Sunday, March 05, 2006

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, 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.


Blogger A.Nonymuss said...

Another of your great posts, Echidne--you hit the nail on the head.

I really think misogyny has increased since WWII, when men were put above women as a way to get women back into the home. I feel the saddest about my own boomer generation, which personal experience has taught me that they are the biggest womenhaters..."I've been searching for a heart of gold, and I'm gettin' old...."

3:30 PM  
Blogger MadHat said...

came here by following links.

i recently posted something along these lines. check out the comment spam on that post --


3:10 AM  
Blogger sybil said...

Fearless feminist blogger ventures into the far-reaching dark places of the known universe. Deserving of hazard pay, certainly ineligible for trauma compensation.

No, they don't hate women. As long as they know their places and put out.

thanks for hanging in, Echidne.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of the peopel who many of the "radfem" bloggers consider misogynists don't dislike women or feminist (read equality seeking) women at all.

What they (and I) take to task is women with badly thought out, inconsistent worldviews who spend the majority of their time in a echo chamber of anger and hatred whipping themeselves into afrenzy of victimization.

Those women are incapable of imagining that their belifs and behavior can be legitimately questioned. Thus by definition anyone who dares to question them are misogynists.

It's a fairly interesting mental gymnastic trick.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of the peopel who many of the "men's rights" bloggers consider feminazis don't dislike men at all.

What they (and I) take to task is men with badly thought out, inconsistent worldviews who spend the majority of their time in a echo chamber of anger and hatred whipping themeselves into afrenzy of victimization.

Those men are incapable of imagining that their belifs and behavior can be legitimately questioned. Thus by definition anyone who dares to question them are feminazis.

It's a fairly interesting mental gymnastic trick.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous A Misogynist said...

lol Thanks for the trite and flippant response. The fact that some men make the same mistake as the extreme feminists he's talking about hardly excuses those feminists. Nor should he be expected to defend the men. Echidne admits that its very hard for you to remember not all men are sexist. Nevertheless its important that you try.

I'm male and I fully support equal rights for women but the feeling I sometimes get from feminists is that all men are often seen as potential oppressors. Far too often when I disagree with women I am derided as a misogynist pig, in my view unjustly.

Take my input or leave it but there are many men out there who want to support women who get frustrated when some women refuse to accept men might have their own opinions and perspectives. If you ridicule men who try to engage with your concerns (and if you ignore their concerns) you're simply hurting your own cause.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. This web site which inspires hatred of women, is a complaint about the hatred of women. Thank goodness this is a minority view.

6:35 PM  
Blogger tangenjill said...

Love your site.

Please visit mine. You're tagged.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Misogynists hate women almost as much as women hate other women.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boo-hoo bitch. nobody said the world would be sugar and caramel. stop crying and get your ass back in the kitchen.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post.

Another fact that is interesting is that Misogynists are not born. They are made.

Hate bounces, as it were.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, here's a mirror ..

What's the definition of Misandrist ?

11:12 PM  
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6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, firstly, I think it funny how many folks claim that others who disagree with them automatically "hate" them. I do not believe in changing the definition of the word marriage to include perversions and therefore I am labelled a hater, lol . Women are not equal to men but the expsresion of that fact is not evidence of hate. It is reality. How many women hold world records in olympic sport? NONE so, we are not equal. Women have better fine motor skills and more developed vocabularys than men while men have supperior cognitive IQ and logic reasoning skill. With all the diferences in physical makeup, why is it so un tenable to you that there would not also be intellectual or emotional diferences as well? How many cultures throuout history have been Matriarical? 2? 7? as a percentage they are outliers and to be purged from the data set (for those who have mastered a rudimentary understanding of statistics). Get a group of 100 males and 100 females and have them run , do pushups , math, change sparkplugs, do something scary, test their nerves. Why do you deny the obvious? I do not spew any crude uterences at you but merely remind of the realities of what is :-) take care, Terry

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