Misogynists in My Study
The Internet has had one consequence for my life which I didn't anticipate: it has brought misogyny home. I have met misogynists before, sure. I have even shared a family background with some and read books written by others. But never before have I seen the brotherhood (and sisterhood, for there are female misogynists, too) of woman-haters all organized and fighting for their beliefs. This is exactly what the Internet lets me experience if I care to visit certain sites or even if I just wait long enough for a troll of this type to visit my blog.
Not that I care for that experience, and I always feel like needing a shower after my little trips to mensnewsdaily.com, for example. But in other ways learning about general misogyny is good. It is good to know that these people exist, and it is good to know that nothing, but nothing, we can do would make them treat us any better or stop them from being misogynists. Unless we somehow became not-women, of course.
The term "misogyny" is inadequate for the phenomenom I want to describe. Misogyny in its extreme form seems to be a pathological fear and hatred of the female functions of the body, more than anything else, and I'm not sure how many people would be classified as misogynists based on this definition. Then there is the hatred of all things female and of women, the general case of woman-hatred. But all this omits a large category of feeling that I'd still group under the same heading: the woman-despisers, those, who don't even care enough about women to really hate them but do care about the role of women in their daily lives, and that role is to do as she is told, pretty much. I'm going to give this group the honor of belonging under the general heading of misogynists, too.
Misogynists are a minority of men (and women). This is important to remember because they don't seem like a minority to those of us who run feminist sites. We are the honey that attracts them, and this means that we interact with woman-haters at a greater frequency than their numbers would let us expect. And why do we attract them so? Because uppity women are a terrible thing for those who hate all things female. It's like the bogeyman of your childhood dreams turning up to be as large as the world. Also because those who are more woman-despisers than woman-haters don't mind women so much as long as women are clearly held subjugated, and uppity women really mess up their life plans. Then there are the men who have had a bad divorce and blame feminists for that. The sins of the ex-wives and all that.
I sometimes hear the argument that some of these men whom I'd label misogynists don't really hate women but feminist women. This is an odd distinction. Women who want equality are hateworthy but those who don't are not hateworthy, because presumably they know their places which are somewhere far below. What would that mean in terms of my views of misogyny? Certainly I'd class this as woman-despising.
And finally a confession. Before I started my adventures on the Internet I thought that misogyny was really quite rare. I have learned otherwise.