Our thanks to Mike P for this link to a Guardian interview with Pauline Harmange.
With only 450 copies made in the initial print run, the 92-page essay ‘I hate men’ written by Pauline Harmange has attracted attention far beyond the actual degree of interest from people inclined to read such material. This despite having been published in a language most people in Great Britain can’t read or speak.
Despite the crass title and highly questionable politics of the author, any self-respecting free-speech advocate should flinch at the idea of banning a book. Bans frequently serve to conjure interest where none had previously existed. The threat of legal action against the book from a government official is therefore asinine.
Owing to the print run having sold out, this writer cannot access all what Harmange has to say, leaving just an interview conducted by The Guardian. Harmange is clear in her thoughts: “If we are heterosexual we are encouraged to like men, but we should absolutely have the right not to like them. I realise this sounds like a violent sentiment, but I feel strongly we should be allowed to not love them as a whole and make exceptions for certain men.”
The problem here is not that such a text exists—everyone should be allowed to state their politics, however ridiculous they may be—but that The Guardian and the media as a whole has been so reluctant to criticise the content. Had a man titled an essay ‘I hate women’ it can be asserted safely the assembled press would have thrown a collective fit. Double-standards are at play. Elsewhere, The Telegraph opened the comments section on its story about the book published on the newspaper’s website, but the broadsheet seems very selective on doing so for stories which do not conform to the accepted narrative.
It is worth remembering the political winds are very much in favour of misogyny being made illegal, probably under hazy and ill-defined terms, in many countries across the Western world. Certainly, that is the case in the United Kingdom. Soon it could be a crime to take this text, replace the word ‘man’ with ‘woman’ and become a prisoner. Supporters of Harmange should remember this point when considering the legal direction this country is travelling in.
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