How to recognize a misogynist?

Contents

Even Good Husbands Are Sexist. Here’s What I Did About Mine.

For the last nine years, I’ve rented a summer house in upstate New York with the same group of friends from college. For five days, we hang out by the water, drink until we fall asleep, and eat lots of food. And during that time, almost all of that food is prepared by me and other members of the group who identify as women. Every year it’s the same: The women cook, while the men lounge in the den playing cards.

The guys do sometimes offer to help — one of them loves to be the sous-chef (#NotAllHusbands). And occasionally, the others look up from their phones, peek in the kitchen, and ask if there’s anything they can do. But for the most part, they — our friends, our husbands, our “allies” — don’t volunteer to take on the big stuff like meal planning, writing out shopping lists, driving to the store, or preparing enough paella for 12 slightly drunk adults. To be frank, they tend to sit out anything bigger than cutting up an onion. And when they do cut up onions, they often do it wrong — chopping for a salad instead of slicing for a stir fry. Most of the time, it’s easier for us just to do it ourselves, rather than accept their “help.”

The women in the group steel ourselves for this scenario every August. We are millennial women with our own careers and identities, who were raised to believe we could do anything. We married our husbands for love and partnership, not for financial security or because we felt like we had to, and we chose our other male friends because they’re good people. As a group we hail from a wide spectrum of races, religions, cultures, genders, and sexualities, and share very liberal values. We are are not a bunch of sexist, old-fashioned monsters. But, every summer, it’s like we all drop acid and take time machine back to 1955. None of us know how we got into this mess, and sometimes it feels like it’s too late to turn this wacky ship around.

Bustle

Gender stereotypes, especially in the context of dividing emotional labor (planning, organizing, prepping, and cooking), are so pervasive that even the most well-intentioned people have difficulty escaping them. A 2016 study from the Indiana University found that men and women still divide up housework based on gender, regardless of their sexual identities or who earns more money in the relationship. This means that no matter how self-aware or “feminist” any of our male partners are, they’re not inclined to volunteer for what is typically considered “women’s work.” So, this sexist cycle perpetuates itself, and the women keep getting better at chores while the guys just, you know, stay the same.

As women, we are also aware that the daily tasks we have been socialized to be “better at” — grocery shopping, planning social events, preparing nightly meals — usually take up more time, and thus the time we spend doing them adds up more quickly. On average, women spend twice as much time doing housework than men. Every single week. Add that to the time women spend doing the work they actually get paid for and it leads to an alarming end: An Ohio State University study found that women who work more than 60 hours a week while juggling responsibilities at home are three times more likely to develop early-onset diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and certain kinds of cancer than women who work a more reasonable 40 hours. Men who worked more than 60 hours a week were more likely to develop arthritis, but none of the other aforementioned diseases. The study’s authors attribute this to the fact that when men clock out at the end of the day, they aren’t putting in a grueling second shift at home.

Emotional labor also has a way of slowly scraping us from the inside out.

My female friends and I are only in the first decade-and-a-half of our adult lives, and we’re already on this dangerous path. We’re just launching into the most crucial stages of our careers, which suspiciously coincide with the beginning of our journeys as committed partners and mothers. A break is going to be necessary. Not just from our desk jobs and the slog of daily life, but from having our gender determine our domestic output. Otherwise, not only are we destined to turn into our mothers, but we are also pretty likely to drop dead at the kitchen sink.

This year, when my husband, Geoff, and I returned home from our trip upstate, I had had enough. I had spent so much of our time at the shared summer house thinking about food and chores and other people’s needs that I literally could not make one more decision without having a meltdown.

When Geoff asked, “So, any dinner thoughts?,” it wasn’t surprising that I burst into tears.

Emotional labor isn’t like other work. It’s not the same as being in an office, waiting tables, or conducting a classroom — it literally never ends. There’s no comparison to the feeling of failure a woman has when her “work day” is done and she comes home and the house is a complete mess. I’ve never seen a man lose his mind over a dirty countertop, but I have seen and heard many women pour their hearts out on the issue (and I have definitely been one of those women). And that’s OK! I don’t think a woman should ever apologize for wanting things to be tidy or to look a certain way. But, emotional labor also has a way of slowly scraping us from the inside out. As generous as some of us are by nature, it can feel like we are chasing our tails for no one when our time- and brain-consuming efforts are taken for granted.

The evening we returned from the upstate house — after I dried my eyes and ordered us a pizza — I realized I needed to stage a coup. If I wanted to survive — not just have a less heteronormative marriage and feel more comfortable telling my male friends to get off their lazy butts, but really survive in this patriarchal bullshit world — I needed to demand some emotional labor for me. I needed to find a way to eliminate gender norms from my to-do list, and dinner seemed like a good place to start.

I thought I’d get one decision-free pity meal, and by Thursday we’d fall into our old routine.

Geoff and I came up with a “hack.” On even-numbered nights during the workweek, he would provide dinner for us. He could cook, he could order takeout, we could go out to eat — the decision was totally up to him. The only rule was that he couldn’t ask me for any insight, preferences, or cravings beforehand, and I couldn’t make any suggestions or provide any opinions before or during the meal. I would just arrive home and dinner would be there for me, and I would have to eat it whether I liked it or not. On odd-numbered nights of the week, I would do the same for him. We shook hands on it, and decided to start on Monday — an even-numbered night, so Geoff’s choice.

I didn’t have any grand illusions. At most I thought I’d get one decision-free pity meal, and by Thursday we’d fall into our old routine and I’d be scrolling through Seamless on the L train, fatigued and at a loss. (Pessimistic, I know, but can you blame me?) But, I was curious if the other women in my life had found successful ways to lessen the gendered emotional labor in their marriages, so I reached out to a few female friends around my demographic to see what, if anything, has worked for them.

Jen*, a busy mom with a very creative and time-consuming day job, said that any “gender hacks” she and her husband tried were focused on two things, “outsourcing contested labor (like housecleaning) and using open source tools.” She noted that her husband was really consistent with shared Google calendars and the several different spreadsheets they keep for things like when the babysitter or cleaning person is coming and who needs to pay her. But, she said, “the actual scheduling is all on me and I am still running around the morning our house cleaner comes to ‘clean before she cleans,’ which my husband thinks is crazy.”

Another friend, Lucy*, said that though she has been with the same guy for over 10 years, he didn’t start pitching in until two years ago — after they tied the knot. She admits that part of this was her fault. She would do what many of us are normalized to do — resent the fact that he wasn’t helping and then feel even more resentful when he didn’t complete the task up to her standards.

“I would get frustrated when he half-assed it, do it myself, then he would get mad because I didn’t appreciate his efforts,” she told me. “Finally, I said to him, ‘May I just show you how to clean?’ He was very gracious about it. I think he realized he’d have a much happier life if he just did things thoroughly.”

Bustle

Surprisingly, these anecdotes actually made me feel better about the evolution of heterosexual relationships. Every woman who responded to my query about gender hacks had a husband who was game to try them — to varying degrees of success, maybe, but that’s still slightly better than what our mothers or grandmothers had to deal with (progress is never as swift as we need it to be). None of the women I spoke with said their male partners refused to help or expected them to do more work around the house because they were women. And some — like my friend Anna*, whose husband “butters” her toothbrush by putting toothpaste on it on the nights she gets their two young children ready for bed (they trade off) — even have partners who try to meet the pitfalls of emotional labor head on.

“Sometimes I’ll find much later and realize I’ve been wrangling the kids and haven’t paused to take care of myself even for a second,” Anna told me. “The toothbrush with the toothpaste already on it reminds me to breathe.”

When I got home on Monday night, Geoff was in the kitchen making tacos. His cooking skills have always been an issue for us (OK, more so for me). When we first started dating, he made one thing — a red sauce — which he cooked a pound of pasta for and brought to work in Tupperware every single day. I encouraged him to mix it up, so he tried to make a stir fry, with only mushrooms and onions. One time he cooked a steak “low and slow” because he saw a video of Chrissy Teigen making eggs that way (bless his heart). So, as you can probably surmise, over our eight-year relationship, the responsibility of feeding us has primarily fallen to me. But this night his tacos were OK! On Wednesday, he ordered us Chinese. The following week, he made eggplant Parmesan twice in a row because he wanted to perfect the recipe. Occasionally, he’d forget to check an expiration date and we’d have to toss half his meal. But the important thing was, he kept trying.

I forgot it was my turn, so at 9 p.m. I ordered suspicious flatbreads from a bar in Long Island City.

