"Dangerous" Women


The demonization of “dangerous women,” closely linked to misogyny, includes cultural, philosophical, and religious causes.  All share the perspective that women are both inferior and dangerous, whether due to weakness or an inherently immoral nature.  These mindsets were and are pervasive, manifesting in witch-hunts, patriarchy, domestic abuse, civil rights violations, and spiritual disenfranchisement.


Classical Origins

In his book City of Sokrates: An Introduction to Classical Athens, J.W. Roberts argues that older than tragedy and comedy was a misogynistic tradition in Greek literature, reaching back at least as far as Hesiod.[11]

The word Misogyny had a different meaning in ancient Greece, since they applied the pejorative "woman hater" expression mostly to gay men. Hans Licht (1928), History of Greek Life and Customs, Paul Aretz Verlag

Misogyny comes into English from the ancient Greek word misogunia (μισογυνία), which survives in two passages.[12] The more common form of this general word for woman hating is misogunaios (μισογύναιος).[12]

The earlier, longer, and more complete passage comes from a moral tract known as On Marriage (c. 150 BC) by the stoic philosopher Antipater of Tarsus.[13][14] Antipater argues that marriage is the foundation of the state, and considers it to be based on divine (polytheistic) decree. Antipater uses misogunia to describe Euripides' usual writing—tēn misogunian en tō graphein (τὴν μισογυνίαν ἐν τῷ γράφειν "the misogyny in the writing").[14] However, he mentions this by way of contrast. He goes on to quote Euripides at some length, writing in praise of wives. Antipater does not tell us what it is about Euripides' writing that he believes is misogynistic, he simply expresses his belief that even a man thought to hate women (namely Euripides) praises wives, so concluding his argument for the importance of marriage. He says, "This thing is truly heroic."[14]

The other surviving use of the original Greek word is by Chrysippus, in a fragment from On affections, quoted by Galen in Hippocrates on Affections.[17] Here, misogyny is the first in a short list of three "disaffections"—women (misogunian), wine (misoinian, μισοινίαν) and humanity (misanthrōpian, μισανθρωπίαν). Chrysippus' point is more abstract than Antipater's, and Galen quotes the passage as an example of an opinion contrary to his own. What is clear, however, is that he groups hatred of women with hatred of humanity generally, and even hatred of wine. "It was the prevailing medical opinion of his day that wine strengthens body and soul alike."[18] So Chrysippus, like his fellow stoic Antipater, views misogyny negatively, as a disease; a dislike of something that is good. It is this issue of conflicted or alternating emotions that was philosophically contentious to the ancient writers. Ricardo Salles suggests that the general stoic view was that "[a] man may not only alternate between philogyny and misogyny, philanthropy and misanthropy, but be prompted to each by the other."[19]

Aristotle has also been accused of being a misogynist; he has written that women were inferior to men. According to Cynthia Freeland (1994):

Aristotle says that the courage of a man lies in commanding, a woman's lies in obeying; that 'matter yearns for form, as the female for the male and the ugly for the beautiful'; that women have fewer teeth than men; that a female is an incomplete male or 'as it were, a deformity': which contributes only matter and not form to the generation of offspring; that in general 'a woman is perhaps an inferior being'; that female characters in a tragedy will be inappropriate if they are too brave or too clever[.][20]

In the Routledge philosophy guidebook to Plato and the Republic, Nickolas Pappas describes the "problem of misogyny" and states:

In the Apology, Socrates calls those who plead for their lives in court "no better than women" (35b)... The Timaeus warns men that if they live immorally they will be reincarnated as women (42b-c; cf. 75d-e). The Republic contains a number of comments in the same spirit (387e, 395d-e, 398e, 431b-c, 469d), evidence of nothing so much as of contempt toward women. Even Socrates' words for his bold new proposal about marriage... suggest that the women are to be "held in common" by men. He never says that the men might be held in common by the women... We also have to acknowledge Socrates' insistence that men surpass women at any task that both sexes attempt (455c, 456a), and his remark in Book 8 that one sign of democracy's moral failure is the sexual equality it promotes (563b).[21]

Cicero reports that Greek philosophers considered misogyny to be caused by gynophobia, a fear of women.[25]  According to some historians, Greek literature considered misogyny to be a disease—an anti-social condition—in that it ran contrary to their perceptions of the value of women as wives and of the family as the foundation of society. These points are noted in secondary literature.[14]



An estimated 75% to 85% of those accused in the early modern witch trials were women,[77][112][113] and there is certainly evidence of misogyny on the part of those persecuting witches, evident from quotes such as "[It is] not unreasonable that this scum of humanity, [witches], should be drawn chiefly from the feminine sex" (Nicholas Rémy, c. 1595) or "The Devil uses them so, because he knows that women love carnal pleasures, and he means to bind them to his allegiance by such agreeable provocations."[114] Nevertheless, it has been argued that the supposedly misogynistic agenda of works on witchcraft has been greatly exaggerated, based on the selective repetition of a few relevant passages of the Malleus maleficarum.[115] There are various reasons as to why this was the case. In Early Modern Europe, it was widely believed that women were less intelligent than men and more susceptible to sin.[116] Many modern scholars argue that the witch hunts cannot be explained simplistically as an expression of male misogyny, as indeed women were frequently accused by other women,[117][118] to the point that witch-hunts, at least at the local level of villages, have been described as having been driven by "women's quarrels".[119] Especially at the margins of Europe, in Iceland, Finland, Estonia and Russia, the majority of those accused were male.[120]

Barstow (1994) claimed that a combination of factors, including the greater value placed on men as workers in the increasingly wage-oriented economy, and a greater fear of women as inherently evil, loaded the scales against women, even when the charges against them were identical to those against men.[121] Thurston (2001) saw this as a part of the general misogyny of the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods, which had increased during what he described as "the persecuting culture" from that which it had been in the Early Medieval.[122] Gunnar Heinsohn and Otto Steiger in a 1982 publication speculated that witch-hunts targeted women skilled in midwifery specifically in an attempt to extinguish knowledge about birth control and "repopulate Europe" after the population catastrophe of the Black Death.[123]


Discussions of misogyny and witch-hunts

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, various feminist interpretations of the witch trials have been made and published. One of the earliest individuals to do so was the AmericanMatilda Joslyn Gage, a writer who was deeply involved in the first-wave feminist movement for women's suffrage. In 1893, she published the book Woman, Church and State, which was "written in a tearing hurry and in time snatched from a political activism which left no space for original research."[1] Likely influenced by the works of Jules Michelet about the Witch-Cult, she claimed that the witches persecuted in the Early Modern period were pagan priestesses adhering to an ancient religion venerating a Great Goddess. She also repeated the erroneous statement, taken from the works of several German authors, that nine million people had been killed in the witch hunt.[1]

In 1973, two American second-wave feminists, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English, published an extended pamphlet in which they put forward the idea that the women persecuted had been the traditional healers and midwives of the community who were being deliberately eliminated by the male medical establishment.[2] This theory disregarded the fact that the majority of those persecuted were neither healers nor midwives and that in various parts of Europe these individuals were commonly among those encouraging the persecutions.[3] Although they had initially self-published the work, they received such a positive response that the Feminist Press took over publication, and the work then began worldwide distribution, being translated into French, Spanish, German, Hebrew, Danish and Japanese.[4]

Other feminist historians have rejected this interpretation of events; historian Diane Purkiss described it as "not politically helpful" because it constantly portrays women as "helpless victims of patriarchy" and thus does not aid them in contemporary feminist struggles.[5] She also condemned it for factual inaccuracy by highlighting that radical feminists adhering to it ignore the historicityof their claims, instead promoting it because it is perceived as authorising the continued struggle against patriarchal society.[6] She asserted that many radical feminists nonetheless clung to it because of its "mythic significance" and firmly delineated structure between the oppressor and the oppressed.[3]


"Nine million women" killed in witch hunts?

A figure of nine million victims (or "nine million women" killed) in the European witch-hunts is an influential popular myth in 20th-century feminism and neopaganism. The nine million figure is ultimately due to Gottfried Christian Voigt. The history of this estimate was researched by Behringer (1998).[7]

Voigt published it in a 1784 article, writing in the context of the Age of Enlightenment, wishing to emphasize the importance of education in rooting out superstition and a relapse into the witch-craze which had subsided less than a lifetime ago in his day. He was criticizing Voltaire's estimate of "several hundred thousand" as too low. Voigt based his estimate on twenty cases recorded over fifty years in the archives Quedlinburg, Germany. Based on records of the 20-year period 1569 to 1589, he estimated about 40 executions in this period, and extrapolated to about 133 executions per century.[8] Voigt then extrapolated this number to the entire population of Europe, arriving at "858,454 per century" and for an assumed 11 centuries of witch-hunts at "9,442,994 people" in total.[9] Voigt's number was rounded off to nine million by Gustav Roskoff in his 1869 Geschichte des Teufels ("History of the Devil"). It was subsequently repeated by various German and English historians, notably the 19th-century women's rights campaigner Matilda Joslyn Gage[10][11] by Margaret Murray (1921), and notoriously in Nazi propaganda, which in the 1930s used witches as a symbol of northern völkisch culture, as opposed to Mediterranean or "Semitic" Christianity. The 1935 Der christliche Hexenwahn ("The Christian Witch Craze") claimed that the witch-hunts were a Christian, and thus ultimately Jewish, attempt to exterminate "Aryan womanhood". The survey of judicial records taken by Himmler's Hexen-Sonderkommando within the SS has proven useful for modern estimates of the number of victims.[12] Mathilde Ludendorff in her 1934 Christliche Grausamkeit an Deutschen Frauen ("Christian cruelty against German women") also repeated the figure of nine million victims.[13]

