Missing the point… and how not to.

The dialogue coming out of social media lately is full of ‘men vs. women‘, when the core issues are actually ‘misogyny vs. respect’ and ‘compliance vs. integrity’. It seems the struggle to see women’s rights from a perspective of respect and love is one that applies to women and men alike.

Part 1: Misogyny and Compliance
“Misogyny (play /mɪˈsɒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. According to feminist theory, misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.” (wikipedia)

Michael Flood defines misogyny as the hatred of women, and notes:

“Though most common in men, misogyny also exists in and is practiced by women against other women or even themselves. Misogyny functions as an ideology or belief system that has accompanied patriarchal, or male-dominated societies for thousands of years and continues to place women in subordinate positions with limited access to power and decision making.”
In our cultural history, both women and men have practiced misogyny. Why would women, especially, allow and perpetuate misogyny? Misogyny positions us poorly- to receive lower status and fewer human rights. To achieve high status and full rights, women must believe that we deserve the best. Speaking negatively about ourselves destroys self-respect and love. Self-respect and true self-love are how women win, and will buoy women’s rights to the very highest height. What can women do for each other, to respect and love one another? What can we do for women who are not yet sure how to love themselves?

According to sociologist Allan G. Johnson, “misogyny is a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female.” Johnson argues that:

“Misogyny …. is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is [the] basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies. Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel toward their own bodies.””
Brave men speak out in situations where hateful and denigrating comments are made about women. There are polite ways to do that, such as saying “I find that offensive.” A strong man stands up for his beliefs. A man who values women (any women; a wife, girlfriend, mother, daughter…) stands up for women.
Anyone, when participating in sexually-objectifying jokes or comments (ones in which women are portrayed as sexual objects) is exhibiting, condoning, and promoting misogynistic behavior. When women participate, it does not become ‘ok’ because we’re women, it becomes compliance with what harms us. Hateful comments made by women are also misogyny! Objectifying ‘jokes’ are not ok ‘jokes’ to tell. In order not to participate, it is necessary to speak out against such ‘jokes’. Saying “Please don’t tell those kind of jokes around me,” is a change anyone can make in their own life.
Say it with your head held high! You deserve the best. Without even knowing you, I assert that you are worthy of respect and love.
I’m feeling good about taking a stand against misogyny and compliance!
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post.

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