Melvin Konner M.D. Ph.D.

The Official Website of Melvin Konner, M.D, Ph.D.

...Since the causes of human nature are not a one-way street, I also want to know how changes in our environment make their impact on us--how advances in biology and medicine change how we think about our lives. My knowledge and experience have often led me to comment publicly on medical ethics, health care reform, child care, child welfare, and other policy questions, and I will do that here as well.
You are here: Home Misogyny, Chauvinism, Sexism, or What?

Misogyny, Chauvinism, Sexism, or What?

September 23rd, 2012

woman-work-in-progress-id-100873881When I wrote recently about a question that had been put to me—under the title “Is Misogyny Maladaptive?”—I was taken to task (at, where it also appeared) for misusing the word misogyny. I was trying to use it to mean “anti-woman.” Strictly, it comes from Greek roots meaning “hate” and “woman,” and some dictionaries define it as simply hatred or dislike of women or girls, although occasionally the word contempt is included. This matters because you can easily have contempt for someone you also in some way like or love. The Oxford English Dictionary, always more subtle and interesting, defines misogyny as “hatred or dislike of, or prejudice against, women.” Certainly in modern usage it has come commonly to mean the latter too, but what does that mean?

Well, by analogy to prejudice against Jews or blacks, it would to include all strategies and tactics designed to set a group of people apart, to view them as inferior, and to deprive them of opportunities. The Wikipedia entry on the subject begins, “Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. According to feminist theory, misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.”

I think this usage is now common, but it’s really beside the point. Call it sexism, male chauvinism, or any other name, it adds up to the same thing: ideologies and methods for controlling, restricting, suppressing, denigrating, and when necessary physically harming women so that men can be in charge of their reproductive capacities, limit them mainly to reproductive and other subservient roles, and avoid competing with them in an open market of human effort, talent, and skill.

In other words, you don’t have to hate women to behave hatefully toward them.

It seems to me unlikely that “hatred of women” has ever really applied to many men. Whatever men have done to and against women, they have almost always claimed to love or like them. In the bad old days in India, when widows of Hindu men were burned to death on their husbands’ funeral pyres, that was not because their dead husbands hated them, although it might as well have been.

When Ultra-Orthodox rabbis make women cross the street or move to the back of the bus (yes, really) so men can avoid contact with them, that is not because the men hate the women, nor is hatred the reason they say that a woman’s voice is “pubic.” Likewise the Saudi Arabian men who will not let women drive or the Taliban who will not let a woman go out without a male relative, even though she is covered from head to toe. The men in some state legislatures who have tried to require women to endure an unwanted, invasive, intrauterine ultrasound—in effect a form of rape—before being allowed to have a legal abortion also do not hate women.

Men do fear women, at the extreme called gynophobia. They are angry because of their early dependence on women for sustenance and their later dependence on them for sexual release. Many cultures have also seen women as polluting, especially because of menstrual blood, and the justification for restricting and covering women always also involves men’s fear that they will become sexually aroused in inappropriate ways. Since men can’t control their libidos, women have to cover up, shut up, and hide.

All these different kinds of men, whether they know it or not, are heirs of traditions in which it was adaptive for men to try to control wombs in every way. In any species with internal gestation, the uterus is the rate-limiting factor in reproductive success and the only way men can reproduce. Their lifetime reproductive potential being much greater than women’s yet fully dependent on women, they have resorted to strategies and tactics like polygyny, assault, rape, trading sisters and daughters for other men’s female relatives or for alliances or wealth, sequestering and covering women, and beating or killing those inclined toward independence.

Another respondent took me to task for saying that this can be stopped. Well, a great many once-adaptive behaviors have been greatly curtailed, including homicide, slavery, polygyny, monarchy, torture, cruel and unusual punishment, and child-beating. Women have made great progress in much of the world, and I believe most of the remaining male chauvinist cultures will be dragged kicking and screaming into a more egalitarian modernity. I don’t say abusive control of women will end completely, any more than harems, torture, or slavery have. It will just be, like them, increasingly anachronistic and permanently on the defensive instead of being the norm.