Curiously, not only the nine million estimate of Voigt's has proven influential, but his estimate of "133 Quedlinburg executions per century" also has an involved history, appearing as the claim that 133 witches being burnt in the year 1589 alone in Geschichte der Hexenprozesse (1880, revised 1910), and even as a mass execution of 133 witches on a single day in Quedlinburg inGustav RoskoffGeschichte des Teufels (1869, p. 304). Reference to this supposed mass-execution as factual was made as late as 2006 in the third edition of Brian P. Levack's The Witch Hunt in Modern Europe (p. 24). Reference to an alleged execution of 133 witches in Osnabrück as factual appears as late as 2007 in John Michael Cooper, Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis night: the heathen muse in European culture, 1700–1850 (p. 15).[14]

Apparently, Voigt's estimate of the "average number of executions per century in Quedlinburg" happened to coincide with the number of victims in a spurious report of a singular mass execution in a single day in Osnabrück distributed in the late 1580s. References to this supposed mass execution as factual is also found in 19th-century literature, sometimes together with the claim that the four prettiest of those condemned were lifted out of the flames and carried away through the air before they were burned.[15] Finally, Roskoff (1869) seems to have mixed up "133 executions on a day in Osnabrück" with "133 executions per century in Quedlinburg" to arrive at "133 executions on a day in Quedlinburg". The Osnabrück report seems to originate with a flyer first distributed in 1588, claiming an execution of 133 witches on a single day in "this year". The flyer was later reprinted, in 1589 and during the 1590s, with the reported event always kept as occurring in "this year". This sensationalist headline perhaps reflects the historical mass execution in Osnabrück of 121 witches during the summer of 1583 (in the course of about five months, not on a single day), the highest number of executions by far recorded for any year in this city (Pohl 1990).[16]



See also: Feminist theology and Sex differences in religion


Ancient Greek

In Misogyny: The World's Oldest PrejudiceJack Holland argues that there is evidence of misogyny in the mythology of the ancient world. In Greek mythology according to Hesiod, the human race had already experienced a peaceful, autonomous existence as a companion to the gods before the creation of women. When Prometheus decides to steal the secret of fire from the gods, Zeus becomes infuriated and decides to punish humankind with an "evil thing for their delight". This "evil thing" is Pandora, the first woman, who carried a jar (usually described—incorrectly—as a box) which she was told to never open. Epimetheus (the brother of Prometheus) is overwhelmed by her beauty, disregards Prometheus' warnings about her, and marries her. Pandora cannot resist peeking into the jar, and by opening it she unleashes into the world all evil; laboursicknessold age, and death.[32]



Main article: Women in Buddhism

In his book The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender, professor Bernard Faure of Columbia University argued generally that "Buddhism is paradoxically neither as sexist nor as egalitarian as is usually thought." He remarked, "Many feminist scholars have emphasized the misogynistic (or at least androcentric) nature of Buddhism" and stated that Buddhism morally exalts its male monks while the mothers and wives of the monks also have important roles. Additionally, he wrote:

While some scholars see Buddhism as part of a movement of emancipation, others see it as a source of oppression. Perhaps this is only a distinction between optimists and pessimists, if not between idealists and realists... As we begin to realize, the term "Buddhism" does not designate a monolithic entity, but covers a number of doctrines, ideologies, and practices--some of which seem to invite, tolerate, and even cultivate "otherness" on their margins.[33]



Main article: Gender roles in Christianity

See also: Complementarianism and Christian egalitarianism

Differences in tradition and interpretations of scripture have caused sects of Christianity to differ in their beliefs with regard their treatment of women.

In The Troublesome Helpmate, Katharine M. Rogers argues that Christianity is misogynistic, and she lists what she says are specific examples of misogyny in the Pauline epistles. She states:

The foundations of early Christian misogyny — its guilt about sex, its insistence on female subjection, its dread of female seduction — are all in St. Paul's epistles.[34]

In K. K. Ruthven's Feminist Literary Studies: An Introduction, Ruthven makes reference to Rogers' book and argues that the "legacy of Christian misogyny was consolidated by the so-called 'Fathers' of the Church, like Tertullian, who thought a woman was not only 'the gateway of the devil' but also 'a temple built over a sewer'."[35]

