When It's Personal

I've got a new piece up at The Guardian's CifA, "Misogyny, up close and personal." They asked to reprint "The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck," along with a post-script about some of what's happened since I originally published it.
I've also received emails from men, most of it also grateful and complimentary, though some of it critical – and most of that from readers who fundamentally misunderstood that I was writing about men who are important to me.

That's not, of course, an incidental fact. It is the centrepiece of the essay, which I wrote in response to a need that took its shape in the comment threads of Shakesville and in my conversations with female friends, formed by frequent references, sometimes oblique and slightly embarrassed, sometimes blunt and angry, to women's upsetting interactions with the men in their lives about whom they care.

...To miss the point that it's not about "men", but about individual and specific men with whom individual and specific women have individual and specific relationships, is to miss the point entirely. It's not about "misogyny", but about how misogyny functions in intimate and familiar relationships. In wanted relationships.

Or, as the case may be, in unwanted but nonetheless existing relationships, from which extricating oneself is difficult, complicated or biologically impossible. And in some cases imminent: Women have told me stories of showing the piece to a partner only to have him react in a way that confirmed their worst fears.
The whole thing is here.

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