I bit my tongue a lot. If I had Thai food for lunch and he ordered Thai food for dinner, I would eat Thai food twice in one day without telling him. It was hit or miss, but I couldn’t complain. Like, I literally could not complain. And that silence was a game changer — as was my attitude. Even when the food was kind of meh, I made sure Geoff knew how much I appreciated his efforts, and this paid off in spades (and pasta). Regardless of gender, compliments and encouragement are the oldest “hack” in the book.

And I had all this extra space in my brain! When I left work at 6 p.m., I wasn’t stressed about managing our dinner. In fact, I was comforted knowing there’d be a meal ready — that someone else was taking care of me. When I got home, we would sit and eat and talk and then do the dishes together. We did this before our experiment, too, but I was just generally nicer to him about everything now. Plus, he felt more like a provider, which was, go figure, something he had been craving all along.

Bustle

As for me, the nights I was in charge of dinner didn’t exactly nurture any culinary revelations. Though I do enjoy cooking, I mostly utilized our experiment as an opportunity to slack off. One night, I forgot it was my turn, so at 9 p.m. I ordered suspicious flatbreads from a bar in Long Island City. Another night, I just fried us a couple eggs. To be honest, the only good thing I’ve made since we started this journey was a risotto, and that was on a Sunday, so it doesn’t really count. My thoughts and energy have been elsewhere, which was exactly the point. And Geoff doesn’t mind; I’m more relaxed these days, and that’s all he really cares about anyway.

It’s been over two months and our “hack” is still going strong. Geoff now realizes how much work, both mental and physical, goes into making just one meal. He’s gained a new level of confidence in the kitchen, which he will tell you about often (we can save the topic of men needing to be praised for doing basic stuff for another time), and he’s stepping up in other ways to try to make our marriage more equitable. And I’ve stopped micromanaging and making assumptions about who can or can’t do what chores well. Perfect is the enemy of the good, and honestly it’s just great not having to decide what’s for dinner. Clearly this is not an “a-ha” moment for men.

Which brings me to next August, and my thoughtful, handsome, feminist-ally guy friends…

Hey, dudes, thanks for reading this to the end! Just a heads up, next year at our summer house, I am going on vacation. You should start meal planning now. <3

*Names changed at the request of the sources.

Correction: A previous version of this article included the incorrect name for Indiana University. It has been updated.

Men hating women: A look into the psychology of misogyny

“For the vast majority of people all over the world, the mother is a primary carer,” Jukes explains. “There’s an asymmetry in the development of boys and girls. Infant boys have to learn how to be masculine. Girls don’t. Masculinity is not in a state of crisis. Masculinity is a crisis. I don’t believe misogyny is innate, but I believe it’s inescapable because of the development of masculinity.”

© Valerio Pellegrini

In its basic form the theory is that as boys “individuate” and develop a sense of self, they have to separate from their mothers when they realise that they are not like them and they cannot – in Freudian terms – possess them. This repression marks the end of the Oedipus complex. In their anxiety the boys then identify with the father and it’s here that they learn about what it means to be masculine. The clichés of masculinity: being strong, fearless and competitive – above all, not being like the mother – permeate boys’ lives. At this point, “A part of the male ego is identified with a penis,” says Jukes, “and the whole body can be identified with a penis and that’s when you get masculinity.” If true, it will lend a certain piquancy the next time you hear a woman tell a man to stop being a massive dick.

Analysis is a broad church, full of schism and nonconformism, and Freud’s feminist critics have picked apart his theories, not least his ambivalence to, or disregard for, the female condition. However, 100 years later, even his detractors concede the role of the unconscious and the problematic nature of boys’ relationships with their mothers.

“The internalisation of misogyny is not restricted to boys – it comes out of being raised by mothers,” celebrated author and psychoanalyst Susie Orbach tells me. “Because the mother is the person we are most dependent on, the rage and fear at being cut off from her or the terror of mother’s disapproval leads us to repress it. Girls grow up to be mums, so they internalise misogyny. But boys don’t grow up to be mums, so they feel thwarted and their power comes from feeling they can thwart back. For a boy it’s so confusing.”

The male child feels that to be dependent on a woman is dangerous and this makes him feel vulnerable, which, without wishing to sound like Yoda, leads to fear, which leads to sadism. That anxiety is repressed and is expressed via the unconscious as misogyny.

‘That is where we feel secure – in our stress and pain. We think we want something different, but what we do is set up dramas that ensure we end up back at the default’

Worse still, Orbach and Jukes agree that the more disruptive and traumatic childhood is, the more likely it is that future behaviour will become extreme. “If you are brought up in a household that’s very fractious, then what you’ll seek in a future relationship is one where people are in a rage all the time because that’s what ‘love’ means to you,” says Orbach. “Your internal experience of an intimate relationship is one that evokes your first, your primary, love relationship, which is the one with your mother.”

“In early childhood we lay down our default settings,” says Jukes. “We are programmed to remember pain. That’s why the species survives. We have a need to return to the default settings because that is where we feel secure – in our stress and pain. We think we want something different, but what we do is set up dramas that ensure we end up back at the default.” That’s not to say educated and privileged men are less likely to be misogynists. This is classless, international and transhistorical.

“Even in a nurturing family, a child will grow up with chauvinism,” says Jukes. “Culture and society are the seedbed where the child’s misogyny takes root. The construction of the woman as the carer is all around us, and that is part of what informs men’s rage with women. In my millennial patients I don’t see any difference to patients I was seeing decades ago.”

Masculinity, then, appears on a sliding scale, usually depending on a boy’s childhood environment and trauma. All children experience negativity, with indifference or neglect at one end and physical or sexual abuse at the other, and the more painful childhood is, the more likely a boy is to emerge as “hyper-masculine”. Meanwhile, the more masculine a boy is, the more he represses his feelings about women, so the more misogynistic and abusive he is likely to be. This also works in reverse, with hyper-masculine men also more likely to be emotionally vulnerable, even helpless.

“I can’t tell you the number of men I’ve worked with who have been violent or nasty who end up crying, begging for forgiveness,” says Jukes. “This is terribly complex, turning the perpetrator into the victim – but that dependency is at the root of masculinity and, of course, dependency cuts into the heart of masculinity. It subverts it.”

The cultish nature of incels is not an aberration but an extension of male psychological development

Incels – the online subculture of self-loathing “involuntary celibates” who define themselves through their inability to find love or a sexual partner – fit this misogynistic pattern very neatly. Paradoxically, these self-proclaimed losers also exhibit a kind of hyper-masculinity. The cultish nature of incels is not an aberration but an extension of male psychological development: a need to control mixed with a sense of humiliation. It’s always someone else’s fault – in the case of incels, it begins with a belief that genetics has dealt them a bad hand. Damn you, Mother Nature.

“The rage and righteousness against women represent one felt injustice after another,” says Jukes. “Incels’ basic premise of ‘She won’t let me fuck her’ is about as straightforward an Oedipal statement as you can make.”

Men are not victims and incels represent the worst in men: how they refuse to accept their own responsibilities and their reluctance to know themselves or admit what lives in their unconscious. The root of this is shame and frustration, which analysts believe comes from a childhood spent feeling impotent in the shadow of the father (castration anxiety) and separated from the mother. Masculinity, therefore, is a defence mechanism.

In the Star Trek episode “The Enemy Within” (bear with me), Captain Kirk is split into two. One version is hyper-masculine – childish, violent, vain and sexually aggressive – while the other becomes indecisive, weak and caring but feckless. The story ends with the idea that the nice Kirk needs the nasty Kirk to command the ship, so they find a way of splicing them back together again. Astounding as William Shatner’s acting is, the premise is false because the breakdown of traditional masculinity doesn’t mean the end of strength or authority or decision-making. Neither does the end of masculinity mean the end of desire or sex (of any variety). No man is binary in this way. The tenets of traditional masculinity – to dominate, to be tough and to see women as an “other” and mistreat them accordingly – are not necessary to be a man.

But how can we break down masculinity and the misogyny that comes with it? I found unanimity among the experts that I spoke to. If the problem starts with childhood, so does the solution. Breaking the dependence on the mother as “primary carer” is the first step. For this to happen, we need to reconsider the value of social engineering. “The solution for me isn’t to blame mothers at all, it’s to engage fathers in child-rearing so that the fury and disappointment and authority is not vested only in the person of the mother but shared between two parents,” says Orbach.