However, some other scholars have argued that Christianity does not include misogynistic principles, or at least that a proper interpretation of Christianity would not include misogynistic principles. David M. Scholer, a biblical scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary, stated that the verse Galatians 3:28 ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus") is "the fundamental Pauline theological basis for the inclusion of women and men as equal and mutual partners in all of the ministries of the church."[36][37] In his book Equality in Christ? Galatians 3.28 and the Gender Dispute, Richard Hove argues that—while Galatians 3:28 does mean that one's sex does not affect salvation—"there remains a pattern in which the wife is to emulate the church's submission to Christ (Eph 5:21-33) and the husband is to emulate Christ's love for the church."[38]

In Christian Men Who Hate Women, clinical psychologist Margaret J. Rinck has written that Christian social culture often allows a misogynist "misuse of the biblical ideal of submission". However, she argues that this a distortion of the "healthy relationship of mutual submission" which is actually specified in Christian doctrine, where "[l]ove is based on a deep, mutual respect as the guiding principle behind all decisions, actions, and plans".[39] Similarly, Catholic scholar Christopher West argues that "male domination violates God's plan and is the specific result of sin".[40]



Main article: Women in Islam

See also: Namus and Islam and domestic violence

The fourth chapter (or sura) of the Quran is called "Women" (An-Nisa). The 34th verse is a key verse in feminist criticism of Islam.[41] The verse reads: "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."

In his book Popular Islam and Misogyny: A Case Study of Bangladesh, Taj Hashmi discusses misogyny in relation to Muslim culture (and to Bangladesh in particular), writing:

[T]hanks to the subjective interpretations of the Quran (almost exclusively by men), the preponderance of the misogynic mullahs and the regressive Shariah law in most "Muslim" countries, Islam is synonymously known as a promoter of misogyny in its worst form. Although there is no way of defending the so-called "great" traditions of Islam as libertarian and egalitarian with regard to women, we may draw a line between the Quranic texts and the corpus of avowedly misogynic writing and spoken words by the mullah having very little or no relevance to the Quran.[42]

In his book No god but GodUniversity of Southern California professor Reza Aslan wrote that "misogynistic interpretation" has been persistently attached to An-Nisa, 34 because commentary on the Quran "has been the exclusive domain of Muslim men".[43]



Guru Nanak in the center, amongst other Sikh figures

See also: Women in Sikhism

Scholars William M. Reynolds and Julie A. Webber have written that Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith tradition, was a "fighter for women's rights" that was "in no way misogynistic" in contrast to some of his contemporaries.[44]



See also: Scientology and abortionScientology and genderScientology and marriage and Scientology and sex

In his book Scientology: A New Slant on LifeL. Ron Hubbard wrote the following passage:

A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out.

In the same book, he also wrote:

The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant when women begin to take part, on an equal footing with men, in political and business affairs, since this means that the men are decadent and the women are no longer women. This is not a sermon on the role or position of women; it is a statement of bald and basic fact.

These passages, along with other ones of a similar nature from Hubbard, have been criticized by Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice as expressions of hatred towards women.[45] However, Baylor University professor J. Gordon Melton has written that Hubbard later disregarded and abrogated much of his earlier views about women, which Melton views as merely echoes of common prejudices at the time. Melton has also stated that the Church of Scientology welcomes both genders equally at all levels—from leadership positions to auditing and so on—since Scientologists view people as spiritual beings.[46]


Cultural and intellectual movements against women

Numerous influential Western philosophers have been accused of being misogynistic, including AristotleRené DescartesThomas HobbesJohn LockeDavid HumeJean-Jacques RousseauG. W. F. HegelArthur SchopenhauerFriedrich NietzscheCharles DarwinSigmund FreudOtto WeiningerOswald Spengler, and John Lucas.[3]



Aristotle believed women were inferior and described them as "deformed males".[47][48] For example in his work Politics, Aristotle explicitly states

"as regards the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject ''4 (1254b13-14)[49]

Another example is Cynthia's catalog where Cynthia states “Aristotle says that the courage of a man lies in commanding, a woman's lies in obeying; that 'matter yearns for form, as the female for the male and the ugly for the beautiful'; that women have fewer teeth than men; that a female is an incomplete male or 'as it were, a deformity'.[47]Aristotle believed that men and women naturally differed both physically and mentally. He claimed that women are "more mischievous, less simple, more impulsive ... more compassionate[,] ... more easily moved to tears[,] ... more jealous, more querulous, more apt to scold and to strike[,] ... more prone to despondency and less hopeful[,] ... more void of shame or self-respect, more false of speech, more deceptive, of more retentive memory [and] ... also more wakeful; more shrinking [and] more difficult to rouse to action" than men.[50]


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is well known for his views against equal rights for women for example in his treatise Emile, he writes: “Always justify the burdens you impose upon girls but impose them anyway. . . . They must be thwarted from an early age. . . . They must be exercised to constraint, so that it costs them nothing to stifle all their fantasies to submit them to the will of others.” Other quotes consist of "closed up in their houses,” “must receive the decisions of fathers and husbands like that of the church,”.[51]


Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was famous for his views on female inferiority especially through the lense of human evolution which became quite spread to other scientist contemporaries at the time.[52] He noted in his book The Descent of Men: "young of both sexes resembled the adult female in most species" which he extrapolated and further reasoned "males were more evolutionarily advanced than females". Darwin believed all savages, children and women had smaller brains and therefore led more by instinct and less by reason.[52] Such quickly ideas spread to other scientists such as Professor Carl Vogt of natural sciences at the University of Geneva who argued "the child, the female, and the senile white" had the mental traits of a"grown up Negro", that the female is similar in intellectual capacity and personality traits to both infants and the "lower" races" such as blacks while drawing conclusion that women are closely related to lower animals than men and "hence we should discover a greater apelike resemblance if we were to take a female as our standard".[52] Darwin's beliefs about women were also reflective of his attitudes towards women in general for example his views towards marriage as a young man in which he was quoted ""how should I manage all my business if obligated to go everyday walking with my wife - Ehau! " and that being married was... "worse than being a Negro" .[52] Or in other instances his concern of his son marrying a woman named Martineau about which he wrote "... he shall be not much better than her "nigger." Imagine poor Erasmus a nigger to so philosophical and energetic a lady ... Martineau had just returned from a whirlwind tour of America, and was full of married women's property rights ... Perfect equality of rights is part of her doctrine...We must pray for our poor "nigger."[52]


Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer has been noted as a misogynist by many such as philosopher critic and author Tom Grimwood.[53] In a 2008 article Grimwood wrote published in the philosophical journal of Kritique, Grimwood argues that Schopenhauer misogynistic works have largely escaped attention despite being more noticeable than that of other philosophers such as Nietzche.[53] For example, he noted Schopenhaur's works where the latter had argued women only have a "meagre" of reason comparable that of "the animal" "who lives in the present". Other works he noted consisted of Schopenhauer argument that women's only role in nature is to further the species through childbirth and hence is equipped with the power to seduce and "capture" men.[53] He goes on to state that women's cheerfulness is chaotic and disruptic which is why is crucial to exercise obedience o those with rationality. For her to function beyond her rational subjugater is a threat against men as well as other women he notes. Schopenhaur also thought women's cheerfulness is an expression of her lack of morality and incapability to understand abstract or objective meaning such as art.[53] This is followed up by his quote "“have never been able to produce a single, really great, genuine and original achievement in the fine arts, or bring to anywhere into the world a work of permanent value.”[53] Arthur Schopenhauer also blamed women for the fall of King Louis XIII and triggering the French Revolution in which he was later quoted as saying:[53]

"At all events, a false position of the female sex, such as has its most acute symptom in our lady-business, is a fundamental defect of the state of society. Proceeding from the heart of this, it is bound to spread its noxious influence to all parts"[53]

Schopenhaurer has also been accused of misogyny for his essay "On Women" (Über die Weiber), in which he expressed his opposition to what he called "Teutonico-Christian stupidity" on female affairs. He argued that women are "by nature meant to obey" as they are "childish, frivolous, and short sighted".[3] He claimed that no woman had ever produced great art or "any work of permanent value".[3] He also argued that women did not possess any real beauty:[54]

It is only a man whose intellect is clouded by his sexual impulse that could give the name of the fair sex to that under-sized, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped, and short-legged race; for the whole beauty of the sex is bound up with this impulse. Instead of calling them beautiful there would be more warrant for describing women as the unaesthetic sex.



Main article: Friedrich Nietzsche's views on women

In Beyond Good and EvilFriedrich Nietzsche stated that stricter controls on women was a condition of "every elevation of culture".[55] In his Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he has a female character say "You are going to women? Do not forget the whip!"[56] In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche writes "Women are considered profound. Why? Because we never fathom their depths. But women aren't even shallow."[57] There is controversy over the questions of whether or not this amounts to misogyny, whether his polemic against women is meant to be taken literally, and the exact nature of his opinions of women.[58]



Hegel's view of women has been said to be misogynistic.[59] Passages from Hegel's Elements of the Philosophy of Right are frequently used to illustrate Hegel's supposed misogyny:[60]

Women are capable of education, but they are not made for activities which demand a universal faculty such as the more advanced sciences, philosophy and certain forms of artistic production... Women regulate their actions not by the demands of universality, but by arbitrary inclinations and opinions.


