Degrees of Misogyny

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    They are two distinct things that feed off each other. One stems from the other. One feeds the other. Do you understand what I mean now?

    Once again, one feeds the other.

    The actions that stem from sexist attitudes and opinions often lead to and encourage misogyny. If you disrespect someone enough to not give them a job or you discriminate against them because they are female, how can that not be hateful, in your opinion? If someone discriminated against you, went out of their way to not promote you, because you are male, you would not view that as being the act of a misandrist? Misogyny, like misandry, stems from sexist attitudes.

    Do you happen to like or not mind the people you are deliberately disrespecting because of their sex?

    "Misogyny" often surfaces in political struggles over women's role, and you can tell because the control of women becomes personalised, intrusive and often sexualised. Misogyny has the amygdala involved – the part of the brain involved in processing emotional responses – there is contempt and violence in it. A public figure who tolerates the systemic under-prosecuting of rape is guilty of serious and unforgivable sexism; making rape jokes or explaining away the damage of rape in public as Congressman Todd Akin did recently in the US, or legislating, as over a dozen US states are now doing, transvaginal probes that are medically unnecessary, simply to sexually punish women for choosing abortion – well, that is misogyny.

    I want you to consider this statement. Do you think misogyny can exist on its own? Or do you think that misogyny is like an extension of sexism? For example, do you think actively not prosecuting a rape case, even though the rapist confessed, and in doing so, expressing disrespect for the victim because she may have had an abortion in the past, and refusing to prosecute, is misogyny or sexism? Or is it both? I speak of course of an actual case, where a young woman was raped by her ex-boyfriend, who confessed to the crime and the prosecutor at the time refused to prosecute because he was under the belief that the victim had had an abortion once and he blamed her for her rape. His sexism fed his misogyny. His misogyny would not exist if not for his sexism.

    Your attempts to isolate the terms in their little boxes ignores the realities of life. Yes, they are two separate words with separate meanings. But they tend to work in tandem with each other.

    Make my case for what? That both are hateful? Ask any woman who has been victimised by the legal system as a rape victim, or any man for that matter, and who have had their rapists walk free or not be prosecuted and who were blamed for their own rapes and see if they think if it was just sexism that was driving it, or a hatred of them and their sex or sexuality..

    Misogynists are sexist in every sense.

    Misogyny could not exist without sexism. Hence why they feed off each other. Someone who is sexist can too easily drop a toe in the misogyny puddle and they often do. For example, refusing to prosecute rape cases is sexist. But when you look at the reason behind the refusal to prosecute rape cases, it is usually steeped in misogyny.

    Who has argued any differently?

    If this thread were about misandry, we would also be having this discussion.

    Not arguing differently. I am saying that sexism feeds misogyny and that a misogynist would not be a misogynist without being sexist. Why? Because they often co-exist.

    To be honest with you, I don't even understand why you have even brought up the distinction in this thread, which is about degrees of misogyny.. We all know that sexism and sexist attitudes feeds misogyny as it does misandry. You cannot be a misogynist or a misandrist without being sexist.

    Yes and no. The article I linked above actually discusses this point. In the words of Rahila Gupta:

    We all know that sexism is the pond in which misogyny flourishes and because the water is so murky, you sometimes don't even notice how healthily it grows. And because it is growing in water, it sometimes reflects back at you as love instead of hate. To be specific, sexism is when men let you jump the queue and get on a crowded bus first in Delhi (to confuse matters further, that's called chivalry) and then the poor dears, willy nilly, get crushed up against you as their hands "accidentally" cup your breasts in a frenzy of misogyny.

    Now, if a guy lets you on the bus first because you are a woman, with the specific intent of getting himself into position to sexually molest you. Is he sexist or a misogynist? Or is he both?

    I never said they were one and the same. I said they feed off each other. They co-exist.

    No I have not. I have not said that the only form of sexism is towards women. On the contrary. This thread is about misogyny, hence towards women. If it were about misogyny and misandry, then my wording would be different. Have you read the thread title?

