Is it just me, or has there recently been a significant increase in the prevalence of the use of the term ‘misogynist’ in the public domain. It seems to me that it has become one of those words that journalists and commentators contrive to include in an article or a conversation.
I have recently seen it used as a short cut and/or synonym for words and phrases that would offer more precision and description like; chauvinist, dinosaur, or sexual deviant.
Conversely it’s antonym misandrist is seldom to be seen, as evidenced by the Oxford English Corpus.
I came across this recently:
“A misogynist is a person who hates women. A person who hates men can be described as a misandrist, and the corresponding noun is misandry. But however prevalent the attitudes described by these words may be, the words themselves aren’t common. There are currently only 29 examples of misandrist in the Oxford English Corpus, while misogynist appears more than 1,500 times; 68 uses of misandry are overshadowed by over 2,000 examples of misogyny.”
Oxford English Dictionary – online (September 2017).
I would have thought that the likelihood of there being that ratio of misogynists to misandrists in our society as being very slim when you consider their respective dictionary definitions.
If these sorts of volumes were scaled up, then I doubt that our society could function at all.
A few words of caution to those jumping on the bandwagon that risks creating a cliche out of the term:
over-supply of anything devalues the currency and reduces credibility and remedy.
People can get confused and vexed by the dissonance between media babble and their own life experience when the two get repeatedly and artificially conflated. Unfortunately humans seem to be hard wired to prefer ‘group think’ to reason based on evidence.
In other words, overuse of the term risks becoming self fulfilling. You can usually find examples of things if you look hard enough.
I couldn’t live happily without the women in my life. All of my male friends would say the same or similar about themselves.
I do not personally know a misogynist, although I have come across both men and women who could be described as such. Hate (implicit in mysogyny) is such a powerful word, and it should be used sparingly and accurately.
“All I did was touch her on the knee”
The versions clash ~ she won’t agree with he
“His hand was creeping slowly up my thigh”
The extra inches make his words a lie
Ignore the reasons why
What should her version be
The only one it can
It is her leg
She doesn’t owe the man.