Internet misogyny

Misogynistic rhetoric is prevalent online and has grown rhetorically more aggressive. The public debate over gender-based attacks has increased significantly, leading to calls for policy interventions and better responses by social networks like Facebook and Twitter.[61][62]

Most targets are women who are visible in the public sphere, women who speak out about the threats they receive, and women who are perceived to be associated with feminism or feminist gains. Authors of misogynistic messages are usually anonymous or otherwise difficult to identify. Their rhetoric involves misogynistic epithets and graphic and sexualized imagery, centers on the women's physical appearance, and prescribes sexual violence as a corrective for the targeted women. Examples of famous women who spoke out about misogynistic attacks are Anita SarkeesianLaurie PennyCaroline Criado-PerezStella Creasy, and Lindy West.[61]

The insults and threats directed at different women tend to be very similar. Sady Doyle who has been the target of online threats noted the "overwhelmingly impersonal, repetitive, stereotyped quality" of the abuse, the fact that "all of us are being called the same things, in the same tone."[61]


Evolutionary theory

A 2015 study published in the journal PLOS ONE by researchers Michael M. Kasomovic and Jefferey S. Kuznekoff found that male status mediates sexist behavior towards women.[63] The study found that women tend to experience hostile and sexist behavior in a male dominated field by lower status males.[63] Since male dominated groups tend to be organized in hierarchies, the entry of women re-arranges the hierarchy in their favor by attracting the attention of higher status males.[63] This enables females automatic higher status over lower rank males, which is responded by lower status males using sexist hostility in order to control for status loss. This study was one of the first notable evidence of inter-gender competition and has evolutionary implications for the origin of sexism.[63]


Feminist theory

Subscribers to one model say that some misogyny results from the Madonna–whore complex, which is the inability to see women as anything other than "mothers" or "whores"; people with this complex place each encountered woman into one of these categories. Another variant model alleges that one cause of misogyny is some men thinking in terms of a virgin/whore dichotomy, which results in them considering as "whores" any women who do not adhere to an Abrahamic standard of moral purity.[64]

Feminist theorist Marilyn Frye says that misogyny is, at its root, phallogocentric and homoerotic. In The Politics of Reality, Frye says that there is a misogynistic character to C. S. Lewis' fiction and Christian apologetics, and argues that such misogyny privileges the masculine as a subject of erotic attention. She compares Lewis' ideal of gender relations to underground male prostitution rings, contending that they share the quality of men seeking to dominate subjects seen as less likely to take on submissive roles by a patriarchal society, but do so as a theatrical mockery of women.[65]

In the late 20th century, second-wave feminist theorists argued that misogyny is both a cause and a result of patriarchal social structures.[66]

Sociologist Michael Flood has argued that "misandry lacks the systemic, transhistoric, institutionalized, and legislated antipathy of misogyny."[67]


Criticism of the concept

Camille Paglia, a self-described "dissident feminist" who has often been at odds with other academic feminists, argues that there are serious flaws in the Marxism-inspired interpretation of misogyny that is prevalent in second-wave feminism. In contrast, Paglia argues that a close reading of historical texts reveals that men do not hate women but fear them.[68] Christian Groes-Green has argued that misogyny must be seen in relation to its opposite which he terms philogyny. Criticizing R.W. Connell's theory of hegemonic masculinities he shows how philogynous masculinities play out among youth in Maputo, Mozambique.[69]