The tenets of traditional masculinity – to dominate, to be tough – are not necessary to be a man

With the noble exception of the Scandinavian nations, paternity leave provision in most countries around the world is pathetic. Only by relieving the burden of the mother (and the general economic reliance of women on men) can these stocks be unlocked. “Primary school education is really female-dominated and I think that’s a problem,” says Trickett. “We need male role models from a very early age. We need to make a balance between being a caring male and the notion of being ‘acceptably male’.” The available figures tell us male teachers make up only 15 per cent of staff in British primary schools. Male nursery staff are virtually nonexistent.

But more male involvement in a child’s development is not a simple panacea. “It doesn’t mean we won’t have fury and dependency,” says Orbach. “But they would be ameliorated and it wouldn’t be expressed in terms of girls feeling shit about themselves because they’ve got their own internalised misogyny and boys being so damn frightened that they’ve got to control women.” At the moment the political will to make these changes does not exist.

New ways of addressing child development could mitigate against the effects of the traumas that boys and girls inevitably face. “Clinically, the end point is to stop splitting ,” says Jukes. “If you can stop this you will be mentally healthy.” That is easier to achieve if you are raised in a loving and masculinity averse family. “That doesn’t mean you won’t feel distress – shit happens,” he continues. “But it means you will be able to deal with the shit well.”

Masculinity and the misogyny it allows is so embedded men rarely recognise it. It affects our physical and mental health, and it builds walls few of us even acknowledge, let alone attempt to peer beyond. “The LGBTQ movement is having the argument for all of us,” says Jukes. “In essence, they are fighting this battle for everyone, gnawing away at the edges of these definitions of femininity and masculinity and we will all be liberated by their success.”

You can be a man without being masculine, but reaching that happy place will take generations. So sometimes it’s helpful to ask some difficult questions: “Where do these feelings come from?” and “Do I treat women differently to men?” But perhaps not, “Is my wife just a bad driver?” Deconstructing masculinity is tough to begin and it’s even harder to complete. We can’t make it a perfect world, but we could make it a significantly better one.

now

© Gavin Bond

Subscribe now to get six issues of GQ for only £15, including free access to the interactive iPad and iPhone editions. Alternatively, choose from one of our fantastic digital-only offers, available across all devices.

From November 2018, see a month’s worth of content on what it means to be a man, on GQ.co.uk, written by a variety of columnists each day.

**Read more: **

Rarely has there been a more confusing time to be a man

LGBT+ people are more depressed than straight people. Here’s why.

Jordan Peterson: “There was plenty of motivation to take me out. It just didn’t work.”

All products featured on the website are independently selected by our Editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

11 telltale signs you’re in a misogynistic relationship

Why does Prince Charming often turn into a terrifying beast even before the honeymoon is over?

Imagine the horror of discovering that your dream man is really Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – a nice, charming, caring man in public, but an angry, domineering abuser at home.

Dr. Margaret Rinck (in her book Christian Men Who Hate Women) describes such men as misogynists – men who need to control their wives more than they need their affirmation or admiration, men who are deeply dependent on their wives while at the same time harbouring a strong resentment.

The truth of misogynists

The word misogynist literally means hatred of women. Although they claim to love their wives, the actions of a misogynist indicate just the opposite. They may appear kind and charming at church or the office, but they lead a double life at home, acting kind and loving part of the time, and disrespectful and abusive the rest of the time.

The woman who lives with a misogynist is confused by the double messages he sends, and is often not believed by friends and pastors when she describes what really goes on at home. As she begins to doubt her own perceptions, she blames herself for the problems and works even harder to please the abuser and gain his approval.

No chance to win

However, this is a game that can never be won. Once she changes a certain behaviour to please him, he will find something else to target. Nothing she does pleases him, and she begins to doubt her ability to function as a wife and mother. Usually, it is when she begins to doubt her own sanity that she reaches out for help to her pastor or a therapist.

Dr. Rinck believes that “Christian men who hate women are in some ways even more dangerous and destructive in their relationships than their non-Christian counterparts.” This is because Christian men use the scriptures and church doctrine as a weapon to intimidate and threaten punishment if their wives don’t submit to their every demand. Many men justify their violence by blaming their wives for being un-submissive or out of God’s will.

11 telltale signs

How do you know if you are in a misogynistic relationship? Here are a few telltale signs:

  1. The man believes he has the “God-given” right to control the thoughts and actions of his wife, to demand total obedience, and to punish or threaten her if she resists.
  2. He uses the Bible and church doctrine to justify his actions. He quickly skips over the “servant leadership” model of a husband and obsesses on the duties of the wife. He adds punishment to his role as a husband even though the scriptures do not give him such authority or control.
  3. He believes that her opinions and feelings have no value, and her needs are not important and should not be considered.
  4. He is charming and well-liked at church, but the family has to walk on eggshells to prevent making him angry.
  5. He yells, threatens, hits or sulks when he does not get his way or when she does something to displease him.
  6. She feels confused and off-balance when without warning he changes from being loving and kind to angry and cruel.
  7. No matter how much she changes or tries to please him, he is never satisfied. She feels inadequate and guilty, and believes it must be her fault. She no longer trusts her own perceptions and wonders if she is going crazy.
  8. He is possessive and sometimes jealous, especially when she talks and associates with other men. Sometimes he acts jealous of the time she spends with the children. He may try to restrict her activities and make her a prisoner in her own home.
  9. Because of his possessiveness, she may disassociate from family and friends in order to keep him happy. She needs these relationships, but it is more important for her to keep the peace.
  10. When anything goes wrong, he always blames her. If she were more submissive, more sensitive to his needs, more like so-and-so’s wife, a better mother, etc. then all their problems would be solved. He sees himself as a good husband for putting up with her. He is blind to his own faults and does not take responsibility for his own actions.
  11. When he is displeased and does not get his way, he yells, hurls insults, breaks or throws objects, or is physically violent.

Dr. Rinck has identified four types of misogynists, each with behaviour based on shame and fear of abandonment. These four types of men hate women and use the Bible, church doctrine and theological arguments to support their right to control women.

They demand “submission” to their viewpoint. They discount their wife’s feelings, opinions and thoughts. They act charming one minute, then hostile and cruel the next.

They frequently point out their wife’s faults, but are unable to perceive their own shortcomings.

Type I misogynist

Not physically abusive, but is disrespectful and often critical toward his wife. Rarely loses his temper, but uses logic and flattery to discount woman’s feelings and thoughts.

Type II misogynist

Type I behaviour plus more verbal abuse such as belittling, name calling, comparing to other women.

Uses non-verbal techniques such as pouting, the silent treatment, dirty looks. Demands special attention, and may be jealous of wife’s attention to others.

Type III misogynist

Type I and II behaviour plus threats of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. More extreme in controlling wife’s actions, finances, social life and matters of daily living.

Type IV misogynist

Type I, II, and III behaviour, plus physical or sexual abuse toward wife and/or children. Very extreme in controlling wife’s behaviour and family life.

Abusive behaviour has become deeply ingrained and poses a significant danger to the woman and children.

If you are in a relationship with most of these characteristics present, seek help immediately from a pastor or therapist who understands the dynamics of spousal abuse. If they tell you simply to go home and be more submissive and understanding, find another pastor or therapist who is qualified. Read books about domestic violence, and join a local support group. Help is available!

If you or someone you know is in a misogynistic relationship, we encourage you to contact our care and counselling team at 1.800.661.9800. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.

8 Early Warning Signs Of A Misogynist

Despite advances that women have made in society in the past 100 years, misogyny is still painfully prevalent. Women at all levels of society experience it at some time or another.

Misogyny is a term that applies to a broad scope of behaviors. It is defined as the “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.”

The best way to disarm a misogynist is to see them for who they are and quarantine them socially.

Misogynists have no position in your life, regardless of your gender.

Here are 8 warning signs of a misogynist to be on the lookout for.

1. He speaks past women.

This warning sign can be fairly subtle, but once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to spot. Picture yourself in a bookstore. There’s a female employee at the register and a male employee scanning books behind her. Instead of asking the female emplyee a question, he speaks past her to ask the male employee instead. When the interaction is over, he walks away without acknowledging the female employee.

2. He “competes” with women.

Friendly competitions are normal and fun, but when a misogynist is competing with women for misogynistic reasons, it is usually neither normal nor fun. A misogynists competitiveness with women stems from the feeling that he is superior to her and is therefore entitled to whatever it is that he would win, from bragging rights to a promotion at work. This sort of competitiveness is not healthy.

3. He may be a cheater.

Anyone can be a cheater and anyone can cheat for any number of reasons. People in same-sex relationships cheat too and it has nothing to do with misogyny. What sets misogynists apart is the reason for their cheating. Misogynists tend to feel as though the needs of the women in their lives are secondary to their own, so monogamy is not owed if that’s not what they want. But you can bet that if a misogynist is cheated on, the tune changes.

