Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls.
Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.
According to sociologist Allan G. Johnson,
“misogyny is a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female.”
Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel toward their own bodies.
The counterpart of ‘Misogyny‘ is ‘Misandry’, the hatred or dislike of men. The common denominator is the element of ‘hate’, and this is the facet that must be eradicated from our world.
Misogyny is the act of elevating the status of men through demeaning the value of women in society. This is not only practiced by men who want to maintain a powerful role in society, but can also be practiced by women through internalized misogyny. People who experience internalized misogyny may express it through minimizing the value of women, mistrusting women, and believing gender bias in favor of men.
Men increase their own power through diminishing women’s power.
Women, after hearing men demean the value and skills of women repeatedly, eventually internalize their beliefs and apply the misogynistic beliefs to themselves and other women. The implications of internalized misogyny include psychological disorders such as depression, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and less social support among women. Many research studies have been conducted to examine the correlation between internalized misogyny and negative psychological consequences in minority, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women. Certain forms of therapy have been known to limit the effects of internalized misogyny on mental health.
Misandry is the hatred of, violence against, or discrimination of men and masculinity. Internalized misandry, then, is the act of identifying as a man and discriminating against oneself and one’s masculinity. However, unlike misogyny, misandry does not exist in its near-universal, hierarchical and institutionalized discrimination.
In Marc A. Ouellette’s International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities, he argues that “misandry lacks the systemic, trans-historic, institutionalized, and legislated antipathy of misogyny,” revealing the lack of a trend in male-hatred.
Because of this, men almost never experience feelings of internalized misandry as there are no environmental, sociopolitical or cultural architectures that enforce feelings of self-discrimination. However, as Raewyn Connell notes in her 1987 book Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics, different masculinity retain different authorities across performance so that one version of being a man is valued over another. Because of this, men may form internalized feelings of hatred for aspects of their masculine performance, but not to the full degree of internalized ‘misandry’.
Internalized sexism is one of the three subsets of sexism other than institutionalized sexism and interpersonal sexism. Unlike its counterparts, which are sexism and social interactions, internalized sexism occurs more so on an individual level.
Internalized sexism is when an individual enacts sexist actions and attitudes towards themselves and people of their own gender. On a larger scale, internalized sexism falls under the broad topic of Internalized oppression, which describes when individuals think lesser of themselves as a result of the oppression they feel.
Internalized sexism has the potential to lead to serious issues, including body issues, lack of self-confidence, competition, and a sense of powerlessness.
It is a major setback in resolving issues of sexism as a whole. Ties to psychological distress such as anxious, depressive or somatic symptoms, have been identified as results of internalized sexism. Possible effects can be depression and suicidal impulses.
Additionally, studies have found connections between as sexual objectification as a result of internalized sexism and body shame, sexual objectification, and disordered eating. Internalized sexism also plays a role in lowered academic goals and diminished job performance. On a larger scale, the presence of internalized sexism in the world is believed to alienate those affected from each other and thus further promotes continued sexism as a whole.
In Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice, Jack Holland claims that there is evidence of misogyny in the mythology of the ancient world. In Greek mythology according to Hesiod, the human race had already experienced a peaceful, autonomous existence as a companion to the gods before the creation of women. When Prometheus decides to steal the secret of fire from the gods, Zeus becomes infuriated and decides to punish humankind with an “evil thing for their delight”. This “evil thing” is Pandora, the first woman, who carried a jar (usually described—incorrectly—as a box) which she was told to never open. Epimetheus (the brother of Prometheus) is overwhelmed by her beauty, disregards Prometheus’ warnings about her, and marries her. Pandora cannot resist peeking into the jar, and by opening it she unleashes into the world all evil; labour, sickness, old age, and death.
In his book The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender, professor Bernard Faure of Columbia University argued generally that “Buddhism is paradoxically neither as sexist nor as egalitarian as is usually thought.”
He remarked, “Many feminist scholars have emphasized the misogynistic (or at least androcentric) nature of Buddhism” and stated that Buddhism morally exalts its male monks while the mothers and wives of the monks also have important roles.
Additionally, he wrote: “While some scholars see Buddhism as part of a movement of emancipation, others see it as a source of oppression. Perhaps this is only a distinction between optimists and pessimists, if not between idealists and realists… As we begin to realize, the term “Buddhism” does not designate a monolithic entity, but covers a number of doctrines, ideologies, and practices–some of which seem to invite, tolerate, and even cultivate “otherness” on their margins.
Differences in tradition and interpretations of scripture have caused sects of Christianity to differ in their beliefs with regard their treatment of women. In The Troublesome Helpmate, Katharine M. Rogers claims that Christianity is misogynistic, and she lists what she says are specific examples of misogyny in the Pauline epistles.
She states: “The foundations of early Christian misogyny — its guilt about sex, its insistence on female subjection, its dread of female seduction — are all in St. Paul’s epistles.”
In K. K. Ruthven’s Feminist Literary Studies: An Introduction, Ruthven makes reference to Rogers’ book and argues that the “legacy of Christian misogyny was consolidated by the so-called ‘Fathers’ of the Church, like Tertullian, who thought a woman was not only ‘the gateway of the devil’ but also ‘a temple built over a sewer’.”
