Misogyny: Why Women Are Treated Indulgently

Misogyny: Why Women Are Treated Indulgently

Misogyny is a term often found in contemporary articles on sociology, but not always explained by the authors. We will discuss the causes and manifestations of this phenomenon in our article. What is it and where does misogyny originate?

Surely many people have heard the phrase “What are you like a girl?” But almost no one ever wondered what was behind such a seemingly innocuous expression. And it is one of the clearest manifestations of misogyny.

Misogyny is the hatred, or in extreme cases, a condescending attitude toward women, and as a consequence, the belittling of her on the basis of her gender. Such dislike does not just appear out of thin air – misogyny is sustained by the attitudes of society, modern mass culture and literature, which portray women as weak, foolish and unworthy of attention. People often view women as a burden or an extra add-on: “A woman with a horse is easier on a mare.

Nikolai Gogol, for example, says in his work “Viy” that “all women who sit in the marketplace are witches. And Friedrich Nietzsche, known for his provocative maxims, repeatedly spoke negatively about women (“Woman is God’s second fault”, “Let woman be a toy…”).

Misogyny within Women’s Society

Misogyny in the modern world is present practically in all areas of society. Women’s community is no exception. Representatives of the fair sex are subject to hatred of their peers, partly out of envy, and partly due to a lack of education. Some girls begin to develop a disdainful attitude toward their peers even at school, they distance themselves from them, considering them “inferior” sort of people, and switch to communicate exclusively with boys, thereby classifying themselves as a nobler and more privileged part of society. This helps them feel more comfortable in their current social conditions.

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Often misogyny, according to a study of HSE students, is the result of being raised in a patriarchal family, which initially gives the attitude that women are weaker than men and their role is less important in the world order, which again triggers a psychological defense mechanism.

Often we encounter girls or women being judged for their “too” attractive appearance, such as bright makeup or tight clothing. This is also one of the manifestations of misogyny. The so-called “body cluster” of internalized misogyny, according to the ideas of Naomi Wolf, is associated with the desire of women to look attractive in order to find a partner.

Another reason for the internalized misogyny is the so-called “masculine woman cluster,” which makes many women think that masculinity directly affects the intellect and beautiful women do not have a high level of mental ability. Hence the censure of shopping and going to beauty salons, which are perceived as exclusively women’s activities and seem to be a marker of weakness.

A kind of marker, but a “positive” one, is motherhood and housekeeping as something noble and of paramount importance for women. Consequently, any deviations from this philosophy of perception of the world, in particular the priority of career, become an excuse for misogyny.

Taken together, these factors give us a picture of how misogyny, which has ancient roots, has found its way into modern society. It causes the undervaluation of women’s capabilities and subjective attitudes toward them in many spheres of activity. But misogyny brings even more problems within the female community, affecting many aspects of social interactions.

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