4. He’s a “ghost” who comes back to life.

Ghosting is the practice of cutting ties with an individual, usually in a romantic setting of some kind, without any kind of warning or anything said about it at all. Like cheating, ghosting is a pretty common thing. Anyone can do it. In the case of a misogynist, he may ghost a woman because he got from her what he wanted. But wouldn’t you know it, as soon as he decides he wants something from her again, he’s a ghost who comes back to life. If you’ve been ghosted by a guy who suddenly starts up with you again, even if he’s not a misogynist, he’s probably a dud. Swipe left.

5. He’s sexually self-centered.

Misogyny is typically rooted in the belief that men are superior to women, and as a result, most misogynists put their own needs ahead of women. This can happen in the bedroom as well. If you’ve got a guy who gets what he wants and his little care for your wants and needs, you probably have a misogynist on your hands. And even if he isn’t a misogynist, he’s kind of a poor lover. Might consider moving on to someone who will take your needs into consideration.

6. He speaks poorly of the women in his life.

It’s normal for people to have issues with each other from time to time. A one-off situation where a man is having a problem with a woman in his life isn’t necessarily a sign of a misogynist, but if it’s a recurring theme, it could be rooted in the idea that he’s superior to women. Always be on the lookout for derogatory terms. I won’t repeat them here, I’m sure you know what they are.

7. He’s controlling.

Misogynists can be annoying and slightly problematic, but they can also be incredibly manipulative and horrible. Like I said at the start of the article, it’s a term that describes a broad set of behaviors. Some misogynists get controlling and even abusive. They have it in their heads that they’re superior to women, so he’ll try to do your thinking for you and keep you in line with what he wants. Don’t tolerate this kind of behavior.

8. He holds other supremacist views.

A misogynist may not display any of the qualities listed above, but there is one final thing you should be on the lookout for: other supremacist views. If he seems to harbor racist, homophobic, or transphobic viewpoints, there is a very real possibility he is a misogynist as well. These types of problematic attitudes tend to walk hand-in-hand.

Many misogynistic behaviors are subtle and hard to identify.

It takes a little bit of practice to be able to easily spot it. But once you do, you’ll be in a position to protect yourself this toxic attitude.

On the internet, misogynists have no problem spewing their hate in the vilest terms, abusing or harassing women, and loudly proclaiming the evils of feminism. But how do these trolls behave in the real world? Surely some of them are just as nasty, but others must imagine they’re successfully hiding in plain sight.

Not so, according to women, who have something of a sixth sense for dudes who regard them as inferior — even if the guy is trying to fly under the radar.

The subreddit r/AskWomen is host to a wildly illuminating thread on just this phenomenon, with hundreds of replies to the question: “What are some subtle signs in a man’s behavior that tells you he is a misogynist?”

Turns out these men have no idea how revealing their behavior is. For one thing, they divide the entire female population into “fuckable” and “not important”:

Sometimes they don’t even acknowledge the women standing right in front of them:

In certain cases, they seem amazed that women can do anything at all:

A simple matter of word choice or phrasing can also give them away:

Their shallow relationships are always red flags:

And then there are the gendered views of work and careers:

In the end, their double standards will always show through:

They also struggle with some basic tests of interpersonal decency.

Oh, and one more very important warning sign:

The lesson here, fellas, is that when you genuinely think women don’t stack up to men, you’re never going to convince them that you feel otherwise. May as well accept them as equals.

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is MEL’s resident tank-top dirtbag, shitposter and meme expert. He’s also the author of the novel ‘Ivyland’ and a story collection, ‘True False.’

An Overview Of Misogyny

By Robert Porter

Updated November 19, 2019

Reviewer Patricia Corlew , LMFT, LPC,

Misogyny is defined as the “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.” According to The Economist, misogyny is becoming increasingly more prevalent, often manifesting as marginalizing femininity, degrading women, objectifying women, subjecting women to violence, and other heinous treatments. There are many thoughts and beliefs about the causes of misogyny, and the subject has been the focus of numerous studies.

Before we can understand how to combat this dangerous mindset, we need to understand where it originated.

Want To Learn More About Misogony — And What’s Behind It? Talk To Us. A Board-Certified Mental Health Professional Can Help.

Source: wavebreakmedia_micro via freepik.com

A Review of Misogyny

While the effects of misogyny are deeply felt, there are varied opinions on the intentions of misogynists. An article from Psychology Today suggests that misogynists aim to control women, suppress their opportunities, brainwash them, and inform them as to what behaviors are acceptable or not. Many misogynistic individuals have no qualms about resorting to threats or violence as a means of achieving these objectives. If you’re a woman who is worried about being treated unfairly in the workplace or elsewhere, then please know that you’re not alone. This is a serious issue and you might need help dealing with the realities of misogyny in the workplace.

A recent study shows that 87% of women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives. This might be a grim reality, but the courageous women who have spoken out are changing society. There are those who will help you, and having allies who understand what you’re going through can make a difference.

Source: pexels.com

Where Does Misogyny Come From?

There are many different sources of misogyny. Misogynistic behavior is often learned from a young age, and attitudes may be influenced by how women are portrayed in the media. Women are often portrayed in popular culture as being weaker than men or needing to be protected. Women are also sexualized in entertainment media. Young boys or girls seeing women being portrayed in television shows or video games in these ways leads them to form certain biases.

Even some women develop misogynistic tendencies by seeing women hate other women on television. Depictions of girl-on-girl hate in the media can warp a young girl’s thoughts about other women. If you’ve ever seen a television show, movie, or video game portray women as “catty” or willing to stab one another in the back, then you’ll be able to understand how this happens. The media isn’t entirely to blame for misogyny, though. Many people even become misogynistic due to wanting to adhere to traditional gender norms.

In the past, gender norms were more widely accepted than they are now. A man was thought to be the breadwinner of the household and a woman’s place was in the home. This is an antiquated way to think about things and many in society have moved past such limited perspectives. There are still those who think men are superior to women and believe that feminist movements have harmed society. Viewpoints like this seek to put people in a box and limit what they’re supposed to be capable of. Thankfully, many in society understand that people are capable of great things no matter their gender identity.

Misogyny can also be a learned behavior passed down from father to son. People can also think in misogynistic ways due to having bad experiences with women in the past. Someone could be allowing an experience of being hurt by a woman to cloud their judgment. Whatever the source, it’s unacceptable.

Do Misogynists Hate All Women or Certain Women?

Despite the definition of misogyny, there are ongoing debates regarding whether misogynists genuinely hate all women or merely women who do not conform to specific standards and behave as they believe women should. Further reports from Psychology Today suggest that a true misogynist has disdain for women who defy their “rules.”

Most misogynists believe women have a specific “place” in society-working in the home as a housewife, having babies, cooking, cleaning, and sticking to their “role.” In most cases, a misogynist will not express anger or hostility towards women who fall into the categories above, since they are behaving as the misogynist believes they should.

The disposition of a misogynistic individual is guaranteed to change towards women who defy their expectations and choose not to conform to their idea of what defines a woman. For instance, misogynists are most likely to openly express their hatred of women who are outspoken, career oriented, or averse to having children. There are exceptions, but in virtually every case, misogynists follow specific patterns, behaviors, and ways of thinking, especially regarding women.

Signs of a Misogynistic Individual

Considering how egregious the behavior, one might believe that spotting a misogynist is easy. However, detecting misogyny is not always as easy as one might think. Thankfully, there are some telltale signs.

Notable Charm…at First

Contrary to popular belief, a misogynist will often exude charm during initial interactions. In most cases, they are counting on a woman to lower her guard. To facilitate this, a misogynist may flirt, offer compliments, and dress well. However, eventually a misogynist will reveal himself. Flirtation becomes aloofness, compliments become insults, and charisma becomes disdain. Not all charming males are misogynists. However, many misogynistic men are charismatic at first.

Want To Learn More About Misogony — And What’s Behind It? Talk To Us. A Board-Certified Mental Health Professional Can Help.

Source: unsplash.com

Declarations of Love/Support for Women in General

Like narcissistic people, misogynists often attempt to hide their true nature, at least in the beginning. Sometimes this manifests as charm or charisma, other times it could manifest as false vocalizations in support of women. A misogynist may claim to be a feminist, frequently discuss how powerful he thinks women are, or even go as far as saying that women are innately better than men.

