Ameliorating Misogyny

Kate Manne

in Down Girl

Published in print December 2017 | ISBN: 9780190604981
Published online November 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190605018 | DOI:
Ameliorating Misogyny

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According to the positive “ameliorative” analysis of misogyny developed in this chapter, misogyny is primarily a property of social environments in which girls and women are prone to face hostility because of the enforcement and policing of patriarchal norms and expectations—e.g., insofar as they are deemed guilty of violating patriarchal law and order. Alternatively, women may be singled out and treated as representative targets, as Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on Sandra Fluke indicate. Because misogyny functions to uphold or reinstate male dominance, we would hence expect misogyny’s primary targets to be certain kinds of women: those who challenge or disrupt existing gender hierarchies. But virtually any woman is potentially the target of misogynist aggression. Since any woman can typically stand in imaginatively for a whole host of others, they may serve as an outlet for many different grudges. Expressions of frustration, protest, lashing out, and “punching down” behavior are further possibilities.

Keywords: defining misogyny; ameliorative analyses; patriarchal law and order; enforcing and policing norm violations; representative targets; Rush Limbaugh; Sandra Fluke; male dominance

Chapter.  7575 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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