Have you ever wondered why older women have been vilified as bitter ‘hags’ throughout history? Or why younger women seem to be relish the chance to dismiss, cancel and ignore the views and wisdoms of older women?
Well, so has Victoria Smith.
And the answers are altogether infuriating and bewitching…
Over the last few years, identity politics has taken centre stage, impacting every area of life from sports arenas to public toilets to hospital wards, offices and academic institutions.
And at the eye of the storm, seems to be an onslaught of abuse targeted at one group of the international community: middle-aged women.
Women aged forty and above, across all spheres and strata of society, are persistently written about, spoken over and written out of action, often depicted as being the faces of entitlement and selfishness, and the voices of opinions and experiences no longer respected. Like creatures that have come into existence simply to be ignored or screamed at, the parts they have played in creating or strengthening the freedoms gained for the very people now condemning them, they continue to be one of the most maligned and abused groups in the world.
In Hags, Victoria Smith asks why this is, and why it is women of that certain age are universally treated with such active and hate-filled disdain. Tackling the core themes in every woman’s world, be it incessant care works, impossible beauty standards, male violence, or unending political organisation, she explores deftly and with humour, the conflicting planes of middle-aged women’s bodies, choices and rights. Tracing disdainful attitudes to the same anxieties that fuelled Early Modern witch hunts, she explores the ongoing specific reasons as to why this type of ancient, agiest misogyny is not only rife and accepted amongst men, but younger women too.
An absolute must-read for all ‘hags’: be they already formed, or yet to come.
For a chance to win a copy of Hags this International Women’s Day (8th March 2023), see HERE.