In these cases, the misogynist is making the classic mistake of overcompensating for their shortcomings. Granted, many men do indeed love and respect women, however, over-the-top, ‘pro-woman’ declarations can be indicative of more sinister beliefs.

Mood Swings

A misogynistic person is not likely to reveal his true colors in the beginning. So, while charm and seeming adoration of women may seem apparent, eventually the facades will fade. One of the first signs of a misogynist’s true colors coming to the surface is mood swings.

A misogynist may be sensitive and caring in one moment, only to turn cold and indifferent in the next. There can be other reasons for mood swings, such as mental illness. However, rapid and drastic signs of behavior and emotions towards women can be a red flag.

Extreme Views and Gender Expectations

Most misogynists have stubborn views on gender and how women should behave and conduct themselves. These ideas involve women in subservient positions. Most misogynists believe men should be aggressive and dominant, while women ought to be weak, meek, and submissive.

Misogynists become angry when women defy their expectations or conduct themselves in ways that defy antiquated notions of gender. Individuals with misogynistic views may even go so far as to act out violently towards women who fail to behave as misogynists desire.

Disregard for the Time and Value of Women

At their core, misogynists view men as superior to women. This, therefore, leads to the belief that the time of women is not as important, critical, or valuable as the time of men. Therefore, a misogynist may frequently fail to exhibit punctuality or timeliness for meetings or gatherings with women. Conversely, the same misogynist will appear on time to meetings with men.

Moreover, when confronted by women about their lack of timeliness, misogynists may either brush it off, feign regret, or even lash out. Virtually everyone is late on occasion. However, if an individual frequently lacks punctuality when women are involved, it may be indicative of misogyny. The likelihood increases even more if other signs of misogyny are apparent as well.

Extreme Competitiveness and Preferential Treatment towards Men

Misogynists are inherently egotistical. Due to their disdain for women, they may be extremely competitive and show men certain levels of respect that will not be extended to women. For instance, misogynistic individuals will despise being bested, outsmarted, or otherwise outperformed by any woman at any time. While they may like to win, their antagonism towards women who best them will become far more significant than towards men who commit the same “offense.”

Source: unsplash.com

Due to a misogynist’s lack of respect and care for women, they are likely to treat women differently than men. If a misogynist is in a position of professional power, this attitude can be even more pronounced. A misogynistic boss may give their male employees promotions for specific accomplishments while declining to even acknowledge women for an identical, similar, or even better achievement. A misogynistic employer may also let certain grievances slide with male workers, but reprimand or terminate female workers who commit the same grievance.

Can Women Be Misogynists?

Although most misogynists are male, there are some instances of female misogynists. A woman who hates other women displays “internalized misogyny.” According to sociologist Michael Flood, internalized misogyny is the existence of misogyny in women. Misogynistic women mistreat other women, distrust them, and favor men over women. Women who suffer from internalized misogyny also tend to have ailments such as eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, and social isolation. Think of your high school days-did you ever hear a girl say that girls are too much drama? This negative perception of women is a form of internalized misogyny. In fact, media portrayals of women (e.g., that women love drama) are a main contributor to internalized misogyny.

Misogyny is Unacceptable

Misogyny is a dark and insidious force. Someone who outwardly hates women is a truly disturbed individual and is also out of touch with the current direction society needs to move toward. There are theories regarding what causes misogyny. Some researchers have cited experience with abusive or neglectful female figures, while others believe that exposure to situations where women face mistreatment can breed misogynistic leanings. Despite the origins of misogyny, women who come in to contact with misogynists are unlikely to have pleasant experiences, especially if the contact is ongoing.

Reach Out to Online Therapists for Support

BetterHelp provides exceptional care to anyone in need. That could entail ongoing therapy or merely having a conversation with a licensed professional who can provide needed support. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, BetterHelp wants to support your journey to mental health. Life can be challenging, and we all need guidance from time to time.

Unfortunately, some people have internalized the message that seeking out help means you are weak. However, finding support shows that you are brave. The choice to try therapy is yours, and BetterHelp is there to support you on your wellness journey. Find out more about online counseling by clicking here. Take a look at some of the counselor reviews below to see how others have been able to find the help they need from BetterHelp therapists.

Counselor Reviews

“Diane supported me through some significant transitions in my life related to my career, sexuality and desire to start a family. She did so with patience, skill and kindness. I feel better able to tackle the next chapter of my life thanks to her guidance. I highly recommend Diane to anyone who needs to feel immediately at ease, empowered and not judged.”

“Mark is an amazing therapist. He listens so well and has such valuable insight on male and female perspectives and issues while also not passing judgment. I have only just begun, but he has already given me so many great takeaways to improve my relationships and situations. I am filled with gratitude, and I would highly recommend him to anyone!!”

In Conclusion

Misogyny is a real problem, and it isn’t uniquely American either. Women deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and equality. It might be tough to have to face the realities of misogyny today, but you can always reach out for help so that you can keep moving toward the promise of tomorrow. Everything we’re able to do today is because we’re standing on the shoulders of brave women and men who have come before us. Take the first step.

About Caroline Clark

Patriarchal values and expectations pervade all aspects of our society – from our laws to our culture. But while these values are rooted in patriarchy, women too play an integral role in the preservation of misogynistic cultural norms and social practices. Women are educated from infancy both explicitly and implicitly on “appropriate” ways to act, think, and feel. These cultural conceptions of womanhood are so deeply ingrained that they dictate performances of femininity, even behind closed doors. The following are ways in which I have seen myself and other women commonly internalize misogyny:

Pressure to engage in casual sex and dating culture at the expense of one’s own needs

In a culture where dating apps have made casual sex the norm, there is an increasingly apparent expectation of informality and impermanence regarding romantic relationships. This is particularly apparent on college campuses where partners are considered dispensable, and expectations of relationships are rarely serious. Hand in hand with this culture comes the pressure to remain “chill” in relationships: this means refraining from developing strong romantic feelings or hiding any feelings you do have. This norm of detached, casual relationships is enforced with advice like “don’t catch feelings,” or “date multiple people so you don’t get attached to one.”

Modern dating culture can have negative impacts on all participants, confining them to an expectation of casual dating even when their priorities may differ. While there are certainly those who break gendered norms in dating rituals (i.e. women who enjoy casual dating and no-strings-attached sex, men who prefer committed relationships, etc.), I have found myself and other women my age at odds with the expectation of casual dating more often than men our age. Time and time again I’ve watched women dismiss their own needs for commitment or exclusivity for fear of rejection or being labeled “crazy”. I recall a feeling of powerlessness against this culture from my first few years of college – what was to stop my partner from leaving if I admitted to having feelings, since he could be dating someone new within the week? – so much that I convinced myself I was only looking for casual sex as well. It wasn’t until after chastising a friend for having developed feelings for a boy who ghosted her that I recognized the hypocrisy of my words. I wasn’t just scolding her for wanting honest emotional intimacy with someone; I was scolding myself, too.

The tendency to doubt your own judgment or emotional stability as a result of dating culture, or to act disdainful towards others who express a need for commitment is one of the ways I’ve seen the women around me internalize misogyny. If we are really feminists, we will abandon the pressure to conform to any dating norms – as all norms have negative standards for women – and instead accept that there are different strokes for different folks (including needing exclusivity and commitment, and that neither preference is more valid than the other).

Linking self-worth and appearance

On days where our hair misbehaves, our waistbands pinch too tight, and our skin is breaking out, women are taught to feel a diminished sense of self-worth and a diminished sense of entitlement to exist in certain spaces. I, for one, have felt less than enthusiastic to head out to a bar on days I don’t feel my most attractive. Moreover, in a culture where looking put-together means looking pretty, inequitable expectations of women’s appearances bleed into the professional world. For young women in particular, looking professional means looking attractive and when we don’t feel our best, we often feel unprepared to perform well at work or school. Women are pressured to look polished, where notions of professionalism follow a socioeconomic and racially-specific kind of pretty: women learn to conform to a white, upper or upper-middle class expectation of beauty, giving some women advantages over others in job interviews and other professional settings. Girls and women are taught that hair should be smooth and orderly or pulled back/put up; clothes should be clean, pressed, and well-fitted; and makeup should be applied to cover any flaws without being overly done. While expectations of personal presentation certainly exist for men as well, they aren’t nearly as deciding. For women, appearance is a reflection of character.