    And I would appreciate your not trying to twist things around.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It is perfectly possible to like women you generally hold in contempt, denigrate, and harbor ingrained prejudices against. Say, if they're cute. This contempt and ingrained prejudice may influence your behavior toward them.

    That influence is the influence of misogyny. Do you think it is rare, in the US?
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    1) You have selected one of four points of difference between sexism and misogyny that I listed. One of the others was " Many, if not most, male sexists like women, just not in a way that many modern women find acceptable."

    2) I was not setting out to address the proposition you mention. My object was simply to defend the distinction Dave was pointing out between the two terms, which you seem unable to accept, for some reason.

    3) Now, to address that proposition, the sentence or imagined thought process described ""I don't hate you, but it's just not my responsibility to not be disrespectful to you" is not, I suggest, necessarily the thought process of a sexist man or woman, though I suppose it may be for some. Do you know the phrase "Kinder, küche, kirche"? This was fairly typical of the attitude towards women in society a hundred years ago in central Europe. It would be thought appallingly sexist today in many places in the Western world. Yet it is still probably a fairly common attitude in some places on the planet (even, dare I suggest it, in obscure pockets of backwoodsmen in the rural USA

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    ). Do you suggest people with this view hate women? Do you think they consider themselves disrespectful towards them? Or are they just very, very old-fashioned?

    Personally I think it is intellectually lazy and culturally crass to equate sexism and misogyny. The advance of women towards equality is not served by an attitude that fails to understand shifting culture and the variations in the pace of it across societies.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Tell me why you think it is that men work longer hours on average in similar jobs.
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    There is no doubt that all misogyny is sexist.

    It does not mean that all sexism is misogynistic.

    (All fire engines are trucks, but not all trucks are fire engines.)

    This is going in circles. You just make the claim and expect it will be accepted.

    I've shown you counter-examples.

    No one is claiming that misogyny is not sexist.

    The claim is that not all sexism is born of hatred.

    Misogyny does not exist separate from sexism; it is an extension.

    Tend to. That's all we're looking for here.

    I have agreed with this at every turn. I am beginning to think that you are not reading the posts, and are simply drawing from a storehouse of rhetoric.

    You said "...sexism stems from misogyny". You have ignored the male form of sexism, defining it only in term of the female issue. That is sexist.

    Sexism (of the kind directed toward males) does not stem from misogyny.

    Yes. The thread is about misogyny. But you are listing examples of sexist behavior that are not demonstrated to be misogynistic. I have listed several examples of sexist behavior that do not involve hatred toward women.

    I noted your interest in discussion, which is why I've been corresponding. That's all. There was no twisting intended. Apologies if it was misinterpreted.
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  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You guys have set yourselves an unenviable task in this thread.

    At the risk of putting words in others' mouths, I'm going to interpret, paraphrase and super-simplify the two assertions:

    Your assertion, paraphrased:
    "All cases of misogyny are sexist, and all cases of sexism are misogynistic."
    My assertion:
    "Some cases of sexism are not misogynistic."

    You have a stance that is absolute - it is not true unless you can show that there are zero exceptions.
    I have a moderate stance - it is true unless it is shown that there are zero examples that match it.

    To make your case, you have to demonstrate that there are no exceptions to your assertion. Each case of sexism must be shown - individually - to be born of hatred for women. Unless each case is shown to be misogynistic in nature, my assertion still holds true. It is not enough to simply blanket them all with one swooping assertion; each case is as unique, as people are unique.

    My case is far easier to make; I have only to show a minimum of one example of sexism that is not born of hatred. That one case refutes your assertion.

    What's more, even if you were to show each given example as misogynist, you still haven't made your case. I can always come up with another example, after the fact, that is not shown to be misogynistic in motive. You would never get off the hook - having to show a misogynistic intent in each new example.

    Furthermore, misogyny is a matter of motive. You can prove someone is acting sexist; it can be very difficult to prove that someone does because of how they feel (unless you have telepathy).

    That's the downside to taking an absolute stance - they are virtually impossible to prove.

    You can prevail, and everybody can concede, if you were to make a single change in your assertion.

    Simply change "all" to "many".

    "All cases of misogyny are sexist, and many cases of sexism are misogynistic."

    It can be as simple as that. I, and I suspect others, would concede the point.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Again: so? Do you think it is rare, in the US, for misogynistic men to like women as they see them? I think it is practically a cultural norm.
    Nobody is.
    Rattlin' bad idea.
    You've been corrected on this attempted restriction of misogyny to "hate" and "hatred" several times now. Why are you still posting it? Read the OP, if you won't take correction from disputants.

    Your task would be to find an example of sexism without roots in misogyny. Good luck with that.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The 1960's rules at many airlines that men could not be flight attendants were sexist, but not misogynist.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You sure about that? They look rooted in misogyny to me - including, with the obvious entertainment value of the T&A for the expected norm of sexist male businessmen ticket buyers: disdain for effeminacy (revealed in the disdain for presumably effeminate men), desire to make flight appear safe by avoiding any appearance of needing competent dealers in serious emergency via exploiting a norm of contempt for female competence (that tactic was overt, explicit, btw), normative expectation of male pilots and female subordinates (hierarchy disruption threatens pilot status, payroll expectations, etc), and so forth.
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yep. There were many things about airlines that were misogynist, of course - but from the perspective of a guy desperately in need of a job who is told "sorry, you can't work here, you're not a woman" it was sexist, not misogynist. (Same goes for nursing, which for a period in the US was women-only.)
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Why does that narrow slice of a limited point of view of a restricted event replace all the other points of view of all the other events involved, and exclude them from our considerations?

    The exclusion of men from the stewardess roles was rooted in misogyny, and that's fairly obvious from our point of view here.
  16. Bells Staff Member

    Paraphrased from whom, exactly? Because you seem to be paraphrasing by inserting your own invention into it and expecting people to apparently support your invention...

    And Dave, I have said that misogyny stems from sexism, just as misandry stems from sexism in that you cannot be a misogynist or a misandrist without being sexist. So I would again request you cease and desist in putting words in my mouth and twisting what I have said with your own inventions..

    Yeah, I was just wondering about that too...
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This is your doing.
    Misogyny is an attack on women specifically. If you open the doors to all forms of sexism, then yes indeed, it is you who have drawn the men into it.

    Sounds like we're finally all agreed then. So let's hold to the distinction between the two, and talk about the topic of misogyny, and not about the more general topic of sexism.
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    In my discussions with Tiassa, s/he insisted countless times that hatred is at the core of misogyny. It is this that I am addressing.

    No. The onus is on the one trying to make the assertion.

    My entire premise is based on one fact - that sexism and misogyny are distinct words with distinct meanings. (And it is a fact.) My point has been that no one seems to be making the distinction. They seem to use the two terms interchangeably. Or, at the very least, assume that if sexism is present, then misogyny is also present. This is not fact.

    If you or Tiassa wish to show that sexism always means misogyny, that is on you to demonstrate.
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Am I happy to have you restate it to your satisfaction about the distinction (or lack of) between sexism and misogyny - in brief - say a dozen words? You don't need to make the whole argument, just the core that you're asserting: when x is present, y is also present. When y is present x is also present. Something like that, but your words.

    My point is simply that your stance in the discussion is too absolute to be defensible, if you assert x and y always go together, you are going to be fighting a Sysiphean battle - you must demonstrate that there are no exceptions. I only have to produce a single exception, and it invalidates your assertion.

    I'm not being deliberately argumentative; I'm simply not seeing you demonstrate that there are no exceptions.

    A slight change : when x happens, y is often there. is a much more defensible assertion than always.
  20. zgmc Registered Senior Member

    I was accused of being a misogynist once. I have a female co-worker who happens to be terrible at multiple aspects of her job. She is also the kind of person who gives opinion an equal footing with knowledge. She actually stormed out of work one day because I voiced my disagreement with her. She is not a reasonable person in the least. It has absolutely nothing to do with me being a misogynist, which I am not.
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Indeed, this kind of backlash to a hot button issue can happen.

