I’m gonna start by saying that this book made me feel like kind of an idiot the whole time I was reading it. Not in a bad way! It’s just very logical, with philosophical arguments laid out academic-style, and it’s been long enough since my time in school that I had to mentally switch over to that kind of reading style to understand what was being said. Manne is obviously an extremely intelligent person, and while she lays out her arguments clearly, maybe be prepared to read this slowly and with a dictionary at hand.
Manne lays out arguments about the differences between sexism and misogyny, the many root causes of both, and discusses why both persist and often get worse when women ask to be recognized as fully human. She discusses both issues as they play out in a variety of institutions: the home, the workplace, the criminal “justice” system, politics, and more. She focuses on some really obvious examples of misogyny: the Isla Vista killings, Trump as a politician and a person, domestic violence and rape, but also discusses some “lesser” examples such as the way Rush Limbaugh spoke about Sandra Fluke and the myriad ways HRCs campaign was treated with sexist disdain.
I found myself nodding along in agreement a ton while I read this. I love how Manne does not couch her arguments in kind words: this is not stated gently for the men who will only listen to women talk about how patriarchy harms us if we put it nicely and constantly pat them on the back as “not one of them”. This is for people who are as angry as I am. I read this right after “Girls Burn Brighter” and right before I started “Good and Mad” and let me tell you, as an angry feminist, I am loving the theme here.