See also


  1. a b Code, Lorraine (2000). Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories (1st ed.). London: Routledge. p. 346. ISBN 0-415-13274-6.
  2.   Kramarae, Cheris (2000). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women. New York: Routledge. pp. 1374–1377. ISBN 0-415-92088-4.
  3. a b c d Clack, Beverley (1999). Misogyny in the Western Philosophical Tradition: A Reader. New York: Routledge. pp. 95–241. ISBN 0-415-92182-1.
  4.   Johnson, Allan G (2000). "The Blackwell dictionary of sociology: A user's guide to sociological language"ISBN 978-0-631-21681-0. Retrieved November 21, 2011., ("ideology" in all small capitals in original).
  5.   Flood, Michael (2007-07-18). "International encyclopedia of men and masculinities". ISBN 978-0-415-33343-6.
  6.   The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford: Clarendon Press (Oxford Univ. Press), [4th] ed. 1993 (ISBN 0-19-861271-0)) (SOED) ("[h]atred of women").
  7.   The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-44895-6)) ("[h]atred of women").
  8.   Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam, 1966) ("a hatred of women").
  9.   Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (N.Y.: Random House, 2d ed. 2001 (ISBN 0-375-42566-7)).
  10.   Daley, Gemma (17 October 2012). "Macquarie Dictionary has last word on misogyny". Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  11.   Roberts, J.W (2002-06-01). "City of Sokrates: An Introduction to Classical Athens".ISBN 978-0-203-19479-9.
  12. a b c Henry George Liddell and Robert ScottA Greek–English Lexicon (LSJ), revised and augmented by Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940).ISBN 0-19-864226-1
  13.   The editio princeps is on page 255 of volume three of Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta (SVF, Old Stoic Fragments), see External links.
  14. a b c d A recent critical text with translation is in Appendix A to Will Deming, Paul on Marriage and Celibacy: The Hellenistic Background of 1 Corinthians 7, pp. 221–226. Misoguniaappears in the accusative case on page 224 of Deming, as the fifth word in line 33 of his Greek text. It is split over lines 25–26 in von Arnim.
  15.   AthenaeusThe Deipnosophists, Book 13 Book 13
  16.   "Although Euripides showed more empathy for women than any other ancient writer, many of his lines out of context sound misogynistic; only relatively modern critics have been able to rescue him from his centuries-old reputation as a woman-hater." Katherine Usher Henderson and Barbara F. McManusHalf Humankind: Contexts and Texts of the Controversy about Women in England, 1540–1640, (University of Illinois Press, 1985), p. 6. ISBN 978-0-252-01174-0
  17.   SVF 3:103. Misogyny is the first word on the page.
  18.   Teun L. Tieleman, Chrysippus' on Affections: Reconstruction and Interpretations, (Leiden:Brill Publishers, 2003), p. 162. ISBN 90-04-12998-7
  19.   Ricardo Salles, Metaphysics, Soul, and Ethics in Ancient Thought: Themes from the Work of Richard Sorabji, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), 485.
  20.   "Feminist History of Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  21.   Pappas, Nickolas (2003-09-09). "Routledge philosophy guidebook to Plato and the Republic"ISBN 978-0-415-29996-1.
  22.   Strabo,Geography, Book 7 [Alexandria] Chapter 3.
  23.   MenanderThe Plays and Fragments, translated by Maurice Balme, contributor Peter Brown]Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-283983-7
  24.   He is supported (or followed) by Theognostus the Grammarian's 9th century Canones, edited by John Antony CramerAnecdota Graeca e codd. manuscriptis bibliothecarum Oxoniensium, vol. 2, (Oxford University Press, 1835), p. 88.
  25. a b Marcus Tullius CiceroTusculanae Quaestiones, Book 4, Chapter 11.
  26.   γυναικομανεῖς ἐν ταὐτῷ καὶ μισογῦναιοι. Editio critica: PhiloDe Specialibus Legibus, (Greek) edited by Leopold CohnJohann Theodor Wendland and S. Reiter, Philonis Alexandrini opera quæ supersunt, 6 vols, (Berlin, 1896–1915): (vol. 5) book 3, chapter 14 § 79. [Misprint inLSJ has 2:312]. Translated by Charles Duke Yonge (London, 1854–1855).
  27.   Ptolemy, 'Of the Quality of the Soul', in Four Books, edited by Joachim Camerarius(Nuremberg, 1535), Latin translation by Philipp Melanchthon, reprinted (Basel, 1553): p. 159. Book 3 § 13. English translation.
  28.   "Quality of the Soul". AstrologyWeekly. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  29.   τὸν διδάσκαλον τουτονὶ τὸν μισογύναιον. Alciphron, 'Thais to Euthyedmus', in Letters, 

(Greek) edited by MA Schepers, (Leipzig, 1905): as book 4, letter 7, page 115, line 15. ISBN 3-598-71023-2.Translated by the Athenian Society (1896): as book 1, letter 34.