Shame associated with sexuality

Women’s sexuality is policed legally through contraception and abortion legislation and socially through cultural norms. There is a delicate balance determined by men’s ideals: a woman should be sexually experienced enough to be good in bed, but not so experienced that she’s considered promiscuous. Any deviance from this sweet spot is taboo: both virginity and having too many partners are ascribed as undesirable by patriarchal norms. The rules of sexuality for women are so entrenched that women will even lie about their experiences to other women. I have friends who have claimed to have done things they didn’t, and others who deny experiences they did have. I, too, have lied about previous experiences to cater to patriarchal expectations of sexuality.

Moreover, sexual desire for women is stigmatized. Although women’s voices have begun to change the culture, admitting to desiring sex is still largely considered crass: there are still plenty of women who are uncomfortable admitting that they masturbate, as our patriarchal world view only sees women’s sexuality beginning and ending with men. And not to mention – these are only the expectations in heterosexual relationships. Cis male-dominated opinions and priorities pervade sexual dynamics even where men themselves are absent, with fetishization of lesbianism among heterosexual men, de-legitimization of bisexuality, and near denial of asexuality’s existence altogether.

Discomfort being assertive

Another trend I’ve noticed in myself and other women around me is discomfort associated with being assertive. Women in my life are quick to feel they are overstepping boundaries when asking for something: be it a date, a raise, or at times, even a request for information. The discomfort associated with trespassing these perceived social boundaries results from the ways in which women are silenced for straying from social norms of timidity and acquiescence. Women may be labeled overbearing, desperate, bossy, or unladylike in circumstances that men are considered driven and self-assured. Hesitation women feel in being assertive is a result of societal restrictions placed on what women are entitled to and how we are expected to behave.

This list is not written to blame women, but to show how patriarchal influences can be underhanded and insidious and to address the ways in which we have internalized misogyny in our day-to-day lives. I hope that with continued examination of how our behaviors sometimes stem from patriarchy, we can further reflect on our own actions and beliefs and be able to choose for ourselves how we want to live and grow in our feminism.

About Annah Anti-Palindrome

Source: Everyday Feminism

This is a quick and dirty checklist for all of you feminists and allies out there living with male privilege and ready to move past feminism 101.

Maybe you’re a man who is generally aware of the unfair advantages you’re granted in this society by virtue of your gender. You already know about the economic glass ceiling, the obscenely high rates of sexual and physical assault against women and gender non-conforming people in this country, and the ways that gender socialization in patriarchal contexts are meant to prime men to take on positions of power.

Let’s say you know better than to use words like “hysterical” or “bitch,” and you sure as fuck know not to blame heated arguments on the fact that someone is on her/zir/their period.

If this is you, you’ve got a running start.

Male privilege can be understood as a set of unearned rights, advantages, and/or immunities that men enjoy by virtue of living in a patriarchal society. If you are a woman or gender non-conforming person, examples of how men benefit from patriarchy are often glaringly obvious.

But, if you’re someone with male privilege however, some of the more subtle examples might be harder to identify.

Sometimes misogynistic behaviors are super blatant and recognizable, and other times they take on more subtle hues that pop up unexpectedly in our daily interactions. Aside from perpetuating misogynistic behaviors, there are so many other ways of thinking and engaging that can be just as harmful.

I hope these insights will be useful as you continue on your journeys to become the best feminists you can be!

1. Manterruptors

In every workshop, conference, meeting, discussion group or classroom conversation, there is usually at least one guy who wins this title.

It’s so common in multi-gendered situations to witness men talking out of turn, interrupting other people while they’re talking, or completely disregarding the allotted time-limit a facilitator has set for individual questions or comments.

These men will often highjack the conversation and/or derail its original topic in order to match their own personal interests.

In these contexts its also common for men to go off on lengthy diatribes in order to show off how much they know about a subject.

Sometimes, in an attempt to be polite, a man will raise their hands over and over again to make comments despite the fact that their opinions have been heard way more than anybody else in the room already.

“Misogynistic?” you might ask, skeptically. Isn’t that kind of behavior just plain rude?

The answer is yes – regardless of who you are, these kinds of behaviors are just plain rude. But the larger question I would pose is: What possesses a person to act this way in the first place? Who is it that feels comfortable (or oblivious) of dominating space in this way?

My point? It is a misogynistic sense of entitlement that encourages men to think that what they have to say is more important or valuable than anybody else.

Check that shit: Move Up, Move Back.

2. Emotional Labor Dodgers

I was commiserating with a friend recently about how the relationships we have with men in our lives often feel one-sided when it comes to emotional support.

Because men are discouraged from sharing their feelings with one another – or from having feelings at all for that matter – their friendships with women and gender non-conforming folks tend to be sort of default safe-spaces for them to express and process their feelings without judgment.

Now, mind you, as long as I’ve given consent, fulfilling the role of confidant isn’t a problem on its own. I enjoy holding space for the people I care about to unpack the hard shit they might be going through.

But here’s the thing: Men will often pour their hearts out to their female or gender non-conforming friends in a therapy-esque fashion, but when the tables are turned, men are often not willing to reciprocate the same kinds of emotional labor.

I have had so many male friends who could talk endlessly to me about their lives, ask for advice or help trouble-shooting situations from various different angles, but as soon as the conversation wraps up, god forbid I start talking about my hard day at work! Their eyes glaze over with boredom, and I suddenly feel as though I’m talking to myself.

This can really leave a person feeling hurt, used and uncared for.

The unconscious expectation that men often have regarding this one-sided caretaker dynamic is explicitly rooted in misogyny. It implies that every woman or gender non-conforming person owes you some kind of free, maternalistic, emotional labor.

3. The Manspreader

Finally there is a term that communicates the ways that men are often unaware of their physical surroundings or how much space they feel entitled to take up.

While this term was coined specifically in relation to the subway car environment, I feel it can be applied to all sorts of scenarios: men who leave piles of their personal shit everywhere in shared living environments, men who leave unfinished projects spread out across designated work stations they might share with their co-workers, and so on.

In my opinion, the definition of a manspreader can be extended to any dude who – by virtue of the amount of physical space he is taking up with his physical body or personal items – makes it impossible for anyone else to utilize a space that they should also have equal claim to.

The implication and underlying message that gets communicated through manspreading is that you feel a sense of ownership and entitlement over the space.

Honestly, you may as well just pee on it to really drive the point home. (Just kidding!)

4. Gotye Manbabies and Accidental Manipulators

Gotye’s hit song, “Somebody,” portrays such a quintessential, gendered situation lots of people who date men find frustrating. Let’s just quickly recap the lyrics for context, shall we?

In the beginning of the song, our male protagonist tells us that he was in a relationship with a woman he was’t that excited about. He tells us that when the relationship ended, he felt relieved: “When we found that we could not make sense / You said that we would still be friends / But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over.”

At another point in the song we hear a bit from the woman’s perspective: “Now and then, I think of all the times you screwed me over / Had me believing it was always something that I’d done / I don’t wanna live that way, reading into every word you say.”

When the chorus starts, we learn that even though he wasn’t invested in the relationship in the way she was (a recipe for hurt feelings, no doubt) he feels he should still get to have access to her in all the ways he did before the break up.

He doesn’t understand why she might want to take space from him or be out of contact for a while.

And instead of empathizing with her about how rough breakups can be on the person who was way more invested, he makes himself the victim:

“You didn’t have to cut me off / Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing / And I don’t even need your love / But you treat me like a stranger, and that feels so rough / No, you didn’t have to stoop so low / Have your friends collect your records and then change your number / I guess that I don’t need that though / Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.”

Ugh! So frustrating!

Aside from the lack of emotional unaccountability he’s displayed in the relationship, and despite the fact that he got what he wanted – for it to be over – he has the gaul to make her out to be the bad guy!

Here’s what I would say: I’m sorry your feelings are hurt, dude. But you know what? You took me for granted! I’m not your fucking mom or therapist, nor do I owe you any sort of access to my personal life!

In the same vein, if a woman or gender non-conforming person calls you out on some relationship dynamics that don’t feel good or if they implement a bit of space in order to heal from your actions, do not act wounded and shift the attention to your own need for reassurance.

Your hurt feelings are not always the priority.

Do not expect women or gender non-conforming people to coddle you through the uncomfortable feelings that come along with being called out.

Be self-reflective and accountable, respect the boundaries that are requested, and talk your hurt feelings out with a friend.

5. Unauthorized Advice Givers

OMG! These guys are everywhere!

The most immediate situations that come to mind are rooted in my experience as a solo femme musician. Despite the fact that I’ve been playing music and performing on my own for almost a decade, there is always the inevitable dude who comes up to me after my set to give me some advice about “the way I’m using my equipment” or “how I can improve my sound quality.”

