Monday, 29 March 2010

The Manipulated Man

The Manipulated Man by Esther Vilar was first published nearly 40 years ago - and it shows. It is described in an extract from a review on the cover as 'a vigorous answer to women's lib'. I suspect whoever wrote that hadn't actually read the book. It contains no references to research and is simply the author's opinions and it castigates the traditional stereotypes of male breadwinners and female stay at home mothers and housewives. So I would have thought it was pro women's lib and more independent women no longer sponging off hard working men.

I'm about half way through the book at the moment and having to read it in small sections because this is the worst misogynistic rant I have read from a woman. She quite plainly does not like her own sex - and she's not too keen on men either as she seems to be saying they are stupid for not seeing through women's manipulation.

Women are brought up, apparently, to manipulate men into supporting them in idleness for the rest of their lives. Women are all completely stupid - though I'm not sure where that leaves the author herself. Women are not interested in knowledge for its own sake. If they start brushing up their knowledge of a subject it's only because they want to impress men. Girls don't play with the same toys as boys - at which I started to laugh. I had a chemistry set and a microscope as well as a collection of toy cars. My brother and I pooled our collections of Lego so that we had more to choose from and could build bigger projects. I never was a girly girl and wasn't too keen on dolls except paper ones though I did like sewing and knitting so I was happy to make dolls' clothes.

Overall I would say this book is actually supporting feminism as the author disagrees with the stereotype of women being supported by men. She obviously hasn't read Betty Friedan if she thinks all women find housework and childcare personally fulfilling.

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