I looked up Misogyny on the web, just to see. This is what it said on Wikipedia:

Misogyny (play /mɪˈsɒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Philogyny, meaning fondness, love or admiration towards women, is the antonym of misogyny. The term misandry is the term for men that is parallel (equivalent except for gender) to misogyny.

I have to comment on this piece in particular. First, I had never heard of the word misandry. Second the definition of misandry is ridiculous. It is the same definition for misogyny except hatred or dislike of men- that’s impossible. Why? Women are hated by a system. Certainly there are men who hate women and rape and kill us or act in more subtly hateful ways, like by objectifying us, using us, talking down to us, referring to us as bitches, sluts, whores… But even these men are within a framework.

That framework is a system that hates women, puts us down and will not allow us to succeed in any meaningful way other than by objectifying our bodies. You can see this everywhere- in ads geared toward us, whether they imply we have shallow meaningless relationships with other women and only talk about air freshener, laundry detergent, and snack foods for our children, or ads for clothes with women who have been beaten up or are too skinny to be healthy. The government has very few women in power. What if half the seats in  government were reserved for women? How different would that be? Much of pop music objectifies us and glorifies women who strip.

The society is structured in a way that women’s worth is based on the value of the men they are connected with. It seems like such an antiquated idea, but much of our purpose is still seen like this: we are supposed to be making life easier for men who do the real work and whose opinions and voices really matter.

So, the system is set up to allow for women hating. What was that word again? Misandry. Misandry is a misnomer. There is no word like misogyny for men because there is no system set up inherently against men and them having any power.

Dictionary.com said: hatred, dislike or mistrust of women. This is such a simple definition for a system of hating women that is so complex.

In my on-line investigations, I also came across a post on Heartlessbitches.com from someone who I assume to be a guy by the name Jim and by some of what he says in his post, about the definition of misogyny

http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/misogyny.shtml

This Jim person talks about a book he read ‘The Centerfold Syndrome’ and says the author states that while objectification “calls for men to become observers, it also calls for women to become the observed. Women become objects as men become objectifiers.” He goes on to explain that women are expected to accept the role of stimulators of men’s visual interest. This visual interest focuses on a two dimensional view of women, one that values the physical characteristics of women while ignoring personal character or any of the inner complexities that are inherent in human beings.

I like that Jim is expanding on the definition of misogyny as “hatred of women” is way simple and doesn’t quite get it. He explores the way that women are made two- dimensional and are there to have sex with and control, which I think is one piece of misogyny and I think his reflections and observations are very interesting. I want to further comment, however, on the idea from the ‘Centerfold Syndrome’ that women become objects. Part of misogyny is that women are made objects within the patriarchal system, which is misogynistic. It’s not women’s fault that we are objectified.

I went on to read a little more on the Heartless Bitches website. If you’ve read my blog, you know how I feel about the word Bitch- whether you’re trying to be empowered with it or not. But aside from that, I copied the following things from a checklist they have posted. These things are part of a longer list that says if you check Yes for all of these things Heartless Bitches wants you. They say it’s meant to be funny and to look up satire…

-Are you sick of lazy women who use emotional and sexual manipulation to get what they want instead of using their own brains and muscles?

Icy Checkmark!Are you fed up with women who feel they HAVE to be in a “Relationship” in order to be whole, and will sacrifice their self-esteem and personal growth in order to avoid being on their own?

Icy Checkmark!Are you tired of men and women who are emotional children, and won’t accept responsibility for their actions or behavior?

Icy Checkmark!Do you want to SMACK women who play “helpless” just to gain male attention and stroke male egos?

Icy Checkmark!Have you run out of sympathy for your Female friends who continually whine about how awful MEN ARE, but then they keep dating the same kind of ASSHOLES, over and OVER, AND OVER AGAIN!?

The way the list negatively refers to women, suggesting women should be “smacked” by other women… this is part of the misogyny. I don’t think it’s intentional, necessarily, but the system that works against us tells women to smack other women- that’s sexy (cat fight), to be intolerant of other women for whatever reason (they don’t want us working together- too dangerous), and also gives women many different ways to survive in the world by using the world’s objectified view of us. So basically, also not helpful for us to be down on other women.

Grrl Code: Don’t be down on other women. If it seems other women are acting in a way that objectifies them, remember, it is the system that objectifies them, not the women who objectify themselves.

Misogyny is part of a larger system. It’s not as simple as the hatred of women, but yes, it does boil down to that.

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