    She is guilty of sexism. She chose to define the issue in terms of her gender, when there was no extant reason to. That's the textbook definition of sexism. It isn't always the aggressor applying it to the victim; it is still sexism when the victim applies it (without cause) to themselves.

    [ digression ]
    It happens a lot with race. I had a disagreement with my neighbor over our mutual property. He erupted with the claim that it was because he was an immigrant - or a racial minority - I'm not really sure - even he didn't seem to be sure.
    I told him we could discuss it again when we're talking man-to-man, not skin-colour to skin-colour, and walked away.
    He later apologized.
    [ /digression ]
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I so want to do the Infinite Prevention Advice parody, here.

    I have not found an elegant construction, but what strikes me is that if I go back to the twist, and say, "Okay, what happens if we apply this interpretive standard to what other people are saying?" my head explodes within seconds. I really don't know how people do it.

    But it's also true that if I do the IPA parody we come back to the same sort of question. Okay, so there is a question about the tacit and explicit if we presume any number of conditions or circumstances about the transformational nexus, but just how stupid does one have to be to lose the context? Or, perhaps, it isn't a matter of stupidity per se if the context was never lost for never being recognized in the first place; I really don't want to do that punch line, either.

    Still, though, there is at least this: At some point, we must recognize that the punch lines keep rolling in. Either this is deliberate, or else we must start considering cognitive dysfunction and subsequent ego defense.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    While ignoring the fact that misogyny stems from sexism.

    The two go hand in hand, just like misandry goes hand in hand with sexism. Why is this so hard to understand?

    You are the one trying to make the distinction here, for reasons only known to you, in a thread about misogyny. Of course sexism is going to be brought up in a thread about misogyny, just as it would be brought up in a thread about misandry. To suggest that the two are completely unrelated is ridiculous. One only has to read up on the types of internalised sexism, as one example, to see just how ridiculous your question and strawman is.

    No one has argued that they have the same meaning. But misogyny, like misandry, would not exist in society if sexism did not exist. Look at the witch trials and witch hunts in history. From the wiki page on sexism:

    Sexism may have been the impetus that fueled the witch trials between the 15th and 18th centuries.[16] In early modern Europe and in the European colonies in North America claims were made that witches were a threat to Christendom. The misogyny of that period played a role in the persecution of these women.[17][18]

    In Malleus Malificarum, the book which played a major role in the witch hunts and trials, the authors argue that women are more likely to practice witchcraft than men, and write that:

    All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman ... What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours![19]
    Witchcraft remains illegal in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, where it is punishable by death. In 2011 a woman was beheaded in that country for 'witchcraft and sorcery'.[20] Murders of women after being accused of witchcraft remain common in some parts of the world; for example, in Tanzania, about 500 elderly women are murdered each year following such accusations.[21]

    When women are targeted for accusations of witchcraft and subsequent violence, it is often the case that several forms of discrimination interact - for example discrimination based on gender with discrimination based on caste, as is the case in India and Nepal, where such crimes are relatively common.[22][23][24]

    By any definition, the quote from Malleus Malificarum is misogynistic and sexist, and what followed, where women were burned, hung and hunted down, is also misogynistic. If I were to apply your argument, referring to women as wicked because they are women and the violence that followed, aimed primarily at women, was not misogynistic because it falls under the banner of sexism. The misogyny in that book would not exist without sexism. 500 elderly women murdered each year because they are accused of witchcraft. Is that sexist? Or is that violence stemming from such accusations which are aimed at women merely misogynistic? Or is it both? Do you think that misogyny can not exist if sexist attitudes towards women did not exist?

    No one is confusing the two terms. I think the travesty of this thread is that you have decided to take umbrage with the fact that it is widely recognised that misogyny stems from sexism. Misogyny would not exist if not for sexism. Just as misandry would not exist if not for sexism.

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