The attempt by a French government official to ban a feminist book titled “I Hate Men” appears to have backfired after it ran out.
Pauline Harmange’s auctionMe men, I hate them “Soared after Ralph Zurmély, a special adviser to the French ministry for gender equality, called it” an ode to misandry ” [a hatred of men]».
In an email, Zurmély told Monstrograph – the book’s publisher – that “incitement to hatred on the grounds of sex is a criminal offense” and asked the publisher to remove the book from publication. “Under penalty of criminal prosecution”.
The 25-year-old activist’s book argues that “anger towards men is actually a joyful and empowering path, if allowed to express itself,” and explores whether women “have good reason to hate men. “.
Monstrograph denied that the book is an incitement to hatred and called the book a “feminist and iconoclastic book” that “defends misandry as a way to make room for brotherhood.”
Colline Pierre, one of the founders of the volunteer-run micro-publisher, said: “The title is provocative but the language is measured. It’s an invitation not to force yourself to hang out with men or to compromise yourself with them.
“At no time does the author incite violence,” she added.
‘I Hate Men,’ a book written by 25-year-old French activist Pauline Harmange (pictured for an interview with The Guardian), drew criticism from Ralph Zurmély, special adviser to the French Ministry of Gender Equality, who called it an ode to misandry [a hatred of men]’
The first 450 printed copies of the book flew off the shelves after Zurmély called for its ban. Since the first printing, 2,500 additional copies have been sold.
A larger, so far unnamed publisher is now set to take the title, according to The Guardian, and UK publishers should consider translating it into English.
The French Ministry of Gender Equality has distanced itself from Zurmély’s threat of criminal prosecution, claiming that it was a “personal initiative and completely independent of the ministry.”
The ministry’s comments came after Harmange was ridiculed and threatened on social media.
The special adviser told Mediapart that if Monstrograph continued to sell copies of the book, the small publisher would be “directly complicit in the offense and I would then be obliged to send it to the prosecution for prosecution.”
But the magazine NewObs pointed out that if the book were to be banned, a similar case could be made for books by male authors to be banned on the grounds of misogyny.
Harmange, an activist from Lille in northern France, said the book was an invitation to women to ‘imagine a new way of being, less taking into account the often unsupported views of men, to consider the adage “it is better to be alone than in bad company, seriously, and to rediscover the strength of female relationships full of reciprocity, gentleness and strength”.
Following criticism from the advisor, the book – titled “Me men, I hate them” in French – was off the shelves, with 450 first editions and 2,500 other copies out of print.
She also responded to Zurmély’s response to her book, saying, “A government official who has a power crisis facing an 80-page book with 400 copies published, I find that very problematic.
In a blog, the activist wrote that her head was “spinning” at the response she had received, writing: “Like a gigantic snub to this man who wanted to forbid my words, this book which should only have been printed. at 500, maybe 700 copies maximum, has been ordered more than 2000 times.
“We took the book off sale, not because we are afraid, but because we can no longer keep pace. [with demand]. (And not forever, I promise), ”she wrote.
Harmange describes herself as bi-sexual and is married to a man. She said her experience working with rape and sexual assault victims in France made her wary of men she didn’t know, according to the Times.
She pointed to statistics which show that nearly 40 women a day are victims of sexual violence in France – which has been rocked by the MeToo movement in recent years.
Meanwhile, she added, women who don’t like men “don’t kill or hurt anyone, or prevent them from dressing as they see fit, walking in the streets at night or to express themselves as they see fit ”.