Let’s wake up, guys!
Heart of Maleness: Deconstructing Gender Inequality by Raphaël Liogier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This little essay I hope many men will read, especially if you have been skeptical or puzzled by the vehemence of the MeToo movement. Liogier says he wrote it because he was “aghast” (his word) at some of the things that came out in the trials of his countryman, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and of Weinstein, and revelations about Trump and his closest buddies’ abuses of women, just because they could. And probably because, as he tells us, he has a teenage daughter. He wrote it to cure his own ignorance of the terrible history of abuse and degradation of women, and to seek answers to his questions as to why and how generally it occurs. Very generally, as his readings of anthropological and other literature make clear, from earliest times and in all parts of the world. He takes pains to “explode… the myth” of matriarchal societies existing in the remote past; the most we can say, from the literature, is that there have been societies where women were better off and equal or nearly equal to men, but nowhere did women rule (property, tribal laws, etc.) as have men most typically. For many men, this book can serve as a quick introduction to gender studies, with a useful starter bibliography. Women may want to read it, too, out of curiosity and for things they may not be aware of, but I doubt that his argument about how we guys can be so crude will be news to any adult woman. It is embarrassing to us men, at least those of us who care about a partner, a daughter, or about other human beings.