Sunday 29 May 2016

The "Natural Inferiority" of Women

Finished May 23
The "Natural Inferiority" of Women: Outrageous Pronouncements by Misguided Males compiled by Tama Starr

This collection of quotations about the inferiority of women has been collected and organized into categories. The quotes range from the ancients to the modern, from the pithy to the weighty and include philosophers, writers, entertainers, religious figures, medical practitioners and political leaders. Some will have you open-mouthed, others laughing out loud. and still others dismayed beyond expectations. There is humour here, but the sheer volume and extent of this viewpoint toward women collected together in one place felt overwhelming in a bad, bad way. The book starts with a sadly true (even with this volume included) quote from 1614 that translates from the Latin to "One volume could never contain all the insults and satires against women."
The quotes are separated into two parts: Evil is Woman and Domesticating the Female. Each part has a few chapters. The Evil is Woman part has separate chapters for: What Is Woman?, Her Lesser Biology, Unclean and Disgusting, Insatiable as the Grave, Evil Is Woman, and The Wise Man Will Avoid Them. The Domesticating the Female part has separate chapters for: The Law of Obedience, Beat Your Wife, Women Are Masochistic, The Virtuous Woman, Her Proper Sphere, Educating the Female, and Woman's Contemptible Weaknesses.
So, you are probably wondering why I have this book to begin with. It was a gift a few years ago from my mother-in-law's cat who, although a female, obviously has limited understanding of her purchases. She apparently paid less than a dollar for it, as she has a limited budget, as she explained in the accompanying note.
Unique and definitely odd, this book had me wanting to read aloud some of the worst bits which, thankfully, my husband also found mind-boggling.

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