Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Misogynies: Reflections on Myths and Malice

1993, revised from 1989 edition, from Faber and Faber
Joan Smith
Misogynies: Reflections on Myths and Malice
Original price $12.99CAN, purchase price $3.60
Very worn paperback with split spine

The original edition of this book actually predates Faludi's Backlash, but Smith updated to include a review of Milan Kundera's fiction (The Unbearable Lightness of Being etc.) and her thoughts on the Clarence Thomas hearings.  Her book is less focused and deliberately less inclusive than Faludi's.  She's discussing just some of the different forms that misogyny can take in European and American culture.  She's British, and this book was inspired by her experience as a female local journalist covering the Yorkshire Ripper case.  As with Faludi, music is only mentioned in passing, but she offers literary criticism of not only Kundera but William Styron (Sophie's Choice), Scott Turow (Presumed Innocent), the Bible, and historians of Greco-Roman society.  She analyzes not only Fatal Attraction, but Glenn Close's Jagged Edge and some Brian De Palma movies.  She looks at how the media treated Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher.  And she examines misogyny in court cases.

With a tighter structure and/or a more uplifting ending (the book is very bleak compared to Faludi or Wolf), I probably would've gone B or higher.

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