What is Misogyny?

Trigger Warning: mention of rape and violence. If this is triggering for you, please get any help you need.

  I’ve written before that one of my pet peeves is when people misuse the term misogyny. Msogyny is defined as: dislike of, contempt for or ingrained prejudice against women. 

So, what does that mean in real – life terms? I think deeply ingrained attitudes that lead to gross mistreatment of women and young girls, either personally or culturally and systematically. Examples include:

  • ISISystematic abuse (particularly rape) against women and girls, forced marriage, etc (for example: ISIS)
  • Toxic attitudes that say that women do not have the right to have autonomy over their bodies (e.g. Julien Blanc)
  • Bullying of female employees in the workplace (note: I’m not talking about banter. I’m talking about deliberate degredation of women in the workplace)
  • Comparisons of women to ‘meat’ in regard to hoe a woman dresses. Again, I think it’s used to diminish a woman’s right to own their own body and sexuality

So there’s a few examples from the top of my head on what I think misogyny looks like. Now I’ll talk about what I think misogyny ISN’T:

Misogyny isn’t mere disagreement with a woman or a particular issue attributed as a woman’s issue, (e.g an opinion on working mothers necessarily).

I think misogyny goes beyond just being rude (or being to be perceived as rude) to a particular woman (this is from something I heard last night which sparked the idea of this post. Please take note, I do not endorse nor condone being rude to anyone).


I am sick of the term ‘misogyny’ being thrown around too willy – nilly. It really doesn’t help anyone who is the victims of oppression or crimes I believe that are caused, at least in part, because of misogynistic attitudes.

There are some of my thoughts. What are your thoughts on what misogyny is and do you think that the term is too often misused?

2 comments on “What is Misogyny?

  1. OK, I will put another side for the sake of argument. Have you heard the term “microaggression”? It is the little, casual, unthinking thing which belittles someone, out of habit. The habit comes from patriarchy, which oppresses us. So, one bit of banter in the work-place, you can just shrug it off, it is only banter- but if that person habitually engages in such banter, out of a belittling attitude towards women, there is a problem; and if the whole workplace or town does the same, there is a miasma of oppression stunting people’s growth and happiness.

    Or, flirting is great. I love flirting. But if not entirely consensual, it becomes oppressive.

    • saraharnetty says:

      Hey Clare. I get your point. Obviously, everything like flirting and banter (I’ve heard some women actually don’t mind a bit of it), has to be done with consent of all parties or, you’re right, it would be oppressive if not consensual. Nothing should EVER be imposed or forced onto anyone regardless of gender/ gender identity.
      Mind if I put this post in context? I was listening to a talkback radio show when the hosts were accused of misogyny for disagreeing with one of the female callers (it wasn’t a gender issue or anything). I think the caller making the accusation was out of line (one of the hosts has two daughters and the other has one I think… he’s got at least one anyway).That’s what got me a bit riled up. I just don’t think you should throw around such serious accusations like that. Hope that explained where I was coming from.

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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