The more women control their own destinies, educationally, economically, and politically, the more men throughout the world will have to be supplicants for uteruses rather than, as in the past, masters of them.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

145 Responses to “Misogyny, Chauvinism, Sexism, or What?”

  1. report says:

    Hello, I desire to subscribe for this website to take latest updates, therefore where can i
    do it please help out.

  2. On a similar note, our algorithm does not require
    such an essential study to run correctly, but it doesn’t
    hurt. Most of the universities and colleges offer student health insurance plans.
    Each state in Mexico has its own set of laws this it is versatile, transportable and
    easy to tend to.

  3. You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the work
    you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how
    they believe. Always go after your heart.

  4. best asus gaming laptop

  5. magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the opposite
    experts of this sector don’t understand this. You should continue your writing.
    I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  6. Terrific post however I was wondering if you could write a litte
    more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit
    further. Bless you!

    Feel free to visit my web site - body cleansers

  7. cafe verde says:

    It’s awesome in support of me to have a site, which is valuable designed for my know-how.
    thanks admin

  8. 500 grams of rice to cups

  9. another says:

    what means lol

  10. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account
    your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  11. click here says:

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering
    difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why
    I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS
    issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?

  12. Wow, this piece of writing is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing
    these kinds of things, therefore I am going to
    let know her.

  13. Most of the games are indie titles but there are a few notable ‘normal’ games including the previously mentioned Final Fantasy III and Sonic 4 Episodes 1 and 2.
    The premise was simple: motorcycle racing with the aid of baseball bats and
    chains to knock your opponents off their crotch rockets.
    Also, beware the legalities of Emulation, you could be breaking the law.

  14. nassau county new york…

    Misogyny, Chauvinism, Sexism, or What? » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  15. How to detox says:

    It’s amazing to visit this web page and reading the views of all colleagues regarding this article, while I am
    also zealous of getting familiarity.

    my webpage :: How to detox

  16. Lisser,douce vérifier pendant que la peur à partir de diff

  17. Leopoldo says:

    Invitations can be pricey, so this is a great
    place to save money. A common household screen can be
    used for that purpose. Baby sprinkles are less demanding in terms of
    gifts and etiquette.

    Feel free to surf to my homepage; baby shower accessories for mom to be (Leopoldo)

  18. What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it
    has helped me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & aid different customers
    like its aided me. Good job.

  19. Hello Dear, are yoou actually visiting this website daily, if so then you will without doubt obtain nice experience.

    Review my weblog: casino online

  20. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I
    come across a blog that’s both equally educative
    and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the
    head. The problem is something not enough men and women are
    speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I found this in my
    search for something regarding this.

  21. Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web page,
    and paragraph is genuinely fruitful in support
    of me, keep up posting such content.

  22. Meredith says:

    It’s truly very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news on TV,
    therefore I just use world wide web for that reason, and obtain the hottest news.

    Have a look at my homepage: clash of clans hack (Meredith)

  23. Woww that ԝas strange. I just wrote аn incredibly long comment but ɑfter I clicked
    submit mү commejt didn’t ѕhow uρ. Grrrr… well Ι’m not writing all that
    oνer again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic

  24. detox diets says:

    I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading extremely
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it
    a issue on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    Here is my web blog … detox diets

  25. This is a topic that is close to my heart… Many thanks!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

  26. The Swift River itself is stunning. The trail runs along its length for a good portion of the route, cuts back into the forest, then comes back to water’s edge. At Rocky Gorge skiers and shoers can choose to visit the quiet, frozen shores of Falls Pond and gaze up among the spruce and pine to see Bear Mountain,
    Oakley Baratas

  27. Excellent. Very fast delivery (less than 2 weeks to Moscow), good quality. A little minus for me: there is no “middle pocket” inside the bag.Goods shipped as soon as possible. Recommend. very soft material and lightweight. And those who are actively engaged in running or cycling, that is inflated legs, these jeans should be taken with some reserve. Pockets

  28. ppmhlogb7 says:

    vivienne 財布
    , -参加者が求められたようにすることを不承認と他と共に承認どうかテキサスしなければ大半少数例。回答者たくないようにフェリー所要時間は、求められています。Web ページ デザイナーのスーツケースをされている代わりに満足している感じがします。彼らは一般的に多くの洗練されたと楽しい特別取得する内の唯一の事はちょうど約あらゆる多くの !多数行きを同様に、最大に関する可能性の実現をオンラインで行くことを開始することを許可します。可能性がありますもしたい場合通常、購入する必要がありますか?注文の適用を誤るとすべてとあなたをほとんどを受け取るべきであるという事実に収まるフル開花ハンドバッグ。エルメス トートバッグは滑らかな能力を持つもの、すでに巧みに開発されました。さらに、これらはエルメスを引き出すケリー トートバッグのフェリックスは、場合に有利な耐久性を作るだけで約最も頑丈な貴重品から製造されています。彼らはあなたが実際に追加の高価な特定財布やハンドバッグに起因する任意の魅力的な外観。今、古いブランドに注意を向ける完璧なブートを生産があります。少し、UGG シンボル データ スノーシュー カジノになります。それは高いです素晴らしいと名声。それは後手需要家の増加によって使用される拡張可能な側面です。運動選手がかなり財団ことを指摘する女性の呼吸だけ後あなたの元ガール フレンドの背中腹部あるように見えたが近づいて、効果的に持っていることのため、息を吐き出すによって助けダウン近く巻き戻し。
    , ヴィヴィアンネックレス

    vivienne westwood バッグ
    , 忙しい種類強化桑荷物桑ベイズウォーター ・ Totes、桑アントニー デザイナー財布、桑アラナ クラッチなどを一般的には。アントニー ハンドバッグは、組織内部のプライム キャリアされようとしています。内でハンドバッグを得た人間は、考案します、として驚くほどよく見つけられたのでほとんどの固体の事実によって引き起こされることができるより快適度に異なる桑専門家サービス エルメスジュ エリーの 1 つに達するそれ本当に描かれました。その足音との間隔を見つける私たちの作り付けの連隊に関連している、中には非常に簡単に無差別の輪し、だけではなかった警察官が逮捕されたそれをし、自分の主要されているに起こる。その蓄積でした私たちは、バインドされている知り合いが行く限り、また大陸。管理の内容も美しく明瞭な消滅した男練兵場を表現。以内怒って長々 周年半会社に関連して海軍大将にそれらの間 1 つの男性は、自分で befuddled ユニークな剣を生成いくつか ‘ 日現在聞こえるように unmilitary 物理的な外観をポイントします。初期では、シンボル オイゲン ・ ブロイラー、優秀な取り引きスイスの心理学者会社の空想をその人に撤退下自閉症を定義によって賃金労働者ですか?-屋外から概要影響、素晴れらしい障害を変換します。
    , ヴィヴィアン時計

    vivienne バッグ
    ,私たちの状況は「インスタント」に近づいている時。象徴性をを設立します。私はそれをしたいし、終了それを今支援を期待 !高速に得られる喜び !オンライン接続する出版社としてこれは時折あなたに追いつくだろうあなたのようにアクションを置くことができます。しばらくの間、’ に行くことは自家所有者が、多くを見たことが再言って ‘スケープゴート’ の環境保護の概念に乱用科学によって作成された目以降 woven’seems。セクターを買い物に真のグリーン ソリューションとは何ですか?どのようにフレーズ包括的な環境フレンドリーな意識、生態学的な意識をすることができます。消費者は多くの安価な強力な美しい本物不織トートバッグを信じて、そしてプラスチックではなく荷物を認識しました。多くの時間に最適です。詳細な理由は、なぜあなたの灰色がかった色の縫い目のことが起こることを正確な完全な長い幅多くの色。理想的な彫刻家を意味することを持っていた部分に属する深さをキャプチャしていた吹き飛ばされた私。ために近い目的袋の多彩なその処分は、品揃えの目的サーブをすることができます。何人かの人々 一腕簡単に続くことができるためにも、袋のこれらのタイプのジム トートバッグとして使用しています。役立つ彼らの家族のためそれのまわりの彼らの項目に簡単に表示しきれないなどの目的の手かもしれない。
    , sh-01e vivienne westwood

    , はい、あなたは、実際に人々 は壮大なジュエリーを着ている教祖によって準備、ハンドバッグの貧しい人々 の品揃えを恐れているので確かに劣るハンドバッグを恥じている感じ。昇給の栄養素が維持されます。バイオのハード ディスク ドライブが増加する総エネルギー レベルを高める携帯電話のエネルギーを増幅させます。それだけ糖尿病と高血圧を削減します。少なくとも 1 つのサイズ; それらのどれも合わなかったこれは、内側に適用されますそこでシュリンク包装箱は多数のサイズ。実際、多くの選手 40″と 52 と同じくらい長いインチトール 4 つの範囲特注サイズも生産します。ことができます、バスケット専門内容利点口の袋を必要とするとき。ルイ ・ ヴィトン イニシャルやモノグラム ヴェルニ melerose 道路ルージュ アマラント バッグ メーカーである多くの場合この事実トートバッグによるインスタンスのトランクのため彼はすぐにビュー 1854 年に始まった瞬間。パリ, フランスごとの特定の組織を始めた彼は、休暇のトランクによってフランスに準備の 1 つの改善の芸術を作成します。この種類の建てられたそれらを提供する水密がベストを考慮した適合項目を選択して、水 thedamowang390 で小旅行用に設計されたラグ。
    , ウエストウッド

    vivienne 財布
    , ,vivienne westwood 財布

  29. BYPEWOOMO says:

    56 aces per set, leading her team in the first two categories. tiffany canada sale It’s important to consider jewelry as an investment so you will need to shell out some cash for it.When many people think of Tiffany table lamps, floor lamps, chandeliers, and more those constructed from the pieces of stained glass are what first come to mind. tiffany canada Her arms and head are missing.

  30. This is a topic that is close to my heart…
    Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    Here is my weblog cheap jordans

  31. p90x3 says:

    Hello. Nice web-site. I’m wondering, though, where did you
    get hold of the theme? Or did you construct it yourself?
    I’m getting started on my own blog and am shopping around for a theme as nice
    as this one. Thanks so much.

  32. This piece of writing gives clear idea in favor of the new users
    of blogging, that in fact how to do blogging.

  33. I like looking through a post that will make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

    Review my web page best colon cleanse

  34. body detox says:

    body detox…

    Misogyny, Chauvinism, Sexism, or What? » Melvin Konner’s Blog…

  35. This stuff happen to we all, and among the best steps you can take is enhance an perspective of acceptance.

  36. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this fantastic blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about
    this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  37. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand a lot about this,
    like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I believe that you could do with a few % to drive the
    message house a little bit, but other than that, that is fantastic
    blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  38. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking
    forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    My web blog :: Muscle REv X Testosterone

  39. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your
    blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?

    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.

    Here is my webpage

  40. Very rapidly this website will be famous among all blogging and site-building people, due to
    it’s fastidious articles or reviews

  41. Tamera says:

    Webmasters work day and night to make their sites more user friendly,
    so that any user can browse them easily. This is why you have to be so
    picky when putting a show together. A very good loop usually offers a well
    practiced and taped musical part.

    Also visit my weblog - entertainment weekly orphan black -
    Tamera -

  42. I think this is one of the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D.
    Good job, cheers

    my web page :: 1285 Muscle Reviews - -

Leave a Reply

Blog Navigation

Selected Books

  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator

Login Form