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A little boy was brought into this world by his mother many years ago—and that’s about the extent of their relationship. She left when he was too young to remember even the color of her eyes, or the sound of her voice, or what it felt like to be cradled in the safe harbor of her arms. What she left behind was a boy that grew to despise the first woman that ever existed in his life, a boy that grew to despise all women and their entire existence—without even realizing it.

This is a classic case of misogyny and its developmental course, as it usually festers at a young age due to a traumatic event involving a female figure. It is a hatred men have for women, one that typically goes unrecognized or ignored by the individual. Signs of misogyny may also go unnoticed by others, leading to unhealthy relationships and scary circumstances.

Characteristics of Misogynists

The following traits are typical of a misogynist and may help one determine the condition before it becomes dangerous:

  • He chooses his targets. Misogynists are known for analyzing women and choosing who he wants to target. While doing so, he may be covering up his true self with a fun, charismatic, kind person at first introduction.
  • He develops a split personality. Over time, he develops another personality or reveals another side to him. For example, he sheds his alluring façade and becomes aggressive or threatening.
  • He fails to keep his promises. He often fails to keep promises he makes to women, but always proves loyal to men.
  • His general behavior toward women is cocky and controlling. His interactions with women are insincere and self-centered.
  • He is especially competitive with women. He loses it when a woman performs better than him, whether it be professionally or socially.
  • He will unintentionally treat women different than men. This rings true at his workplace and in social settings. Misogynists will allow men certain freedoms but criticize women for enjoying those same liberties.
  • He’s prepared to make women feel miserable. Misogynists are ready to do everything in their power to make a woman feel terribly about herself. This includes making fun of her, punishing her, taking money from here, and so on.
  • He goes out of his way to make women unhappy or uncomfortable. For example, when taking a woman on a date, he will do the opposite of what she prefers: if she likes to order for herself, he will take over and order for the both of them. Contrastingly, if she likes for the man to take control and order her dinner he will insist she order for herself.
  • He likes to control women emotionally and sexually. Misogynists will cheat on a women or break up with her with no remorse. They also give little or no attention to their sexual pleasure or preferences.

Facts vs. Fictions

Misogynists are…

    …often hard to identify.
    …characterized by their hatred for women.
    …typically unaware of their hatred for women.
    …controlling of women.

Misogynists are not…

    …backed by “scientific” evidence for their misogynistic attitudes.
    …simply excusably awkward or unsociable men.
    …champions of women, in any shape or form.
    …excused because of their dark pasts.

Feminism and Meninism

Feminism—the belief that men and women are equal and should be treated equally—has been a popular topic as of late. This is due to a debate about what feminism really entails. Some see it as a movement to promote women while putting men down and spend their time discounting the effort and/or making fun of it. This take on the debate led to the development of “Meninism”. This was a counter effort to “raise awareness for men’s rights” and in direct retaliation to the feminist movement. Men and women even began posting pictures of themselves wearing meninism t-shirts and hats. This effort also fueled some misogynistic practices and their acceptance.

In actuality, a feminist is—by definition—simply someone that champions for both sexes. However, a direct emphasis is placed on women’s rights because there is still gender equality, in which men reap the benefits and women suffer. For example, a woman and man may hold the same job at the same company, but the man makes a significantly larger figure. In her powerful speech given at the UN, Emma Watson, actress and notable feminist, said, “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals. We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are.” She also adds that fighting for female empowerment has “too often become synonymous with man-hating” and needs to stop. We are all people and we need to support as well as love one another—this is the essential step to ending the acceptance of misogyny and similar practices.

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