Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Misogyny | Define Misogyny

Misogyny is hatred (or contempt) of women or girls. Misogyny comes from Greek misogunia (μισογυνία) from misos (μῖσος, hatred) and gynē (γυνή, woman). It is parallel to misandry—the hatred of men or boys. Misogyny is also comparable with (but not the same as) misanthropy which is the hatred of humanity in general. The prefix miso, meaning hatred or to hate applies in other words, such as misandrist and misogamy.

Misogyny is sometimes confused with the similar looking word, misogamy (μισογαμία), which means hatred of marriage, hence the following error.

Any doubt he may have ever cherished in his misogamic breast concerning a woman's creative capacity.
—Pall Mall Gazette, 7 January 1889

An example of correct use, from the same period is:

He ... walked the banks apart, a thing of misogyny, in a suit of flannel.
—Herman Charles Merivale, Faucit of Balliol, 1882

A clearer example of the sense, also from the same era but using the noun misogynist, is provided by Thackeray.

Confound all women, I say, muttered the young misogynist.
—William Makepeace Thackeray, The Virginians, 1878

Occasionally writers play on the similarity between misogyny and miscegeny (mixed-race marriage).

This psychosocial analysis of the murder of a white civil rights activist by her mulatto lover (Joe Christmas) is replete with themes of fate, free will, sociopathy, family violence, misogyny, miscegeny, and isolation versus community.
—Karl Kirkland, 'On the Value of William Faulkner to Graduate Medical Education', 2001

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