 2021, Sourcebooks

Status: Read March 2021 courtesy Sourcebooks/Netgalley

++++++

My Thoughts:

#NotAllMen they yell whenever a woman shares an encounter with an aggressive admirer, a handsy boss, a leering stranger, a violent rapist, a condescending colleague, an abusive partner. They are right, but there are definitely too many men, and their numbers don’t seem to be decreasing.

In Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All, journalist Laura Bates investigates the online communities whose ideology centers around having power and control over women, how these affect society, and what can be done to change it moving forward.

Whilst incels (Involuntary celibates) beg for sex on demand, pickup artists (PUA) deploy predatory “gaming” tactics, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) choose to eschew relationships with women altogether, and Men’s Rights Activists (MRA/MRM) insist women return their stolen power, there remains a wide range of common ideas and tactics underpinning what Bates terms ‘manosphere’ communities.

As ‘Alex’, a lonely young man, she allowed herself to be recruited into an online world in which nothing was his fault, in which he was an aggrieved martyr, not the privileged loser he felt society painted him as. And the cause of all his woes? Women. ‘Foids’ that won’t sleep with him, ‘sluts’ who say no when they really mean yes, ‘nags’ who sap their energy, ‘feminazi’s’ who want to rule the world.

While such groups are often dismissed as ‘fringe’ online activities, Bates shows how savvy members of these groups have actively spearheaded campaigns that downplay, distort and discredit women’s issues, amplified by trolls who enjoy the controversy, the irresponsible practices of clickbait mainstream media, and social media algorithms. Bates also explores how the manosphere rhetoric spills into the real world, inspiring everything from wordless intimidation to mass murders, and even influencing politics.

If terrorism is a means of attempting to exert control and wield power by creating fear, then at an individual level, it also describes men who intimidate, harass, coerce and abuse women. Bates is aware that the publication of this book will again make her a target of derision, vile abuse, rape, and death threats, and that her physical safety could be at risk. No one will be surprised to hear it, few will believe that there is anything that can be done about it. As a society, we seem to assume violence against women is inevitable.

#NotAllMen hate women, but some do. Some men blame women for every frustration, every grievance, every loss. Some men see women as objects, undeserving of respect or autonomy. And they are emboldened when these views remain unchallenged. These men are an obvious danger, not only to women, but also to society at large. A significant percentage of those who commit acts of terrorism and mass murderer have a history of violence against women.

I agree with Bates that intervention is needed well before some boys/men wander down this path. We, both women and men, need to be informed, to admit there is a problem, and work together to change it. We need to challenge instances of sexism, and fake ‘news’, to encourage boys and young men to define masculinity in a manner that doesn’t put them in opposition to women. “Ultimately, there are major changes that need to happen across a wide range of sectors, from government to tech companies, from media to education…”

I am the wife of a man who loves me, and whom I love. I am a mother of two daughters, and two sons whom I adore. So I know it’s #NotAllMen, but it is #SomeMen, many of whom I have had the misfortune to encounter in my lifetime. Men Who Hate Women is a book that will disturb, infuriate, challenge, and perhaps change you, for the better.

++++++

Available from Sourcebooks

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound I HiveUK

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carla
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 09:54:13

    Excellent review Shelleyrae.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. silverbuttonbooks
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 10:01:48

    This is such an excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Linda Moore
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 10:39:09

    Great review. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. whatsnonfiction
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 12:27:48

    I’ve been so curious about this one. I want to read it but I’m also afraid it’s going to be too really disturbing. It sounds like it’s worthwhile though, despite that. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Mar 03, 2021 @ 21:54:15

    I honestly don’t know if I have the right mindset to read this right now but at the same time I know this is the type of book that MUST be read.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 01:36:40

    Great review. This sounds like it would be so upsetting to read, but very important at the same time. Will look for it at my library!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Amy
    Mar 04, 2021 @ 21:50:52

    I wanted to read this so I’m glad it sounds as great as I thought. I love seeing more of these kinds of books out there and getting the conversation started in different places.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Izabel Brekilien
    Mar 05, 2021 @ 03:58:02

    It’s already on my TBR because recently, I have been threatened on the road (while my daughter was with me) at least twice by angry men driving big powerful cars and thinking that if they needed to driv e dangerously, I should just shut up. And because I worked with a woman who was threatened by her husband. And because, well, not all men are violent but those who are are not so rare and threatening… Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Aj @ Read All The Things!
    Mar 05, 2021 @ 04:07:28

    Thanks for the reminder to add this book to my TBR! I’ve seen it around, and it sounds fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. 1girl2manybooks
    Mar 05, 2021 @ 08:54:16

    Excellent review, this sounds like a must-read

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Liz Dexter
    Mar 05, 2021 @ 09:14:02

    She does such amazing work. I don’t think I can face this one at the moment but it’s important that it’s out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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