The Misogyny Book Club

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01The Price Of An Apple20150803

01The Price Of An Apple20150803
01The Price Of An Apple2015080320151124 (R4)

Why was it Eve who was first tempted by the forbidden fruit - often characterised as an apple? And why is the maggot of misogyny still eating away at the core of society?

In this series, Jo Fidgen and a selection of readers take a fresh look at some of our most read books to discover how writers have distilled and influenced the hatred of women over centuries.

From the Bible to Fifty Shades of Grey, via Hamlet, Sons and Lovers, and fairytales, each episode takes as its starting point a text which has informed our culture, and contains misogynistic sentiments. Writers and other people with a personal connection to the texts discuss how these ideas have developed, and speak openly about how their own lives have been affected.

In the first episode, Jo and company read Genesis and consider Eve's role in the Fall of Man.

Why did the Early Fathers of the church put all the blame on her? And can a line be traced from their depiction of Eve all the way to modern-day attitudes to women? They consider the philosophical tradition of linking men with the mind and women with the body; how we condemn women for dressing seductively; and the resistance to women holding positions of authority.

01The Price Of An Apple20150803

Why was it Eve who was first tempted by the forbidden fruit - often characterised as an apple? And why is the maggot of misogyny still eating away at the core of society?

In this series, Jo Fidgen and a selection of readers take a fresh look at some of our most read books to discover how writers have distilled and influenced the hatred of women over centuries.

From the Bible to Fifty Shades of Grey, via Hamlet, Sons and Lovers, and fairytales, each episode takes as its starting point a text which has informed our culture, and contains misogynistic sentiments. Writers and other people with a personal connection to the texts discuss how these ideas have developed, and speak openly about how their own lives have been affected.

In the first episode, Jo and company read Genesis and consider Eve's role in the Fall of Man.

Why did the Early Fathers of the church put all the blame on her? And can a line be traced from their depiction of Eve all the way to modern-day attitudes to women? They consider the philosophical tradition of linking men with the mind and women with the body; how we condemn women for dressing seductively; and the resistance to women holding positions of authority.

02Sex and Silence20150804

02Sex And Silence2015080420151201 (R4)

Are men afraid of women's sexuality? And if so, why?

Jo Fidgen and company look for clues in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in the second in a series of programmes exploring misogyny in some of our most read books. When the young prince attacks his mother over starting a new relationship in middle age, he reveals an age-old fear that women have insatiable sexual appetites, and a patriarch's urge to control them.

Actor Charlotte Cornwell, who played Gertrude in the RSC production of Hamlet, talks about how she identifies with the character and how it felt to be on the receiving end of Hamlet's insults.

The contributors discuss how women gained a reputation for licentiousness and whether they have ever shaken it off. Their conversation takes in the invisibility of older women in society; the subtle ways in which women are silenced; and the way women police themselves.

02Sex And Silence20150804

Are men afraid of women's sexuality? And if so, why?

Jo Fidgen and company look for clues in Shakespeare's Hamlet, in the second in a series of programmes exploring misogyny in some of our most read books. When the young prince attacks his mother over starting a new relationship in middle age, he reveals an age-old fear that women have insatiable sexual appetites, and a patriarch's urge to control them.

Actor Charlotte Cornwell, who played Gertrude in the RSC production of Hamlet, talks about how she identifies with the character and how it felt to be on the receiving end of Hamlet's insults.

The contributors discuss how women gained a reputation for licentiousness and whether they have ever shaken it off. Their conversation takes in the invisibility of older women in society; the subtle ways in which women are silenced; and the way women police themselves.

03Unhappily Ever After20150805

03Unhappily Ever After2015080520151208 (R4)

What do fairy tales teach girls about what a woman should be?

In the third in a series of programmes exploring misogyny in some of our most read books, a young primary school teacher and an Oxford professor who specialises in fairy stories join Jo Fidgen to discuss the messages encoded in these well-loved morality tales, and the effect they can have on women's sense of worth.

They engage in a revealing discussion about their depiction of violence against women. In the witch hunts of the 17th century, women were targeted for resembling the witches of fairy tales. Today, one woman talks about her experience of tolerating abuse in the hope of living happily ever after.

03Unhappily Ever After20150805

What do fairy tales teach girls about what a woman should be?

In the third in a series of programmes exploring misogyny in some of our most read books, a young primary school teacher and an Oxford professor who specialises in fairy stories join Jo Fidgen to discuss the messages encoded in these well-loved morality tales, and the effect they can have on women's sense of worth.

They engage in a revealing discussion about their depiction of violence against women. In the witch hunts of the 17th century, women were targeted for resembling the witches of fairy tales. Today, one woman talks about her experience of tolerating abuse in the hope of living happily ever after.

04Mother Love20150806

04Mother Love2015080620151215 (R4)

Why does the character of the devouring mother have such force? Jo Fidgen and company discuss D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, regarded by many critics as a classic depiction of Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex. Gertrude Morel has a passionate and controlling relationship with her son, Paul.

At the same time as Lawrence was writing, Freud was making a splash with his theories about women's sexual fantasies and penis envy. Detractors say he gave a modern legitimacy to age-old misogyny by giving support to the belief that women are less rational than men.

In the fourth in a series of programmes exploring how some of our most read books have distilled and influenced negative attitudes to women, writers Blake Morrison and Lisa Appignanesi defend Lawrence and Freud and discuss how we should interpret them. Are women still facing the consequences of their school of thought?

04Mother Love20150806

Why does the character of the devouring mother have such force? Jo Fidgen and company discuss D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, regarded by many critics as a classic depiction of Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex. Gertrude Morel has a passionate and controlling relationship with her son, Paul.

At the same time as Lawrence was writing, Freud was making a splash with his theories about women's sexual fantasies and penis envy. Detractors say he gave a modern legitimacy to age-old misogyny by giving support to the belief that women are less rational than men.

In the fourth in a series of programmes exploring how some of our most read books have distilled and influenced negative attitudes to women, writers Blake Morrison and Lisa Appignanesi defend Lawrence and Freud and discuss how we should interpret them. Are women still facing the consequences of their school of thought?

05Hands Up, Misogynists!20150807

05Hands Up, Misogynists!2015080720151222 (R4)

What does the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey say about how women see themselves?

This is the final programme of a series exploring misogyny in our most read books, including the Bible, Hamlet, fairy tales and Sons and Lovers. Jo Fidgen and company discuss how E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey reflects or subverts the hatred of women depicted in these earlier texts.

The conversation ranges over violence towards women; the taboo of sexual curiosity; and broaches an uncomfortable question: can a feminist also be a misogynist?

05Hands Up, Misogynists!20150807

What does the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey say about how women see themselves?

This is the final programme of a series exploring misogyny in our most read books, including the Bible, Hamlet, fairy tales and Sons and Lovers. Jo Fidgen and company discuss how E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey reflects or subverts the hatred of women depicted in these earlier texts.

The conversation ranges over violence towards women; the taboo of sexual curiosity; and broaches an uncomfortable question: can a feminist also be a misogynist?