Misogyny: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 What Is Misogyny?
  • 1:25 Characteristics of Misogynists
  • 3:07 Examples of Misogyny
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Misogyny is not sexism. Instead, it is a fear or hatred of women that can resemble sexism. This lesson discusses what misogyny actually is and provides examples of this behavior.

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.

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