Apologies for upcoming swearing in this post, but this was no time for words like ‘bloody’ or ‘darn’.
I finished reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin last night, a highly influential book about women who, deemed by their husbands to be getting too big for their boots, are replaced by robots. They lose all independent thought and begin to stay indoors, cook, clean and look after the children, having no interests of their own.
This was a fantastic read and it put me in the mood to read some feminist books. I’ve read a limited number of feminist novels and not much non-fiction at all, apart from a few Simone de Beauvoir excerpts at university. I therefore searched ‘feminist’ in the Kindle store, expecting to see the likes of Germaine Greer, Laura Bates and Betty Friedan, who had a couple of particular mentions in The Stepford Wives.
I did come across some of these names. However, I also came across something – worryingly close to the top of my search results – that disturbed me.
Feminism: The Ugly Truth by Mike Buchanan.
I know we shouldn’t normally judge a book by its cover, but LOOK AT THIS FUCKING COVER.
I could have coped with the title alone. I might even have been a little intrigued, thinking it was a satire. But I saw the demonised woman on the cover, and the fact that it’s written by a man, and then this fucking description:
It’s time to face the ugly truth. The developed world is coming ever more under the dangerous influence of extreme left-wing man-hating feminists who (with no democratic mandate) assault all men, most women, the family, the legal system, the media, business, government and much else. This book explains their ideology and why they must be stopped.
Oh, poor you, Mike Buchanan. You must have had such a tough life, growing up in a patriarchal society, where women STILL have next to no influence at all. This is what he looks like:
Poor, poor white middle-class Mike Buchanan.
(Picture taken from this Independent article. ‘Justice for Men and Boys’, honestly.)
I am considering reading this so I can see what it’s like. I’m open to the idea that some feminists have, at times, been unfair towards some men. Note that I was very careful about that sentence – feminists, not feminism, and some feminists and some men.
I had a look at the reviews on Goodreads. The average rating is 2 and a half stars, and to be honest, if it’s what I think it is, I would have expected it to be 1 star. The 2 and a half stars resulted from 3 1-star reviews, and 2 5-star reviews. One of the latter said:
Many people will think this a ‘rant book’ but they will most likely be feminists so you don’t have to listen to them!
Is that a joke? I hope it’s a joke.
As I don’t want to disregard any book without reading at least some of it first, I will read it and form my own opinion – if I can find it somewhere for free. He’s not getting my fucking money.
Has anyone read this? Is it what it appears to be? Have I made a mistake by even writing a post about this, to give this misogynist more attention? I wonder if he’s read The Feminist Mystique or Men Explain Things to Me or The Second Sex. I wonder if he’s made half the effort that those people writing those 1-star reviews made, actually giving his book a chance and reading it before they slated it.
(He did mention The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer in that article, but you’ll notice he just said ‘Germaine Greer’s book’ and didn’t name it, and didn’t offer any evidence that he’d actually read it. I would have to research him more to see if he has read any of these works, but I don’t think he has, and honestly I can’t stomach reading any more about him.)
(He also used to be a Tory. Fucking Tories.)
In case you’re worried all men think this way, here’s a link to some information about some lovely men who don’t think we’re all just fed up because we’re on our periods.