The Pocket Guide to the Patriarchy: A book to educate yourself and your misogynistic uncle

When an ex advised me issues are far tougher for males than ladies in the world, I reeled off a litany of details and figures that proved that this was improper. I used to be used to feedback corresponding to these. This was not a person with one solitary chip on his shoulder, however an entire overflowing bag of them. I like chips, however not his metaphorical and subsequently embittered and perennially victimised form.

This notion that issues are a lot tougher for males just isn’t a novel or remoted perspective. There’s a rising military of males who’re threatened by gender equality and need us to renege and backtrack on hard-won progress. Nonetheless, it’s neither constructive nor useful to get caught up in debates centred round whether or not males or ladies have it worse. For me, a want to interact in such discussions signifies a dogmatic, reductive, black-and-white worldview that lacks nuance. Given we dwell in a cruelly unequal world the place the poorest 50 per cent of the inhabitants personal solely two per cent of the whole internet wealth, it’s clear many individuals are struggling.

However as The Unbiased’s ladies’s correspondent, I’m effectively acquainted with the plethora of the way ladies expertise misogyny, oppression and injustice round the world. This isn’t simply from the work I do but in addition from my very own day-to-day life. Whether or not I’m on a courting app or at a celebration, or having an impromptu chat with a stranger on a prepare, all over the place I am going I encounter followers of the misogynistic influencer Andrew Tate. Maybe that is unsurprising, although, when you think about a current ballot revealed round 1 / 4 of younger males in the UK aged between 18 and 29 agree with Tate’s views on how ladies needs to be handled. YouGov information, shared completely with me, additionally discovered 28 per cent of males between 30 and 39 who had heard of Tate again his outlook on ladies.

How will we counteract and problem such virulent and widespread misogyny? Educating yourself is rarely a nasty place to begin. For these wanting to study extra about the devastating repercussions of gender inequality and misogyny round the world, I current you with The Pocket Guide to the Patriarchy – my 22-chapter book being revealed by Hatchette this coming Thursday. Filled with stats and real-world examples which can make you do a double take, this can be a book to educate yourself and others. The book has chapters on the whole lot from sexual violence to policing, ladies’s well being, the prison justice system, intercourse work, feminist trailblazers, the far proper, transphobia, abortion rights and rather more, however right here is an extract from the introduction to offer you a taster.


There isn’t any scarcity of grim stats that elucidate the bleak repercussions of misogyny and gender inequality. As the solely ladies’s correspondent at a UK information outlet, I’m all too accustomed to these details and figures. Take the statistic that between two and three ladies are killed by a present male companion or ex-partner each single week in England and Wales, or {that a} lady is killed by a present or ex-partner with a gun each 16 hours in America. Or that lower than 20 per cent of landholders in the world are ladies. Or that 80 per cent of these displaced by local weather change are estimated to be ladies.

Or that in some international locations round the world, the authorized restrictions on abortions are so stark that ladies threat lengthy jail sentences – even ladies who turn into pregnant after being raped or if her being pregnant has a deadly foetal anomaly or if her well being situations imply she might die from carrying to time period or giving delivery. Or the proven fact that roughly 40 per cent of girls who’re of reproductive age reside someplace in the world the place being pregnant terminations are both unlawful or restricted.

(Katie Packer)

In the meantime, unsafe, backstreet, clandestine abortions are a number one explanation for maternal deaths round the world. That is sure to improve considerably in the US, on condition that the Supreme Courtroom overhauled Roe v Wade – the landmark choice that legalised abortion nationwide in 1973 – in June 2022, with thousands and thousands of girls dropping their authorized proper to have a being pregnant terminated. What’s extra, let’s not overlook that round 140 million ladies are successfully ‘lacking’ round the world due to households selecting to have an abortion as they would favor to have a son, or not correctly caring for a new child woman.

On high of all this, ladies are statistically extra probably than males to work in low-paid, insecure, precarious types of employment with zero-hours contracts. They’re additionally way more probably to undergo home abuse or sexual violence. The World Well being Organisation states that one in three ladies throughout the world will likely be compelled to endure bodily or sexual violence in some unspecified time in the future of their lives and it would most certainly be perpetrated by a companion. That is unsurprising when 38 per cent of all murders of girls round the world are carried out by companions.

Regardless of the grisly statistics, there’s nonetheless a stunning variety of males, and some ladies, too, who will let you know sexism and misogyny now not exist, and that issues are actually equal for males and ladies

In the UK, it’s important to bear in mind simply how lately a few of the rights ladies take as a right have been launched. Only a few many years in the past, ladies have been in some ways de facto youngsters and second-class residents in the eyes of the regulation. Earlier than 1975, ladies in the UK have been barred from opening a checking account in their very own identify. Furthermore, single ladies weren’t allowed to submit an utility for a mortgage or a bank card in their very own identify with out getting a signature from their father till the mid-Nineteen Seventies. In the identical decade, ladies have been usually denied mortgages, or have been solely permitted them in the event that they acquired a male guarantor to present a signature. On high of this, ladies might legally be denied a drink in British pubs till as lately as 1982.

