Man Down: why men are ridiculous

Amanda Marcotte in Slate:

BookMen: Notes From an Ongoing Investigation may be the most provocative title in a long list of provocative book titles from essayist Laura Kipnis—a remarkable feat for a woman whose previous works include Against Love and Bound and Gagged.

…Repeatedly, she zeroes in on how keenly men are rankled by their revoked entitlement to female flattery, and it’s always hilarious. Christopher Hitchens’ fantasy that men and not women evolved humor for reproductive purposes, she writes, has “the slightly musty air of the 1960-ish Kingsley Amis, wrapped in nostalgia for the merry days when sexual conquest required an arsenal of tactics deployed by bon-vivantish cads on girdled, girlish sexual holdouts.” And in a particularly hilarious piece looking at right-wing male reactions to Hillary Clinton, she muses, “You’d think they were talking about their first wives.” Kipnis paints all this male anxiety in the face of women’s growing power as both humorous and poignant. Thankfully though, despite the residual chill girl tendencies, she never suggests that women should abandon feminism to calm men down.

More here.