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Hags: The Demonisation of Middle-Aged Women By Victoria Smith Cover Image

Hags: The Demonisation of Middle-Aged Women (Hardcover)

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'Rich, complex and witty' ROSE GEORGE, SPECTATOR

'Devastating and clever' BEL MOONEY, DAILY MAIL

'Could not be more necessary' RACHEL COOKE, OBSERVER

What is about women in their forties and beyond that seems to enrage - almost everyone?

In the last few years, as identity politics have taken hold, middle-aged women have found themselves talked and written about as morally inferior beings: the face of bigotry, entitlement and selfishness, to be ignored, pitied or abused.

In Hags, Victoria Smith asks why these women are treated with such active disdain. Each chapter takes a different theme - care work, beauty, violence, political organization, sex - and explores it in relation to middle-aged women's beliefs, bodies, histories and choices. Smith traces the attitudes she describes through history, and explores the very specific reasons why this type of misogyny is so very now. The result is a book that is absorbing, insightful, witty and bang on time.

Victoria Smith is a regular contributor to the New Statesman and the Independent, focusing on women's issues, parenting and mental health. Her newsletter, The OK Karen, about midlife women's experiences of feminism, was launched last year, and she tweets @glosswitch. She lives in Cheltenham with her family.
Product Details ISBN: 9780349726960
ISBN-10: 0349726965
Publisher: Fleet
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English
Her book traces the hatred and fear of the middle-aged woman back through history . . . The greatest joy of Hags is its lively erudition . . . This eloquent, clever and devastating book describes the last remaining acceptable prejudice, one that is now even posited as progress: the loathing of older women—Janice Turner, The Times

My polemic of the year . . . a book that could not be more necessary (a sword and a shield) in the current climate—Rachel Cooke, Observer

Riveting, vital and impossible to read without rage—Lissa Evans, author of Old Baggage

Hags is rich and complex and witty and cleverer than I am. (You'd never get a male reviewer saying that.) I hope it won't be read only in an echo chamber, by the women who are, as Smith was once called to her delight, 'a batshit Mumsnet thread made flesh'. I hope it will also be read by young women who think me and the author terrible Terfs and bigots for believing in single-sex spaces; by young anyones; by the middle-aged and the elderly; by any man born of a mother; and by all those who agree with Smith when she writes: 'I am not frightened of change. I am frightened of things staying the same.'—Rose George, Spectator

Devastating and clever—Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

Smith makes an impassioned, powerful case . . . Hags can't come soon enough'—Mail on Sunday

Deftly illustrates how ageist misogyny remains an acceptable prejudice and, in laying out the ignominies visited upon middle-aged women, feels justifiably livid—Fiona Sturges, Guardian

A brilliantly witty, engaging and insightful book; a righteous polemic which examines and questions why so much hatred is directed towards middle-aged women - and, crucially, what this means for women today . . . a punchy, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable readEleanor Fleming, Scotsman