However, some other scholars have argued that Christianity does not include misogynistic principles, or at least that a proper interpretation of Christianity would not include misogynistic principles. David M. Scholer, a biblical scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary, stated that the verse Galatians 3:28 (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”) is “the fundamental Pauline theological basis for the inclusion of women and men as equal and mutual partners in all of the ministries of the church.”
In his book Equality in Christ? Galatians 3.28 and the Gender Dispute, Richard Hove argues that—while Galatians 3:28 does mean that one’s sex does not affect salvation—”there remains a pattern in which the wife is to emulate the church’s submission to Christ (Eph 5:21-33) and the husband is to emulate Christ’s love for the church.”
In Christian Men Who Hate Women, clinical psychologist Margaret J. Rinck has written that Christian social culture often allows a misogynist “misuse of the biblical ideal of submission”.
However, she argues that this a distortion of the “healthy relationship of mutual submission” which is actually specified in Christian doctrine, where “love is based on a deep, mutual respect as the guiding principle behind all decisions, actions, and plans”. Similarly, Catholic scholar Christopher West argues that “male domination violates God’s plan and is the specific result of sin”.
Christian Men Who Hate Women is a long-needed book about hurting relationships in Christian marriage — the kind of marriage in which Christian women love men who hate them. Dr. Margaret Josephson Rinck stresses that since the subject of abuse “seems to be such a taboo in the Christian community,” it’s necessary for us all to become aware of our own views concerning abuse. Rinck examines in detail – how women-hating relationships begin – what happens in these relationships – how both parties contribute to the problem – the role of the church in such a relationship — She writes that “we need to set women — and men — free from the terrible bondage that entraps them in patterns of misogynistic behavior and relationships.” Nor should the blame be exclusively assigned to the “bad guy” in the relationship, she points out, because “both the man and woman . . . have learned early in life to respond to pain with different mechanisms.” For men and women afflicted by misogyny, Christian Men Who Hate Women offers hope for reversing deeply established patterns of relating to and coping with cruelly.
The fourth chapter (or sura) of the Quran is called “Women” (An-Nisa). The 34th verse is a key verse in feminist criticism of Islam. The verse reads: “Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”
In his book Popular Islam and Misogyny: A Case Study of Bangladesh, Taj Hashmi discusses misogyny in relation to Muslim culture (and to Bangladesh in particular), writing:
Thanks to the subjective interpretations of the Quran (almost exclusively by men), the preponderance of the misogynic mullahs and the regressive Shariah law in most “Muslim” countries, Islam is synonymously known as a promoter of misogyny in its worst form. Although there is no way of defending the so-called “great” traditions of Islam as libertarian and egalitarian with regard to women, we may draw a line between the Quranic texts and the corpus of avowedly misogynic writing and spoken words by the mullah having very little or no relevance to the Quran.
In his book No god but God, University of Southern California professor Reza Aslan wrote that “misogynistic interpretation” has been persistently attached to An-Nisa, 34 because commentary on the Quran “has been the exclusive domain of Muslim men”. Sikhism
Guru Nanak in the center, among other Sikh figures
Scholars William M. Reynolds and Julie A. Webber have written that Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith tradition, was a “fighter for women’s rights” that was “in no way misogynistic” in contrast to some of his contemporaries.
The antonym of misogyny is ‘philogyny‘, the love or fondness of women and ‘philandry‘, the love or fondness of men is the only future this world can thrive in.
How does one remove ‘hate’ from the heart and achieve mental health?
Our favorite anonymous answer: “First, you need to forgive all whom you have bad feelings towards. That doesn’t mean that you have to say it to them face to face or even in a letter or call. But to know in your heart, to say to your-self, “I forgive that person, so that I can put it behind me and go on in life”… I had to deal with this with a best girl type friend once… I had told her something in great confidence and made sure to stress that it shouldn’t get back to my husband, as it was a concern of mine and saddened me, but was between her and I. Not only did it get back to my husband, she told my kids and God knows who else and I literally felt hate and extreme anger, as she had proven once again that I couldn’t trust her! To this day she is still one of my best friends… but I had to forgive, drop the hate and go on. She’s a nice person and fun to be around, I just know better to stay cautious of not telling her anything at all that I want kept in confidence. 🙂
I think the main key personally to removing hatred from your heart towards others has to start with forgiveness and then make a MAJOR change and committment to help those who you feel this hate towards. Meaning people like them, as they had to have been miserable of people to act the way they did, to make you want to hate them… something happened along the way that transformed into that, as we are born as pure hearted babies and we learn hate from there from life experiences gone bad.
Go out and help others and you’ll see the hate leave your life and go away. Continue to do this always and don’t let up and for those who you know who do hate people, tell them to stay away from you, that there’s no room in your life for hate. I don’t care who you are, what color your skin is, what nationality or religion you are!… hate is hate and it will eat you up and turn you into a person not even you your-self could like! You don’t want that! 🙂
Also and certainly not least important, when you forgive those who have made you feel hate towards them, forgive your-self as well for hating them. If you’re a spiritual person in any way, you might even pray and ask for spiritual forgiveness and you’ll see what I mean about the hate flowing away.. 🙂 ”
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