Helen's face not only launched a thousand ships, it also launched countless books about Helen herself. These books have idealized, worshiped, slandered, celebrated, constructed, and deconstructed her. The present work draws on the most reliable of these books and offers a portrait of Helen as the archetypal woman of Western culture. This is the story of a consistent, however dissembling, hatred for women. It is not only the story of the hatred of men for women, but also the story of the self-hatred of women instilled by the culture of misogyny. Based on the best scholarship, this is also a psychological analysis of why a species so prone to loneliness and self-doubt would sever itself in two, deny itself the intimacy, recognition, and comfort of equals, and make the embodiment of beauty and life into an icon of shame. This is a book that will fascinate all feminists and infuriate some men.
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