When there’s a dude running the soundboard at a show, he will often ignore my request to turn up a microphone or put more sound in the monitors because he thinks “he knows what’s best.”

Before even hearing me play, he will endlessly talk at me about the brand of my loop pedal, tell me it’s outdated, and tell me about all the other countless types of pedals that might be “easier for me to use.”

Most women and gender non-conforming people I know have examples of similar scenarios outside of performance contexts, too.

For instance, try being a woman alone in a hardware store! Hardware stores are like breeding grounds for unauthorized advice givers!

Even when I go in knowing exactly what I want and where it’s located, some well-meaning male customer is likely to stop me because he thinks, “you look like you need help.”

Though things like this most often happen to people who aren’t male, presuming someone is ignorant about a given topic before you’ve even talked to them is alienating as fuck.

6. The Mansplainer

Number five is a perfect segue way into the problem of mansplaining.

Men are expected to wield a certain amount of confidence, authority, and power over every situation they are in. Failing to display these qualities is somehow considered a mark against his masculinity.

Now if I was living under this kind of societal pressure, what would I do if I felt confused or didn’t know the answer to something? I’d make shit up on the spot! At least sounding like I know what I’m talking about and then being wrong is better than looking uncertain and compromising my masculinity.

I’m just saying it makes sense why this cultural phenomenon occurs.

But here’s the thing: You don’t actually know everything, nor should you have to pretend like you do!

If you can just admit that you don’t know the answer to something, you may get a chance to learn something new. If you’re able to be quiet and listen for a change, there might be somebody else present who does have the answer.

Another common and unchecked form of mansplaining is the refusal to stop and ask for directions when you know you are fucking lost!

7. Manarchists, Mactivists, and Brogressives

In its most basic sense, these terms refer to men in activist communities who perpetuate misogynistic behaviors by virtue of failing to put their revolutionary theories into practice.

These are men who have made commitments to their communities to challenge systems of oppression like capitalism, heteropatriarchy, white-supremacy, sexism, and ableism.

Manarchist-like behaviors can be subtle – we don’t only witness them through corrupt leaders who pressure women in the movement to have sex with them.

Manarchists often tend to devalue or invisiblize movement work that’s traditionally been thought of as “women’s labor” (childcare, medic work, flyer making, distro, cooking, relationship building).

They might righteously prioritize strategies that are rooted in front-line, direct action tactics while discounting strategies that are rooted in tradition, spirituality or emotional-based practices.

They are always getting crushes or their queer female and gender non-conforming friends even when they have disinterest in ever dating cis-men.

They are only attracted to “Anarcho-Punk Barbie” or “Alterna-Grrrl Barbie”– thin, able-bodied white women in the movement who fit mainstream beauty standards.

They are known to exclude or dismiss single mothers as “faux activists” – it never occurs to them to offer to help with childcare so that a single mother can go to the rally/ meeting/ demonstration in their place.

8. Racist Sexualizers

These are men who perpetuate racialized tropes through the ways they sexualize women and gender non-conforming folks.

Some examples: men who refer to their Latina lovers as “spicy,” men who fetishize Black women because they are supposedly “bosses in the bedroom,” men who compare Native women to “spiritual awakenings,” or men who are under the assumption that all Asian women are perpetual service bottoms.

You don’t have to actually say these things aloud in order for them to influence your dating life.

Another common phenomenon that occurs under this banner happens when men tend to have women of color in their lives take on the roles of casual lover, booty-call, non-primary or “sidepiece,” while considering the white women they date as more“serious relationship material.”

9. Cis-Sexists

Negating someone’s gender identity is extricably linked to misogyny.

You do not get to decide what qualifies someone as a “man” or a “woman.”

When you fail to see transwomen as “real” women, you are asserting patriarchal control over what is and isn’t considered “womanly.”

You know what? I have chin hair, sit with my legs wide open, and curse like a goddamn sailor – things that are most certainly not considered “womanly.” Are you gonna tell me I’m not a woman?

Anyone who says they’re a woman is a woman. You are not the authority on womanhood. Case closed.

Further, insisting that there are only two genders is misogynistic in and of itself – the gender binary is a key weapon in patriarchy’s arsenal. The assertion that every person should be able to fit into one of two distinct genders results in a lot of people feeling alienated, unseen, and unsafe.

10. Fetishizers of (Non-Consensual) Pain

The last time I had strep, it felt like someone had taken a cheese grater to my throat. It was so painful! Within a couple days of having the virus, my voice got raspy and hoarse until eventually I wasn’t able to talk at all.

Before I had completely lost my voice, I can’t tell you how many people told me my voice sounded “sexy.”

There is a way that we are all taught to fetishize women’s pain.

If this is in a BDSM context, that’s one thing – but when someone is in pain non-consensually, don’t fucking fetishize that shit.

This might seem trite, but I’m telling you: It’s something men do all the time without even thinking about it.

This also goes for telling a woman she looks hot after having lost a ton of weight. Aside from being fatphobic, you also don’t know how or why that weight loss happened! Maybe she has a parasite that has had her throwing up every meal for the past six months.

Questions to Ask Yourself on Your Way to Allyship

As an act of solidarity here is a list of questions you can ask yourselves and each other when navigating that precarious ledge called allyship:

When venting to a close female or gender non-conforming friend, ask yourself, “Am I willing to reciprocate the same emotional labor that’s being offered to me right now?”

When in multi-gender company ask yourself, “Am I talking out of turn?” “Am I dominating the conversation?” “Am I feeling a need to be the know-it-all at the table?” “Do I actually know what I’m talking about or am I bullshitting so as not to compromise my masculinity?”

When in need of emotional support ask yourself, “Who are the men in my life I might be able to seek support from?”

After a breakup with a female or gender non-conforming partner, ask yourself, “Am I taking up a ton of space with my reaction? Am I relying on her/zir/them to caretake me through it?

When someone confronts you about displaying misogynistic behaviors, ask yourself, “Am I actually listening to what they have to say?” “Even though I’m feeling defensive, am I still being self reflective?” “Am I derailing the conversation and making it about my hurt feelings?”

Be humble and ask yourself, “Do I make a concerted effort to learn from my female and gender non-conforming friends about what sexism/ misogyny feel like first hand?

Always check in with yourself: “Have I been asked for assistance with a task someone near me is working on, or am I offering unasked for advice?”

Listen, guys. We see you.

Dismantling patriarchy is hard work, but you’re well on your way to becoming the feminists we need you to be!

31K Shares

Annah Anti-Palindrome is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism and a Bay Area-based writer, musician, and queer/femme antagonist who hails from the working-class craters at the base of the Sierra Foothills. For more info on her work, see annahantipalindrome.com. To contact her, you can message her via her Facebook fan page!

31K Shares 31K Shares Found this article helpful?
Help us keep publishing more like it by becoming a member!

by

Misogyny is stubborn

Acclaimed Australian literary author, Tim Winton was recently interviewed on the ABC and expressed his concern on misogyny. He still hears things today, in particular from young boys, that three or even five generations ago would be saying. It shouldn’t be happening and hasn’t change that much.

He is, if not amazed, then disappointed, “how resilient some of these tropes are, some of these ways of seeing the world and also ways of seeing girls and women are in particular”. He referred to it as “really stubborn and ingrained”. Unfortunately they are learned attitudes and beliefs and may not even realise they are like this. It starts in the family and they only repeat things they have learned from home and in the school yard and it is “incumbent to parents, schools and the broader culture to show them other ways to adulthood”.

12 typical traits of the misogynist

Misogynists are plentiful and I have met a few of these men over the years. Unfortunately trial and error has been my teacher and awareness my guide.

Berit Brogaard author of On Romantic Love stated “men who hate women many not consciously realise it, but their actions reveal them”. Mostly, they don’t even know they hate women as typically it is an unconscious trait formed from an early life, planted deep in their brain. They are hard to spot and can even come across as pro-woman.

1. He will zero in on a woman and choose her as his target. Her natural defences may be down because he’s flirtatious, exciting, fun, and charismatic at first.

2. As time goes on, he begins to reveal a Jekyll & Hyde personality. He may change quickly from irresistible to rude, and from rude back to irresistible.

3. He will make promises to women and often fail to keep them. With men, on the other hand, he will almost always keep his word.

4. He will be late for appointments and dates with women, but be quite punctual with men.

5. His behaviour toward women in general is grandiose, cocky, controlling, and self-centred.

6. He is extremely competitive, especially with women. If a woman does better than him socially or professionally, he feels terrible. If a man does better, he may have mixed feelings about it but he is able to look at the situation objectively.

