We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Hags

Nero Book Awards, Non-Fiction category, 2024

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349726960

Price: £20

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘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.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reviews

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
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
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
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
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 read
Eleanor Fleming, Scotsman
Devastating and clever
Bel Mooney, Daily Mail