The Privilege of Men, the debut novella by Judith Mazzucco, is a thriller about human trafficking. The use and abuse of women and animals and the reflection on a culture of men that condones both. When money is involved, men will use anything and anybody for their privilege. Interspecies relationships are heartwarming and heartbreaking. Intra-species relationships are even more complicated. The relationships between men, women and animals can be reprehensible, especially when the mistreatment of women and animals coincides with ego and money.
An important story that needs to be told, The Privilege of Men is an international tale of greed and horrific inhumanity toward girls, women and animals. It is an allegory where women are a metaphor for animals. It is a searing indictment of the international status quo and the inability of weak institutions and individuals who are unable and unwilling to change mindsets that propagate these crimes and injustices. The insensitivity shown toward animals is a direct reflection of a culture in its treatment of women. The underlying message is universal, resonating across borders and species.
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