Download A Brief History of Misogyny - The World's Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland PDF

By Jack Holland

During this compelling, strong publication, the overdue Irish journalist and essayist Jack Holland got down to solution a frightening query: how do you clarify the oppression and brutalization of part the world's inhabitants via the opposite part, all through background? the result's an eye-opening trip via centuries, continents and civilizations because it appears to be like at either old and modern attitudes to girls. Misogyny encompasses the Church, witch hunts, sexual conception, Nazism, pro-life campaigners, and eventually, cutting-edge constructing global, the place ladies are more and more and disproportionately in danger due to radicalized spiritual ideals, famine, warfare, and sickness. widely researched, hugely readable and provocative, this publication chronicles an historic, pervasive and enduring injustice. The questions it poses care for the basics of human life — intercourse, love, violence — that experience formed the lives of people all through heritage, and finally limn an abuse of human rights on a virtually unthinkable scale.

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True sexual equality still eludes us. And in many parts of the world, where issues of gender are compounded by poverty, ignorance, fundamentalism and disease, women’s lot has scarcely improved over the centuries. Jack Holland, my father, was acutely aware that such problems could not be solved by a single book, or indeed by many. But this book, his last, shall stand as an important tool in the struggle against the world’s oldest prejudice. INTRODUCTION her shaved head like a stubble of black corn her blindfold a bandage her noose a ring Seamus Heaney, ‘Punishment’ from North (1975) On 22 June 2002, in a remote area of the Punjab, a Pakistani woman named Mukhtaran Bibi was sentenced on the orders of a tribal council to be gang raped because allegedly her brother had been seen in the company of a higher-caste woman.

Another law attributed to Solon forbade any Athenian citizen from enslaving another Athenian citizen (the enslavement of non-citizens was allowed) with one notable exception: a father or head of the household had the right to sell his unmarried daughter into slavery if she lost her virginity before marriage. Having ensured that the ‘good’ girls were safe from any taint of sexual indiscretion, it was necessary to supply the ‘bad’ girls to cater for men’s sexual appetites. Solon legalized state brothels, staffed by slaves and aliens.

The sense of woman as ‘the Other’, the antithesis of man, emerges powerfully from the dramas. This sexual dualism has been a characteristic of Western civilization ever since, partly thanks to Plato and Aristotle, who gave it philosophical and scientific expression. Plato (429–347 BC) has been called the most influential of all philosophers – ancient, medieval, or modern. His ideas about the nature of the world have spread wherever Western civilization and its most crusading catalyst, Christianity, have taken root, shaping the intellectual and spiritual development of continents and nations that were undiscovered or unexplored at the time those ideas were formulated.

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