Raging Against Male Privilege in Entitled by Kate Manne
Worth A Read Most Definitely
Quick Review If you’re looking to be angry at the obstacles women face, this is a great book to read. If you have no idea what obstacles women face, please go read this, right now.
Sometimes I think I’m the only one who likes to subvert serious conversations with an incredibly dark sense of humor, but then I read Kate Manne’s Entitled. I wouldn’t call it funny, but I would call it witty. Let’s be honest, male privilege is sadly funny in usually the most ironic ways; however, male privilege is a plague on society, hurting women and ultimately holding the entirety of the world back from its full potential.
Starting off with Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing and the attack on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Manne only digs deeper into the blatant problems women face due to men’s entitlement. What’s even more impactful are the chapters on the subtle ways women are hurt by male privilege. It is the everyday male privilege affecting the physical and mental well being of women everywhere that is so often overlooked and unaccounted for in daily life and conversation. We can all agree rape, beating, retributative violence against women is bad. What isn’t talked about so often is emotional labor, mansplaining, domestic labor, medical gaslighting, bodily autonomy, parenting, and so much more women are inundated with and by daily, which has an immeasurably negative impact on women’s psyche. Yet Manne never lets up on the importance of every facet, no matter how seemingly benign, the pain caused by male entitlement through anecdotal and academic evidence.
Noting Manne’s definition of misogyny-therefore male privilege-may be one of the most important moments in Entitlement,
“First, some instances of misogyny lack any individual perpetrators whatsoever; misogyny may be a purely structural phenomenon, perpetuated by social institutions, policies, and broader cultural mores. Second, understanding misogyny as more about the hostility girls and women face, as opposed to the hostility men feel deep down in their hearts, helps us avoid a problem of psychological inscrutability.”
Misogyny is pervasive, and men are not the only culprits of it. As much as women are victims, we are also culpable. Manne tackles instances of women perpetuating and bolstering misogyny and male entitlement because this system indoctrinates us from the moment we enter the world to cater to male feelings, privilege, experience, and everything else. Defining an aspect of that, “himpathy, as I construe it, is the disproportionate or inappropriate sympathy extended to a male perpetrator over his similarly or less privileged female targets or victims.” It is not our fault, but once we have the knowledge, we can choose to combat the system keeping us in a place we have never deserved to be in. Manne is not only providing the information, she’s creating a rule book for every woman and man to follow on how to create a better tomorrow for men and women.
Short, yet deeply unsettling from start to finish, Manne unveils the horrifying world women are born, live, and die in. She does not fail to point out the imbalance when the minority status is multiplied by race or sexual identity. Chapter after chapter rages on, enumerating the ways male entitlement causes harm, creating a spiral of depression. For me, at least. Ending with a glimmer of hope in the last chapter, an address to her unborn daughter. Manne hopes for an easier future for her daughter; though, she knows the fight will be “long, and interminable.”
The narrative may end in the last chapter, but the Notes section is an amazing trove of research, statistics, quotes, anecdotes, and information. Do not overlook it. It’s powerful and soul crushing, in the best way.
Women fill the role of provider. Providing, providing, providing for the needs emotional, physical, and all the in betweens of men, children, and everyone around us.. Even when completely fulfilling the role of provider or caretaker happily without complaint, women are interrogated, berated, and undermined at every turn. It has been the way of the world for so long, it’s what we women have come to expect as acceptable, and it is not. Kate Manne’s Entitled can be summed up in one succinct sentence: “We expect too much from women.”
“As we’ve already begun to see, medical misinformation is a ubiquitous feature of anti-abortion activism.”
“If the truth is not our property, then neither is authority.”
“If men often feel entitled to certain kinds of paid work, they also feel entitled to far more by way of leisure, as compared with their female partners.”
“Do men do so little because they engage in more leisure activities than their female partners? Or do they engage in more leisure activities in order to do so little?”
“Another reason men don’t do more is that, under such conditions, asking them to pull their weight is in itself a form of labor.”
“Don’t we regard rape as a heinous, monstrous crime? Yes, in the abstract. Very well then, but in practice, why do we refuse to hold certain perpetrators accountable vis-ȧ-vis certain victims?”
Originally published at https://onthebl.org on March 23, 2022.