“Men, I Hate Them”: French Government Seeks To Ban Book

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Many European nations like Germany have struggled for years to suppress speech only to fuel movements like neo-Nazis who operate underground or evade limits. Now France has given another example of why speech regulations often fail. The effort to ban the book “Men, I hate them” by Pauline Harmange has backfired with increased sales from defiant citizens.

Ralph Zurmély, an adviser to France’s ministry on gender equality, declared the book to be an “ode to misandry.” It is certainly entitled like such an ode but the proper response is to denounce such work not seek to ban it or punish its author.
Zurmély cited the broad French laws criminalizing any speech or writing that “incites hatred.” The publishers were warned in a letter that “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender is a criminal offense.” The move immediately sent sales through the roof and the book sold out.

These laws are based on ill-defined and fluid terms that have led to broader and broader application as groups and individuals seek to silence others with opposing views. For example, fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty in a French court on charges of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris bar. At his sentencing, Judge Anne Marie Sauteraud read out a list of the bad words used by Galliano to Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti. “He said ‘dirty whore’ at least a thousand times,” she explained in court.In another case, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined because he had called people from the Roma minority “smelly”. A French mother was prosecuted because her son went to school with a shirt reading “I am a bomb.”

As I have previously discussed, there is a sad irony of France leading efforts to curb free speech. Once the bastion of liberty, France has now become one of the greatest international threats to free speech. In the end, such laws have never been successful in controlling thoughts. However, they create an insatiable appetite to control the speech of others.

This taste for regulating speech has now become evident in the United States. I recently criticized the calls of Democratic leaders like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for greater censorship of the Internet and social media.

The Atlantic published an article by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods calling for Chinese style censorship of the internet.  They declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong” and “significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with society norms and values.”

37 thoughts on ““Men, I Hate Them”: French Government Seeks To Ban Book”

  1. MEN?

    WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING MEN!

    (We Just Need “Free Stuff” From Men)
    ______________________________

    I wholeheartedly concur.

    Men are terrible.

    Women don’t need men.

    And women do not need affirmative action, welfare, food stamps, WIC, TANF, Medicaid, social services, favor in the law, baby murder, etc., etc., etc.

    Women are Man Enough.

    END AFFIRMATIVE ACTION NOW!!!

  2. This song is illegal in Deutschland. It was written by a rock band named Landser. All their songs are deleted from youtube. This song is a cover with English lyrics done by a Russian band.

    One of Landser’s musicians was convicted of a felony level crime in prison in Germany for bad words.

  3. Governments should stop treating their citizens like incompetents or perpetual children, in need of having their communication restricted.

    The right to say what you think is one of the most basic human rights imaginable. Since there are over 7.5 billion people on Earth, some of those opinions are going to be abhorrent. Just like talking to everyone on Earth would occasionally be.

    The nice thing about a book is that if you object to the material, you don’t read it.

    I would object to a misandrist book being on the required reading list of a college class, with the purpose of bigotry against male students. But the author should have the intellectual freedom to write and publish it.

    Let us all decide what to read, say, or think. Too bad France and the rest of Europe does not agree with this paradigm.

  4. Just because a book was published doesn’t mean it’s worth reading and just because people buy it doesn’t mean it’s ever read. The libraries of the intellectual elite are filled with books they most likely never opened. What the French do is no concern of mine. As for Schiff and other idiots, there is a way to combat them and that is to elect people to Congress who aren’t political pawns of the Democratic party.

  5. There is not a woman I know, who has dated men, who has not said “I hate men.” I see no problem with the title, but someone still has to read it. 😉

  6. These people are French. They’re just Being French. You need to take them seriously but not literally.

    Give it up, Professor. You will never surpass Yves Montand.

  7. calling for Chinese style censorship of the internet.

    The USG understands their speech controls can’t be as blunt as the CCP’s. So here, the government accomplishes censorship by enabling Google/Twitter/Facebook to control nearly all content on the internet. Instead of making certain speech illegal, the USG has determined it is more effective to just control what/how people think, so the people censor themselves.

