Misogyny

I’m struggling with this word.  Men who hate women.  OK, there can be reasons why.  We all have pain, abuse, whatever, a reason to hate.  That’s not the point.  Go look it up.  There is no word that is the contrary, women who hate men.  And the bizarre thing, based on long term behavior and abuse,  women have more reason to hate.  Yet there is no word.

So why say this?  Because there are no words to properly describe a powerful woman.  What do we say about Nancy Pelosi?  We heard some of it before, during the debate over the ACA when she was Speaker the first time.  Shrill.  No man would have been called that.  Saying “effective” was somehow an insult.  Yes, using more quotiedien terms, she persisted.  Going on…

I texted this to my sister earlier.  Were Nancy Pelosi a man winning a stand-off with the president?  We’d say “(s) he has balls”.  Go figure.  No words for a woman who won’t back down, who persists, believes, commits, wins.  For a woman?  “Shrill”  We don’t say “she has ovaries”.  Yet Speaker Pelosi has, for lack of a better term, has bigger balls than most men.  She is stronger, more committed, than, well anyone.  She won’t let anyone “characterize” her strength.  If I picked a role model for my daughter?  Can’t choose a better one.  So my point?

We need a better language.  I can’t say “If Hillary had the balls that Nancy does then she’d be POTUS now”.  We need a better way to say that.  Yet, first, we don’t usually call “important” men by their first names.  It’s not Joe, it’s Joe Biden.  But we do with women.  There is no second.  All I’m saying is that we need new words.  No more shrill, bitch, whatever.  A powerful woman who wins deserves words of her own.

Resist

2 thoughts on “Misogyny

  1. You’ve identifed a real issue here. Women, even powerful ones like Nancy Pelosi, are diminished by the way we use language and the way we call them (“Nancy”). We are diminished by focus on our appearance, our age, our habits of dress or mind. And -Why aren’t there words for powerful, achieving women that are positive and respectful? Let’s suggest some. Invent them, if necessary. Perhaps we can borrow from the Icelandic language, Sterkur Kona – strong woman.

    There actually is a word for the hatred of men, “misandry”. Interestingly, though, the definition does not suggest that it’s a contempt of women for men, just contempt for men. But I have never heard this word actually used.

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