Monday, 27 August 2012

Vilar, Esther "The Manipulated Man"

Vilar, Esther "The Manipulated Man" (German: Der dressierte Mann) - 1971

This book is either a joke or, no, if I had never heard of Esther Vilar, I would have thougt it's the most hilarious satire ever. However, I grew up in Germany and, at the time, the television was full of emancipated women having huge discussions with Esther Vilar who would stand her ground and defend her position. She means it. Or meant it. Who knows what she thinks today.

In her eyes, women are all dumb and play the little wife in order for men to support them. None of them really marries for love, no, they marry to have a slave who will provide her with everything so she can have an easy life.

I think this is a wonderful book to discuss in person, but you can definitely not take it seriously. At least not today, more than fourty years after it was first published.

From the back cover:

"Esther Vilar's classic polemic about the relationship between the sexes caused a sensation on its first publication. Her perceptive, thought-provoking and often very funny look at the battle between the sexes has earned her severe criticism and even death threats.But Vilar's intention is not misogynous: she maintains that only if women and men look at their place in society with honesty, will there be any hope for change."

And no, this book is  in no way comparable to Allison Pearson's "I Don't Know How She Does It" or Iris Krasnow's "The Surrendering to Motherhood: Losing Your Mind, Finding Your Soul".

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