    1. OLLY — EXACTLY!

      THIS IS WHY AMAZON JUST HIRED A FORMER NSA BOSS. mind-meld!

      Trump if reelected MUST use the tools of ANTITRUST to smash these cretins of Silicon Valley into more appropriate sizes

      1. Trump if reelected MUST use the tools of ANTITRUST to smash these cretins of Silicon Valley into more appropriate sizes

        Kurtz,
        It’s tragically ironic that he may not get reelected because these tech companies have that monopoly.

        Google’s purge of Breitbart News and other conservative sites is likely to have an enormous impact on undecided voters, because for most people using the internet, Google is effectively the only search engine that exists. A small minority of web users use competitors like Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo, but this is negligible — in 2020, Google processed a whopping 91 percent of all internet searches.
        https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/08/03/how-googles-monopoly-power-took-over-mobile-search-traffic-even-on-apple-iphones/

  8. Clever marketing? The title is ambiguous – you would have to read the book. People commonly say “I hate garlic” or “I love curry”. Hyperbole is normal language use, exaggeration to get attention. Without further info the book could be a lot of silly jokes about men. Reacting to it makes men look like snow flakes. A confident, dare I say real man would just laugh at the title.

    1. Well said, unfortunately in this day and age everyone is hyper sensitive, and so desperate for attention, they just HAVE to fit in somewhere, and unfortunately it’s the crybaby groups that get the most attention (from each other), and after all, good attention, bad attention,… it’s all good, it’s attention.

    2. But that’s hardly the point. The title, whether hyperbole, or merely catchy, is just a title. Its point is to get attention. Maybe there is a subtitle “ . . . And Why I Still Love Them.” Maybe the book is a fun send-up of misandry. Maybe it’s truly hateful toward men. Maybe it’s well-written or merely mediocre. Don’t know, don’t really care. But I support her human right to write and attempt to publish it. Suppressing this work through criminal prosecution is the problem here. The answer to uncomfortable, unpleasant, even hateful speech is more and better speech.

      1. Kurtz re snowflakes. The cultural stereotype of Mediterranean men is that they are thin-skinned at the slightest affront to their honour, long a cause of hilarity among Brits. However as the book sold perhaps that stereotype is outdated and they have developed a sense of humour. If it wasn’t in French it would be a best seller in England too.

        1. Etes vous un con? LOL sorry j/k

          Honor is under-rated; also loyalty

          Honneur, fidelite! La legion marche vers le front!

          1. Yes, that is what causes the cultural hiccup between north European and Mediterranean. The latter are honour cultures and Brits aren’t causing con-fusion. Everyone needs their values but sometimes they get lost in translation.

  9. I’m intrigued. I’d love to get the load down.Wonder it it’s any better than the leftist hate speech that gets printed over here – or is it all the same? But good on them – much respect to the French people. Don’t let those wannabe-dictators rule your lives and run your country into the ground.

  10. I point to the failure of Germany to eliminate Nazi ideology by banning its symbology, to those who think this is a path that we should follow with confederate symbology as we try to eliminate racial hate.

    These battles can only be won on the battlefield of ideas, using stronger, better ideas. The battle is ongoing. Hate will probably never be eliminated. There are no shortcuts to freedom.

    1. Clayton:
      “The battle is ongoing. Hate will probably never be eliminated.”
      ************************
      You say it like hate is a bad thing. Do you hate child molesters? How about thieves at your door at night? Or maybe those who would enslave you or your children? Or take away your freedom? Hate is just as valid and useful an emotion as its cousin, love.

  11. Yo Turley:. Recall or hear if The Holcaust?
    That is when the German government ruled by Nazi Party rounded up gypsies and jews around Europe and killed over six million. They had assistance from the French and Poles and citizens and government in occupied places.
    After the war we had to limit free speech and association do the Nazi and other types won’t organize again.

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