Off with her head

Byadmin

Dated

February 18, 2023

Off with her head

From Cleopatra and Anne Boleyn to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton, Herman there is a long history that addresses the long history of “Off with her head” double-standard practices that troublingly persist today. Why do men—and other women—wish to tear down ambitious, intelligent, accomplished women in positions of power, while often treating men in the same positions with deference? “In each woman’s story,” writes the author, “I discovered organized smear operations churning out unfounded accusations of sexual improprieties and criticisms of her ambition, untrustworthiness, appearance, and unlikability, accusations rarely made about male leaders either in the first century BCE or today.” The author methodically sifts through these often false accusations, most of which follow the “misogynist’s handbook,” which was crafted to “enforce the Patriarchy, a concept so towering it must be capitalized.” In a typically amusing passage, the author writes about a “clear pattern of vilification across the millennia and throughout history to bring down powerful individuals suffering from chronic no-penis syndrome.” She shows how misogyny usually involves a fear of women’s bodies as life-giving forces and the male need to eclipse and harness that mysterious power for their own purposes, and she underscores how many religious traditions emanated from that need to control. Using enlightening humor as well as righteous, well-founded frustration and anger, the author effectively deconstructs the tendency of men to focus on hair, voice, clothing, and body type rather than pertinent qualifications and accomplishments. Not content to merely call out these biases, the author advocates for the importance of electing more women to public office and getting men to stand up for women in the face of sexism. The book is a timely and politically spot-on type of book and is enjoyable to read. TW

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