Regan Penaluna for Guernica writes:
Manne tosses out the common thinking that misogyny is equivalent to despising all women, and instead offers that it’s a way to keep women in their place. Misogyny, she writes, is “the system that operates within a patriarchal social order to police and enforce women’s subordination and to uphold male dominance.” Like a shock collar used to keep dogs behind an invisible fence, misogyny, she argues, aims to keep women—those who are well trained as well as those who are unruly—in line.
Misogyny is the stuff that women face that destroys them in some instances. “Himpathy” is part of the explanation of why we don’t see it, because we’re identifying with “him” and seeing “him” as the good guy, or worrying about “his” future. We don’t see him as taking a life. We see him as asserting his masculinity or defending himself, or as a poor pathetic character, or as vulnerable. Sometimes these things are true, that he is pathetic and vulnerable, but let’s focus on the women.
There’s a general myth about prejudice, that it’s going to be leveled toward any and every member of a certain historically subordinate class, rather than that it’s something that comes out as a method for enforcing and policing social hierarchies.
I think silencing is a big part of it. And silencing can mean replacing anything unpleasant to the patriarchal collective consciousness with pleasantries—like saying, “He’s a good guy.” And it can mean not speaking out, or defending him, as well as not testifying to his misdeeds.