Elisha has Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology, as well as a Bachelor's in Marketing. She has extensive experience creating & teaching curricula in college level education, history, English, business and marketing.
What is Misogyny?
Misogyny is defined as the ''hatred or fear of women''. However, although the word 'misogyny' does translate to hatred of women, it's not an all-encompassing hatred of actual women. Instead, it's more of a dislike of certain behaviors that misogynists deem unbecoming to women, such as power, independence, and ambition. This means that misogynists can actually come across as gallant and chivalrous because they see themselves as superior to women. They tend to want to live in the world of the 1950s where the man worked and the woman stayed home to cook and clean.
Although misogyny can resemble sexism, it is a little different. Sexism is actually the prejudicial behavior against women on the basis of their gender. This means that, unlike misogyny, sexism focuses on women as a whole, not on their behaviors.
Where the misogynistic behavior comes in is when women do not behave in the way men deem appropriate. Although each man is different, most misogynists believe that women should not hold roles of power, should not be strong-willed, and should always defer to the men around her. This belief can result in men being verbally abusive, and even physically abusive, depending on the severity of the misogyny, although this is not always the case. Misogyny can also lead someone to agree that abuse is permissible if done to correct unwanted behavior.
Characteristics of Misogynists
There are several characteristics of misogynists. However, each person is different, so some men may have all of the traits, and some only a few.
- Exhibiting polar opposites in behavior - For a misogynist, in the perfect world a woman behaves as secondary to the male. So, if the woman exhibits this behavior, then the male is charming and sweet. However, if she does not, a misogynist may be angry, assertive, and even cruel. This switch of behavior can be caused by some behavior or trait that a woman around him displayed that he finds intolerable.
- Not being dependable - A woman dealing with a misogynist may have troubles with his dependability. The dedication to the men in his life will be paramount, and to the women, very little. There will be a consistent pattern of him dropping plans with his significant other to help or hang out with his male friends, which could point to misogyny.
- Being excessively competitive - Since misogynists typically view women as inferior to men, it's unacceptable for a woman to be powerful and/or receive more promotions. This can create a competitive atmosphere that can be aggressive or degrading.
- Not taking women seriously - Misogynists do not respect the power and intelligence of women, so they do not take them seriously in professional or personal realms. This means that misogynists may joke and tease women, making small slights without directly insulting them.
- Controlling and manipulating - In intimate relationships, misogynists are usually controlling, taking on dominant roles and only seeking personal pleasure while ignoring a woman's. Sex is more a physical act than it is intimate, and misogynists may also cheat because they do not respect a woman enough for monogamy.
Example of Misogyny
These behaviors will show themselves in different ways, but one that's seen often is in domestic abuse. Emotional or physical abuse can be used to manipulate a woman to behave how the misogynist believes she should behave within the home. This is then followed by bouts of love and charming behavior when the women are behaving ''properly''. ''Barefoot and pregnant'' is a misogynist term used by men that that do not feel women have any other role outside of the domestic sphere.
Women can also be misogynistic, though this is rarer. There are women who adhere to a specific role, and any women that do not follow this self-conceived role are wrong. This can happen in belief systems that have a base culture of women being subservient, such as certain religious groups. Some women relish this role and hate the behaviors of other women who do not.
Misogyny is the hatred or fear of women, or at least that's how it translates; however, it is more so a hatred or dislike of certain behaviors that women may exhibit, such as strength or independence. Characteristics of misogynists can include arrogance, lack of respect, inability to keep promises, or even manipulation. Although misogyny is normally associated with men, women can also exhibit this behavior if they believe that they and their ways are superior.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack