Do we understand misogyny?

Do you know what constitutes misogyny? Do you understand what the word misogynist means?

I respect the Wikipedia definition of misogyny which states: “…is hatred or contempt for women.

Their definition carries on for another 259 words. All informative. Useful.

But that one simple sentence sums it up very succinctly and sensibly.

I worry that people are sometimes far too quick to use the word.

It’s a very, very serious word to use. It shouldn’t be used lightly. I’m glad I’ve only heard people use it in conversation on a handful of occasions over the years of my adulthood.

It’s a very, very intense and harmful state of being, to be a man who feels hatred or contempt for women. It’s a form of sickness.

I can’t think of very many men that I’ve met, at all, that I’ve thought of as being women haters, fortunately. Very, very, few men that I’ve met, that I would consider to be men that verbalise, exude, attempt to institutionalise, or spread, a hateful, contemptuous, attitude towards women in general. But unfortunately there have been one or two over the years, living in NZ and Australia.

I firmly believe that women can be misogynistic as well. And that is also a form of sickness. Can a woman be a female-misogynist that hates men? Absolutely. It’s a two-way street.

Is hatred an inevitable emotion for some people, maybe many people, in life? At various times during their lives? Or for a brief period of time?

Some people will go to great lengths to have you believe that it isn’t (these people must ride unicorns to the supermarket and go to sleep being spooned and crooned to by beautiful fairies).

I disagree. I think it is inevitable from time-to-time in everyday life. It’s a difficult reality.
So it’s how we handle hateful feelings, hateful impulses, that determines whether it’s a sickness. A sickness that can manifest itself in awful behaviour.

Everyone is capable of hateful, and/or hurtful, language. Many people are prone to it from time-to-time. In all kinds of various situations.

Is isolated hatred, hatred of an individual, misogyny? No. It usually doesn’t have a focus defined by gender. It is more likely caused by a range of behavioural factors/traits and unpleasant life events/situations.

That’s why people need to think hard before we throw certain words around. Misogyny is definitely one of those words. There should be consequences for throwing that word around irresponsibly, ignorantly, and/or dishonestly. That probably dovetails into a discussion about hate-speech. Hate speech is a scary but very important topic. One that probably needs more public debate and awareness.

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