To this very day, ladies nonetheless face a litany of deeply ingrained inequalities in the UK and round the world. Research have discovered it’s usually ladies who eat “final and least” in nations wrestling with struggle or starvation. Whereas in Afghanistan, the Taliban has fiercely escalated restrictions on ladies’s day-to-day freedoms and rights since seizing energy of the Afghan capital, Kabul, in mid-August 2021. The group, which beforehand dominated the nation, has blocked ladies from the office, schooling and public areas, in addition to barring them from participating in all sports activities and relinquishing the proper to journey alone. However, after all, it’s not simply ladies round the world struggling; in a bitterly unequal world the place the poorest 50 per cent of the world’s inhabitants personal a meagre two per cent of the whole internet wealth, there are numerous losers.

Regardless of the aforementioned grisly statistics, there’s nonetheless a stunning variety of males, and some ladies, too, who will let you know sexism and misogyny now not exist, and that issues are actually equal for males and ladies. Whether or not it’s the performative woke bloke who immediately reveals himself to be a rampant misogynist or the well-meaning however know-it-all uncle who retains saying issues that make your pores and skin crawl, so many people have skilled these irritating moments when your expertise is denied and you possibly can’t discover the phrases to problem it. So how do you rise up to these of us who’re in denial that misogyny exists? Nicely, this book – which is replete with clear information, digestible bite-sized gems, campaigning sources and thought-provoking quotes – is an effective place to begin.

The Pocket Guide to the Patriarchy will present you, and assist you to present others, how completely different components of the patriarchy are linked, and what we are able to – and should – do to deal with this.

(Naomi Oppenheim)

On this book, I’ll shine a obvious, unflinching hydroponic gentle on the injustice suffered by so many ladies and folks of marginalised genders. And in the identical approach that hydroponic lights assist crops to develop, I hope this information will assist you to broaden your personal understanding, and in doing so assist others develop some requisite data, so the seeds are planted for a greater future. In every chapter, I share necessary statistics and, in some, I share wins and developments which were made. Not each chapter has wins listed as a result of in sure areas I felt there was a dearth of great and enduring breakthroughs.

On a separate observe, it’s price allowing for the points explored on this book affect the lives of girls, trans, nonbinary and gender various people. Ladies aren’t the solely people who menstruate, give delivery, have abortions or expertise harassment, violence or financial insecurity and the subject issues we’ll go on to discover have crippling repercussions on gender various people too. Whereas gender various individuals are not all the time explicitly talked about all through the book, their experiences should not be discounted or missed. What’s extra, it should even be remembered the patriarchy doesn’t serve all males equally and its buildings inflict hurt on them too.

Data is necessary, as it’s so usually the individuals who have carried out the least homework who shout the most aggressively that gender inequality is all however a delusion. This suspicious, incredulous view of gender inequality is rife in far-right circles. In order the far proper grows – restyling and sugar-coating itself however retaining and even bolstering its harmful fascist beliefs – the extra folks inside and exterior the motion appear to undertake this angle.

Maya Oppenheim’s ‘The Pocket Guide to the Patriarchy’


It’s no secret that the struggle for girls’s rights, trans rights and gender equality has turn into a key casualty in the repugnant ramping-up of the so-called “tradition wars”. However what precisely are the ”tradition wars”? At first look, the phrase, which routinely pops up in headlines, would possibly sound like a synonym for Mariah Carey versus Mozart, or Tolstoy versus 10 Issues I Hate About You, however “tradition wars” aren’t a reference to purported “low” versus “excessive” tradition. On the opposite, the Cambridge Dictionary defines tradition wars as “disagreements about cultural and social beliefs between teams, particularly between folks with extra conservative opinions and folks with extra progressive opinions”.

In some methods the tradition wars are caricatures of a sure set of values, in addition to a contemporary manifestation of the historic division between right- and left-wing politics. These on the conservative facet of the tradition wars usually promote conventional notions of the household, take an essentialist, biologically deterministic view of gender and resist notions of structural racism, in addition to taking a traditionalist and maybe nationalist method to society, which glorifies the previous and dismisses emotional sensitivity from so-called “snowflakes”. These on the progressive facet, in the meantime, could also be extra cosmopolitan, metropolitan, permissive, tolerant, emotionally open, and have a important understanding of race and a non-essentialist view of gender, which champions the rights of various gender identities. Nonetheless, there are after all nuances, gray areas and exceptions to these broad-stroke examples of the dividing strains.

The explosion of the tradition wars, little doubt fuelled by provocative, opportunistic, divisive politicians, is an element and parcel of a rising backlash towards feminism, with the grim time period “feminazis” slung round males’s rights circles on-line extra and extra, and the realities of girls’s expertise minimised and weaponised towards us.

With all that in thoughts, this can be a book to arm you with the details and real-world tales to inform your buddies and foes why we have now a lot additional to go to extricate and liberate ladies from inequality and injustice.

‘The Pocket Guide to the Patriarchy’ is launched 31 August, and is accessible for pre-order here.

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