“I Hate Men”: French minister bans feminist book

The French publisher Monstrograph has faced prison threats from the ministry of gender equality over a feminist pamphlet entitled “I Hate Men”. Thanks to the drama, the book “Moi, les hommes, je les déteste” is now making record sales. By Natalie Cheung.

Ralph Zurmély, an officer at the ministry of gender equality, called it an “ode to misandry”. In an email acquired by Mediapart, he wrote to the publisher “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender is a criminal offence!” (He included the exclamation mark.)

The ministry has since said that the threat of prosecution was a “personal initiative” from Zurmély, although Zurmély then told Mediapart that Monstrograph would be “complicit in the offence” if they continued to sell the book.

The essay written by blogger Pauline Harmange asks “if women have good reasons to hate men” and “if anger towards men could be a joyful and emancipatory path”.

Harmange writes in the first pages of the book that, “The accusation of misandry is a silencing mechanism,” and “to be offended by misandry, and to make one form of sexism like any other…is to maliciously sweep mechanisms that make sexist oppression a systematic phenomenon supported by history, culture and authorities under the carpet.”

Harmange has stated online that, “A state official who has a power crisis facing an 80-page book released in 400 copies, I find that very problematic.”

Except the first three editions of the book have now sold out, with nearly 2500 copies sold just two weeks after its release.