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Town Hall Seattle: Arts & Culture Series

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Mar 4, 2020

Recent years have witnessed significant progress toward gender equality—from the ousting of prominent men accused of sexual misconduct to the unprecedented popularity of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Following the shocking, infuriating accounts shared as part of the #MeToo movement, sociologist and philosopher Raphaël Liogier felt compelled to reassess toxic masculinity as the deepest root of gender inequality and its many manifestations. Liogier took Town Hall’s stage to share reflections from his essay Heart of Maleness, mapping out the crucial work still to be done, first and foremost addressing the core male fantasy about women’s bodies and minds.

Liogier contended that the archetypal Prince Charming and a monstrous predator such as Harvey Weinstein are two sides of the same coin. He asserted they are the products of a worldview that not only places a man’s desires above a woman’s but also doubts whether women are fundamentally capable of knowing what they want. He unpacked the influence of society’s deep-seated fantasy of male dominance—from the brazenness of Donald Trump, who brags about groping women, to the hypocrisy of outspoken progressives whose private behavior belies their so-called feminist ideals. Join Liogier's examination of the underlying causes of gender inequality and how we can fight against it.

Raphaël Liogier is a French sociologist and a philosopher. He is a professor at Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence and also teaches in Paris at the International College of Philosophy, founded by Jacques Derrida, and is a visiting scholar at Columbia University, at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle. Recorded live in The Great Hall on February 18, 2020.