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In defense of women
     

In defense of women

5.0 2
by H. L. Mencken
 

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He was one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century, but like most men of his time, he was never more clueless about women than when he believed himself most enlightened about them. American satirist and cultural critic HENRY LOUIS MENCKEN (1880-1956) "clarified" his many contradictory ideas about women-espoused over a long career as a

Overview

He was one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century, but like most men of his time, he was never more clueless about women than when he believed himself most enlightened about them. American satirist and cultural critic HENRY LOUIS MENCKEN (1880-1956) "clarified" his many contradictory ideas about women-espoused over a long career as a journalist-in this controversial 1918 treatise on the relationship between the genders that even some contemporary critics saw as misogynist.

Today, we may generously deem Mencken's ideas on women ironic, but an honest 21st-century reading will find them demeaning, if entertainingly so. This very modern man declares women more intelligent but less civilized than men, and pretends to insult men as a way to elevate women, which does nothing but place women in the very spot today's feminists rankle to be in: on a pedestal.

In the end, Mencken reveals his preferred woman: intelligent enough to amuse him, but not so intelligent that she's frustrated by being reduced to such an undignified role. From the supposed end of marriage to "woman suffrage" (the author was not a fan), this is a work that is both essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the mind of Mencken and an important supplementary text of feminist history...if only as a demonstration of a contrary position.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Mencken's 1922 treatise contends that women are superior. Although told with his usual sarcasm, the book does hit on several real issues, such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and other double standards that still plague society. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940021451772
Publisher:
New York A.A. Knopf
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
249 KB

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In Defense of Women (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fascinating book on the relationship between the sexes. Really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago