Masculinity and misogyny are sexism-related phenomena that harm a large number of women. However, these terms should not be confused, because although they refer to phenomena which have certain similarities, they cannot be used as if they were synonyms.
So throughout this article we will see the main differences between misogyny and masculinity, As well as how their manifestations differ and their adverse effects on people.
Differences between misogyny and masculinity
Until recently, the issues of sexism were virtually invisible to public opinion. Cases of direct violence can be commented on and punished in cases where a rule is violated, but no reflection is generated on the social and historical phenomenon. linked to the submissive situation of women. Over the past few decades, however, that has changed, which is why it is now so common to hear about masculinity and hatred of women (or misogyny) in countries of Western culture and many others.
However, although masculinity and misogyny tell us about different types of violence directed against women in general and women in particular, they are different in nature and are also noticed differently. Let’s see.
1. One is based on hate, the other is not
By definition, misogyny is always based on hating women, while masculinity shouldn’t be based on that. In fact, the latter is based not so much on concrete feelings directed towards the woman, but on the whole. a series of standardized relational dynamics over the centuries and are considered normal, devoid of any emotional component.
So, one of the characteristics of masculinity is that it is experienced as something natural, linked to objective truth and realism, through statements such as “everyone knows that women need a man”.
In this class of beliefs there is not always an element that allows us to identify whether the person holding them is sympathetic or unpleasant to the woman for the simple fact of being so, whereas in misogyny it is the opposite: if it is can know the attitude of acceptance or rejection towards the feminine.
2. Misogyny is an individual phenomenon
Unlike masculinity, which has to do with a whole system of material and ideological domination over women that has been passed down from generation to generation, misogyny is relatively individual.
While masculinity has been present in virtually everyone, misogyny it is a little more exceptional, apparently quite isolated. However, it has a slight social component, because the very fact that femininity can come to define how we perceive an individual (a woman) has to do with the gender roles assigned by society, which are very present from birth. .
3. Masculinity can take the form of kindness
It’s perfectly possible to be sexist and worry a lot that women feel comfortable and live well. This is so because masculinity is not always based on contempt or the desire to hurt someone in particular; too much it can appear through paternalism and condescension.
Of course, this does not imply that anyone who is sexist and wishes a woman the best is not hurting her by their actions; but he will not be conscious, since he will see justified what he does “for the good” of the other person, being the least able to decide what he wants and having less judgment to understand what is happening. happening (according to the beliefs of those who treat like a non-independent person).
4. Misogyny Usually Leads To Alienation
As a general rule, those who feel hatred for a particular group try not to expose themselves too much to it. This principle is relatively difficult to apply when the hated group of people represents about half of the human population, but still those who experience misogyny. they prefer to relate to men, Minimize their interactions with women.
On the other hand, masculinity should not lead to this, because its existence is totally independent of attitudes of acceptance and rejection towards the feminine.
5. Masculinity is a historical phenomenon
The very existence of masculinity is linked to gender roles and the strong identification we make between a person’s sex and their functions in society, which can be altered by changing political, economic and cultural elements. . however, misogyny has many different causesAnd the only common denominator on which their cases are based has to do with the importance of gender in identifying people.
Where there is a strong identifying element to which we attach great importance (religion, race, nationality, etc.), there may be material from which to develop suspicion or even hatred by generalization.
- Hirai, M., Winkel, M. and Popan, J. (2014). The role of masculinity in prejudice. Personality and individual differences, 70, 105-110.
- Rinck, MJ (1990). Christian “Men Who Hate Women: Healing Hurt Relationships. Zondervan. Pp. 81 – 85.
- Zaira A. (2000). Masculine and Feminine in the Catholic Imagination: From Catholic Action to Liberation Theology St. Paul: Annablume.