- Paperback : 200 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8558281484
- Publisher : Notoir Books (November 3, 2020)
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Language: : English
“Depending on the position of the reader, he was either a great defender of women’s rights or ‘the greatest misogynist since Schopenhauer’, ‘the country’s high-priest of woman-haters.’”
– A critic –
American iconoclast, author, critic and journalist, H.L. Mencken maintained that ‘the average woman, whatever her deficiencies, is greatly superior to the average man. The very ease with which she defies and swindles him in several capital situations is the clearest of proofs of her general superiority.’
In general, biographers describe In Defense of Women as “ironic”: it is not so much a defense of women as a critique of the relationship between the sexes. Topics covered by the book include monogamy, polygamy, prostitution, double standards, employment, discrimination, sexual harassment and declining birth- and marriage rates; all remain of vital interest to the modern reader.
Mencken viewed gender relations as a battlefield. His deference to female supremacy is that of a soldier awed by an opponent’s overwhelming skill and cunning: ‘There was no weakness of man that she did not penetrate and take advantage of. There was no trick that she did not put to effective use. There was no devise so bold and inordinate that it daunted her.’
The writer said about this book:
‘The present edition is addressed to a wider audience, in more civilized countries, and so I have felt free to introduce a number of propositions, not to be found in popular proverbs, that had to be omitted from the original edition.
But even so, the book by no means pretends to preach revolutionary doctrines, or even doctrines of any novelty.
All I design by it is to set down in more or less plain form certain ideas that practically every civilized man and woman holds in petto, but that have been concealed hitherto by the vast mass of sentimentalities swathing the whole woman question.‘