7. He will unknowingly treat women differently from men in workplace and social settings, allowing men various liberties for which he will criticise female colleagues or friends.

8. He will be prepared (unconsciously) to use anything within his power to make women feel miserable. He may demand sex or withhold sex in his relationships, make jokes about women or put them down in public, “borrow” their ideas in professional contexts without giving them credit, or borrow money from them without paying them back.

9. On a date, he will treat a woman the opposite of how she prefers. If she is an old-style lady who prefers a “gentleman” who holds the door for her, orders for both and pays for the meal, he will treat her like one of his male buddies, order for himself, and let her pay for the whole meal if she offers (and sometimes even if she doesn’t). If she is a more independent type who prefers to order her own meal and pay for herself, he will rudely order for both and pay the bill while she goes to the bathroom.

10. Sexually, he likes to control women and gives little or no attention to their sexual pleasure. Foreplay, if it occurs at all, is only a necessary means to an end. He likes oral sex but only as a recipient. His favourite positions enable him to avoid looking the woman in her eyes.

11. He will cheat on women he is dating or in a relationship with. Monogamy is the last thing he feels he owes a woman.

12. He may suddenly disappear from a relationship without ending it, but may come back three months later with an explanation designed to lure the woman back in.

According to Dr Brogaard, only rarely will a misogynist possess every one of these traits, which makes it harder to identify them. Their ability to lure women in with their charm and charisma adds to the difficulty of spotting the early-warning signs.

Women haters (unconsciously) get off on treating women badly. Every time they can put down a woman or hurt her feelings, they unconsciously feel good because deep down in their hidden brain, their bad behaviour is rewarded with a dose of the pleasure chemical dopamine – which makes them want to repeat the behaviour again and again.

Tim Winton says “we should not look away” but engage with those boys. “We have spent decades on removing traditional structures” “without providing an alternative path to manhood for young men, a path premised on decency, self-respect, kindness and care. It is up to the fathers as much as anyone else to repair and correct this demographic strip-mining”

Acknowledgments: Psychology Today, Dr Berit Brogaard, Tim Winton “The Shepherd’s Hut”, The Australian, ABC News

On the birth of her two grandsons, Ruth Greening experienced an awakening in her life and entering Gen GP (Generation Grandparent) she was given the moniker Nanny Babe as her ‘grandmother’ title. She found things had changed since her child rearing days, and an adjustment to new parenting concepts was required. Hence the birth of the Nanny Babe blog from a baby boomers perspective.

Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Philosophy, completing this degree while working as a hairdresser and supporting her two children as a single mother. Ruth has worked in the corporate world for approximately thirty years and has recently retired to address her artistic passions.
She is experienced in senior management positions, marketing, modelling, commercials, film, community radio and writing.

Nanny Babe is active with her hobbies—fitness, writing, blogging, jewellery, crafts, singing, dancing, memoirs, mentoring and now faces diversity and self-discovery on her recent ‘retirement’ path. Connect with Nanny Babe on her blog – hit the link above!

Laura Berlinsky-Schine* says there are certain behaviours that red flag a man as a misogynist — someone who believes women are lesser than men and despises them for it.

Photo: Ashley Jurius

Misogyny is a pervasive problem across many parts of the world.

So, why, when, and how is misogyny a problem?

Definition of misogyny

Misogyny is a hatred of women.

More specifically, a misogynist holds specific opinions about how women should act and be and hates them because they don’t conform to their rigid standards.

These standards often include women filling specific roles and duties, such as being wives and mothers and believing they are themselves inferior to men.

Sometimes confused with sexism, misogyny is a distinct term that describes an attitude rather than a behaviour.

In other words, misogynists are sexist, but not all sexist people are misogynists.

For example, someone who exhibits violent rage toward women, whether or not he has actually physically or psychologically attacked anyone, is a misogynist.

Meanwhile, someone who makes a sexist joke or reference is not necessarily a misogynist.

Misogyny also reflects a deeper and angrier attitude regarding women and a belief that they are inherently beneath men.

A misogynist is someone who holds the belief that women are lesser than men and despises women for this reason.

Common traits of misogynists

Sometimes misogyny is easy to spot, but other times, particularly when the person in question is someone close to you, the signs are more subtle.

Here some common behaviours misogynists exhibit.

While each individual behaviour does not necessarily signify that the person is a misogynist, it does warrant a woman being on her guard.

If a man displays several of these behaviours, you can consider them red flags.

  1. Mansplaining

A man who assumes a patronising tone when explaining a concept — often something about which you’re more familiar than he is — to you is an indication that he believes: a) he is more knowledgeable than you; and b) you need educating.

  1. Criticising women for behaviours tolerated in men

In any setting, someone who criticises a woman for behaviour he accepts or even lauds in men is a sign that he is unfairly biased against women.

  1. Possessiveness in relationships

Men who are misogynistic may display a strong need for control in relationships with women, romantic and otherwise.

He puts himself at the centre of the relationship, and focuses on his needs, not those of the other person.

  1. Displaying a competitive streak

Misogynistic individuals can be competitive with men but are even more so with women.

These individuals can be downright furious when women outperform them.

  1. Disparaging measures that promote equality

A misogynist frequently espouses negative reactions to and true anger about legislation and other measures taken to promote equality, such as affirmative action and the women’s rights movement, with no bearing on whether they actually affect him.

In fact, he may blame his own circumstances on his belief that women receive rewards they don’t deserve.

  1. Entitlement

Misogynists believe they are entitled to certain “things” from women — for example, that women owe them sex or loyalty.

  1. Dismissing a woman’s — or all women’s — opinions

A misogynist might value other people’s opinions, just not those of women.

He does not place any value in what a woman has to say and generally views her beliefs as irrelevant.

Misogyny in the workplace

In August 2017, James Damore, a senior software engineer at Google, wrote a memo criticising Google’s diversity initiatives, referring to “biological causes” as one reason women aren’t equally represented in the tech industry and leadership positions.

Damore was fired after the memo was leaked and outraged protestors shared it on social media.

This is just one example of misogyny in the workplace.

Casual, everyday sexism in a work environment is never justified, but when people exhibit misogyny in the workplace — cruel, harassing, or even violent behaviour toward women — they are turning your space into an intolerable and potentially unsafe environment.

Examples of misogyny in the workplace include:

  • Sexual harassment, which occurs when people make unwanted sexual advances, vocalise inappropriate sexual comments, or make offensive comments about a person’s gender.
  • Institutional sexism: Workplaces in which sexism is deeply embedded in the office culture, where one gender is favoured over another, receives different or special treatment and is implicitly (or explicitly) acknowledged as superior are examples of misogynistic work environments.

There are, of course, many other instances in which misogyny can occur in the workplace.

How to deal with a misogynist at work

Dealing with misogyny at work can be a challenge.

When the people with whom you work aren’t treating you with respect, your work environment can feel downright hostile.

So, how can you shut down disrespectful attitudes and conduct?

When it’s your boss

When a boss makes a misogynistic remark or behaves inappropriately, he is harming your working relationship and, in some cases, your ability to do your job.

  • Address it head-on: If your boss makes a blatantly misogynistic remark, addressing it when it occurs is the best way to make sure he takes note and knows it was wrong and hurtful. You might for example, repeat what he said back to him and ask, “Do you realise you just said that?” or “Do you understand why that’s hurtful?” Of course, if there are many other people in the room, you might prefer to be more discreet and speak to him privately.
  • Pull him aside: Pull your boss aside as soon as possible, so it’s still fresh in both of your minds. Explain why the comment was hurtful and offensive. If you’re addressing a pattern of behaviour, you might want to request a more formal meeting.
  • Go to HR: If your efforts to get through to your boss aren’t working, or if you’re uncomfortable speaking to him, your HR representative is your next stop. Make sure to bring any documentation of your manager’s offences and specific examples of when his behaviour occurred and made you uncomfortable.

When it’s a colleague:

  • Address it at the time or in private.
  • Talk to your boss.
  • Go to HR.

When it’s a client:

  • Address it.
  • Document it.
  • Avoid working with the client in the future.

If a client makes you uncomfortable due to misogynistic or other inappropriate behaviour, tell your supervisor that you don’t want to work with him in the future.

If this is not possible, request that a colleague or supervisor be present whenever you must interact with the client.

In all instances

  • Build a support system.
  • Follow workplace procedures.
  • File a complaint.

* Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a writer. She tweets at @Lauritaberl. Her website is lauraberlinskyschine.com.

This article first appeared at fairygodboss.com.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *