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The Unconscious Bias

Walking around the Farmer's Market on a summer morning I passed two craftswomen engaged in conversation.  What word describes the opposite of misogyny? In passing I chimed misanthropy. The second woman said that is the general term for the hatred of humanity. And the question was, what is the term used to express the hatred of men, males. I moved on because I didn't want to get ensnared in this conversation I had heard from others in different times and places.

I anticipated after the two women concluded there was no opposite to misogyny in our language, they felt that a hatred of men coming from women, was not recognized.  The second woman said it's not fair.

There is no opposite of misogyny because a hatred of males has not been a systemic tool. Women became the possession of men, chattels, and the institutions governed by men created a fear and hatred towards the feminine to justify the power men were given over women.

Less than a century ago, women who spoke out in public, who were engaged in challenging the status quo were often beaten, imprisoned and raped. It was mostly women targeted during the witch hunts. It was women who were trained to be submissive and obedient to men. It is women whose character is whacked in courts where rape is the charge. In domestic abuse cases, up to now, women were blamed for violence inflicted upon them. Our society claimed they must have asked for it. A man who beats his partner claims "she pressed my buttons".  Sexuality for a man is conquest, for a woman it is slut shaming. Doesn't every woman know this? How many more examples of men's contempt for women do we need to know? Southern states that try women who have miscarried for murder? The misogynist attacks on Hilary Clinton?

It was my assumption that the women at the market were feeling sympathy for men who were being attacked by the feminist movement. This made my blood boil. But perhaps they were saying its not fair how women are viewed. Perhaps it was the opposite of what I thought.

Yes there are women who hate men but it's not supported and justified by our social system.  Hate hurts us all on a personal community level, but when hate is used to support the violence towards a whole group of people it becomes a weapon, and weapons we can't see are devastating.

Had I inquired I might have pounced in judgement based on my assumptions.  Emotions operate first. Also I was not invited to participate in the conversation. Had they been shouting then their opinions would be open for comment, the volume entering and changing the environment.

But it's times like this when I feel there is a need for conversations about civil society and social justice, and a movement for adult education. Questions such as when do expressions of hate become a crime? When should the public intervene? In what ways are we implicated when misogyny, racism and homophobia are expressed?


  1. The word you want is "misandry".

  2. Wikipedia has more on misandry: "Activist Warren Farrell has written of his views on how men are uniquely marginalized in what he calls their "disposability", the manner in which the most dangerous occupations, notably soldiering and mining, were historically performed exclusively by men and remain so today. In his book, The Myth of Male Power, Farrell argues that patriarchal societies do not make rules to benefit men at the expense of women. Farrell contends that nothing is more telling about who has benefited from "men's rules" than life expectancy, which is lower in males, and suicide rates, which are higher in males.[8]

    Religious Studies professors Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young made similar comparisons in their 2001 three-book series Beyond the Fall of Man,[9] which refers to misandry as a "form of prejudice and discrimination that has become institutionalized in North American society", writing, "The same problem that long prevented mutual respect between Jews and Christians, the teaching of contempt, now prevents mutual respect between men and women.""

  3. Thanks for this Bob. Yes I have long felt men are oppressed by the command "be a man" which works well for the war and mining industry, and for business. We need to talk about this more.


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