  1.   Vettius ValensAnthology, edited by Wilhelm Kroll (1908): p. 17, line 11.
  2.   DamasciusPrinciples, edited by CA Ruelle (Paris, 1889): p. 388.
  3.   Holland, J: Misogyny: The World's Oldest Prejudice, pp. 12-13. Avalon Publishing Group, 2006.
  4.   "Sample Chapter for Faure, B.: The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender". Press.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  5.   Rogers, Katharine M. The Troublesome Helpmate: A History of Misogyny in Literature, 1966.
  6.   Ruthven, K. K (1990). "Feminist literary studies: An introduction"ISBN 978-0-521-39852-7.
  7.   "Galatians 3:28 – prooftext or context?". The council on biblical manhood and womanhood. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8.   Hove, Richard. Equality in Christ? Galatians 3:28 and the Gender Dispute. (Wheaton: Crossway, 1999) Page 17.
  9.   Campbell, Ken M (2003-10-01). "Marriage and family in the biblical world"ISBN 978-0-8308-2737-4.
  10.   Rinck, Margaret J. (1990). Christian Men Who Hate Women: Healing Hurting Relationships.Zondervan. pp. 81–85. ISBN 978-0-310-51751-1.
  11.   Weigel, Christopher West ; with a foreword by George (2003). Theology of the body explained : a commentary on John Paul II's "Gospel of the body". Leominster, Herefordshire: Gracewing.ISBN 0-85244-600-4.
  12.   "Verse 34 of Chapter 4 is an oft-cited Verse in the Qur'an used to demonstrate that Islam is structurally patriarchal, and thus Islam internalizes male dominance." Dahlia Eissa, "Constructing the Notion of Male Superiority over Women in Islam: The influence of sex and gender stereotyping in the interpretation of the Qur'an and the implications for a modernist exegesis of rights", Occasional Paper 11 in Occasional Papers (Empowerment International, 1999).
  13.   Hashmi, Taj. Popular Islam and Misogyny: A Case Study of Bangladesh. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
  14.   Nomani, Asra Q. (October 22, 2006). "Clothes Aren't the Issue". Washington Post.
  15.   Julie A. Webber (2004). Expanding curriculum theory: dis/positions and lines of flight. Psychology Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8058-4665-2.
  16.   Scherstuhl, Alan (June 21, 2010). "The Church of Scientology does not want you to see L. Ron Hubbard's woman-hatin' book chapter"The Village Voice.
  17.   "Gender and Sexuality". Patheos.com. 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  18. a b Witt, Charlotte; Shapiro, Lisa (2016-01-01). Zalta, Edward N., ed. Feminist History of Philosophy (Spring 2016 ed.).
  19.   Smith, Nicholas D. "Plato and Aristotle on the Nature of Women". Journal of the History of Philosophy 21 (4): 467–478. doi:10.1353/hph.1983.0090.
  20.   Smith, Nicholas D. "Plato and Aristotle on the Nature of Women". Journal of the History of Philosophy 21 (4): 467–478. doi:10.1353/hph.1983.0090.
  21.   History of Animals, 608b. 1–14
  22.   Blum, C. "Rousseau and Feminist Revision". Eighteenth-Century Life 34 (3): 51–54.doi:10.1215/00982601-2010-012.
  23. a b c d e Bergman, Gerald (2002-12-01). "The history of the human female inferiority ideas in evolutionary biology". Rivista Di Biologia 95 (3): 379–412. ISSN 0035-6050.PMID 12680306.
  24. a b c d e f g Grimwood, Tom (2008-01-01). "The Limits of Misogyny: Schopenhauer, "On Women"". Kritike: An Online Journal of Philosophy 2 (2): 131–145.
  25.   Durant, Will (1983). The Story of Philosophy. New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster. p. 257.ISBN 0-671-20159-X.
  26.   Nietzsche, Friedrich (1886). Beyond Good and Evil. Germany. Retrieved 23 January2014.
  27.   Burgard, Peter J. (May 1994). Nietzsche and the Feminine. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-8139-1495-7.
  28.   Nietzsche, Friedrich (1889). Twilight of the Idols. Germany. ISBN 978-0-14-044514-5. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  29.   Robert C. Holub, Nietzsche and The Women's QuestionCoursework for Berkley University
  30.   Gallagher, Shaun (1997). Hegel, history, and interpretation. SUNY Press. p. 235.ISBN 978-0-7914-3381-2.
  31.   Alanen, Lilli; Witt, Charlotte (2004). "Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy".ISBN 978-1-4020-2488-7.
  32. a b c Jane, Emma Alice (2014). "'Back to the kitchen, cunt': speaking the unspeakable about online misogyny". Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 28 (4): 558–570.doi:10.1080/10304312.2014.924479.
  33.   Philipovic, Jill (2007). "Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny Parallels Real-World Harassment". Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 19 (2): 295–303.
  34. a b c d Kasumovic, Michael M.; Kuznekoff, Jeffrey H. (2015-07-15). "Insights into Sexism: Male Status and Performance Moderates Female-Directed Hostile and Amicable Behaviour".PLoS ONE 10 (7): e0131613. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131613PMC 4503401.PMID 26176699.
  35.   Wyman, Leah M.; Dionisopolous, George N. (2000). "Transcending The Virgin/Whore Dichotomy: Telling Mina's Story in Bram Stoker's Dracula"Women's Studies in Communication (Taylor & Francis) 23 (2): 209–237. doi:10.1080/07491409.2000.10162569. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  36.   Frye, Marilyn. The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory. Trumansburg, NY: Crossing, 1983.
  37.   E.g., Kate Millet's Sexual Politics, adapted from her doctoral dissertation is normally cited as the originator of this viewpoint; though Katharine M Rogers had also published similar ideas previously.
  38.   Flood, Michael (2007-07-18). "International encyclopedia of men and masculinities".ISBN 978-0-415-33343-6.
  39.   Paglia, Camille (1991). Sexual Personae, NY:Vintage, Chapter 1 and passim.
  40.   Groes-Green, C. 2012. "Philogynous masculinities: Contextualizing alternative manhood in Mozambique". Men and Masculinities 15(2):91-111. http://jmm.sagepub.com/content/15/2/91