The Twisted Mind of the Misogynist
After a couple of weeks of research, I am still no closer to understanding what causes misogyny. Thankfully, I have a better understanding of what it is and how to recognize the characteristics that can warn me and other women of when we might be in a relationship with a misogynist (or woman hater).
- What Is A Misogynist?
- What Causes A Man To Become A Misogynist?
- How To Recognize The Symptoms
- What Can You Do If You Suspect Your Husband/Boyfriend Is A Misogynist?
What Is A Misogynist?
Misogyny (noun) – hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women
I’ve been doing some research on misogyny lately; mainly its symptoms and characteristics. Firstly, I should explain that misogyny is a deep hatred or contempt for women. It is a mental/psychological disorder which affects more men than I realized, and it can manifest itself in a variety of ways ranging from chauvinism or sexism to physical abuse and rape.
What Causes A Man To Become A Misogynist?
It seems that the root cause of misogyny has not been pinpointed, though theories point to upbringing, religious views or our patriarchal society in general. Perhaps these men grew up in dysfunctional families where they had a poor relationship with their mothers. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine the mother who is terrible enough to turn her son against more than half the planet. I still don’t get it.
Maybe they grew up with fathers who believed that a woman’s place is in the home. Then, as more and more women moved out of this “norm”, the general feeling became that these women are bad people; thus women are bad people. These men often adopt the view that only mothers (homemakers) are good and wholesome. Women who want to work outside the home, educate themselves and not conform to the traditional roles of women are morally corrupt. This line of thinking is referred to as the mother/whore or virgin/whore dichotomy. That is to say, these men ascribe to the belief that only mothers and virgins are wholesome and good. Any woman who does not conform to tradition roles or maintain her virginity until marriage must be, in the misogynistic mind, a whore.
Many religions, including Christianity, teach that the man is the head of the woman. I’ve always believed that to mean that the man should take the lead in providing for, planning the future for, and setting the standards for his household. Unfortunately, the misogynist will misinterpret (often purposely) this to mean that man should dominate the woman, that he is superior to the woman and that she should be under his complete control. And let’s not forget about EVE – she messed the whole thing up for everyone, right?
How To Recognize The Symptoms
Whatever the cause, the more I learn about misogyny, the more I recognize how prevalent it is in today’s society. It’s disturbing in that there are so many subtle traits that are easy to ignore until you see them lumped together in a list. So… I am providing you with a list. Some of these behaviors are obvious; others I would have never thought of. I think you’ll be surprised as well.
• Thinks his masculinity depends on dominating women.
• Controls women by destroying their self-confidence
• Needs to insure that women are always less powerful than he
• Intimidates women by constantly finding fault with them
• Humiliates women in public and devalues their opinions
• Must ALWAYS win in a discussion with or about women – all encounters with or about women are seen as a battle to be won
• Blames women for failings that are in no way related to them
• Blame women for his own failings and shortcomings (or the failings and shortcomings of other men)
• Denies women’s feelings and makes them wrong for feeling them
• Makes jokes or derogatory comments about women and then ridicules any woman who gets offended or upset
• Belittles or ignores women’s accomplishments
• Wants to punish any woman who displeases him
• Has no remorse or guilt for the pain he causes women
• Tries to keep women from doing things they are qualified to do
• Selectively quotes authorities to substantiate his views and positions on women
• Will confuse issues by changing the subject, denial, word jugglery, lying, twisting the facts or acting as if nothing happened (when you both know that it did)
• A knight in shining armor – zeroes in on a woman to “save”
• Extremely possessive, wants all of your time and undivided attention
• Obsessively jealous, even of your women friend. Wants you to account for any time spent away from him
• Is preoccupied with sex and is sexually controlling
• Has grandiose behavior; cocky and self centered
• Has first class spending habits; always wanting more.
• Can’t stand criticism; always on the defense
• He has problems with authority figures in general and women in authority in particular.
• Is nasty behind the wheel and feels that other drivers’ mistakes are directed toward him personally
• Has a Jekyll and Hyde personality - Nice to you in public, but cuts you down in private
• Always the victim; takes no responsibility; blames others/things/circumstances for his behavior
• Overly sensitive and sulking when he does not get his way
• Steals, uses people, always borrowing but never pays back
• Give gifts then demands favors
• Professes religious beliefs then attacks your religious beliefs
What Can You Do If You Suspect Your Husband/Boyfriend Is A Misogynist?
Hope this gives you a little insight into the world of the misogynist mind. If you recognize even a few of these characteristic in your husband/boyfriend, try to get them to seek professional help. Therapy is very much needed to get to the root of his feelings. It is absolutely essential to find reasons (not excuses) for this type of behavior so that it can be dealt with