The word "misogyny" gets thrown around a lot these days, though a lot of people aren't certain about what it exactly means. "Misogyny" and "sexism" are frequently used interchangeably, but they're actually different things. Sexism refers to discriminating because of sex, whereas misogyny is a hatred or mistrust of and prejudice against women. Misogyny is very much present in everyday life, and as a young woman pursuing a STEM career, I see a great deal of it. It's often that men respect women, but because of our society's acceptance of the mistreatment and degradation of women, that they'll accidentally or unknowingly act misogynistically.
So here is a list of 10 common misogynistic behaviors that people need to stop ASAP.
Stop using the word "rape" to say you win.
I hear it all the time, especially from people who play a lot of video games. "I got raped last match." I don't care how bad you lost or if you completely dominated. It's insanely disrespectful to use the word "rape" like it's something completely casual. The word has one and only one connotation — negative and harmful. Stop being insensitive.
Don't use the word "bitches" to loosely refer to women.
Outside of being a female dog, evidently the word "bitch" has a negative connotation being used as an insult. And for men to talk about women in a general way and use the word to refer to them as a whole is completely disrespectful. Men talk about women like this and think it's nothing, yet wonder why girls are so unimpressed with them. It's because you're an asshole, that's exactly why. Don't degrade women like that.
Only respecting women you find attractive isn't respecting women.
This one shouldn't even need an explanation. Don't ever claim that you support women if you don't support all women.
Unsolicited comments on appearance or physique are disgusting.
No woman should ever keep herself in shape to please a man, so no man should ever feel like it's his place to give his opinion about it. Unless a woman asks you how you feel about her appearance, you have no place to make smartass or rude remarks about it.
And there's a line that's been crossed with compliments, too.
"But I was complimenting her!" I DON'T CARE. If your compliment is sexually charged in any fashion, chances are, she doesn't wanna hear it. Lay off, don't be a creep. There are ways to compliment someone without being gross, and I am positive that as a grown adult, you would know that.
Don't assume a woman's position in her work environment.
This isn't the '60s anymore. Every woman that sits in an office isn't a secretary for some boss man.
Double standards come from everywhere and attack at every angle.
When a man's hair greys, he's a silver fox. But when a woman's does, she's an old hag. A man has multiple sex partners and he's a "Casanova" or "Don Juan" and he gets praise. When a woman does, she's a whore and is slut-shamed. A man can choose to do the bare minimum to upkeep his appearance and nothing is said but a woman decides to and she's lazy and a slob.
It's nobody's place to ask a woman about marriage or starting a family.
Relationships are hard, and hardly ever do you see someone who gets things right the first time. They take a good while, trial and error, and lots and lots of lessons learned. On top of that, pregnancy is a different beast. A woman is forced to put her body through so much for nine months, and often times, they're expected to go through this at least two or three times, "because you don't want to have just one kid and then something happen to it and it be too late for you to have another," or "you can't have just one, your kid will have 'only kid syndrome' and be lonely once you die, too." It never ends, there's always something to say. Not to mention, the many women who would love to have a child and can't. It's just insensitive, so leave the topics of marriage and kids alone.
Mansplaining and manterrupting only make you look like a jerk.
Mansplaining — a man explaining something to a woman in a condescending way — is one of the most obnoxious things I think I have ever experienced. Everybody would get angry at teachers in school who would talk down on them or treat them like they're stupid, so why would you do that to someone just because she's a woman? "Women don't usually like or understand this." You guys argue, "not ALL men!" OK, well, not all women. We're not little kids.
Manterrupting is like mansplaining in the fact that it's meant to disrespect a woman, but this is done by interrupting or hijacking a conversation just because you believe a woman doesn't belong in it or deserve to be involved, or even because you believe she's wrong or stupid.
No woman owes you just because you're nice to her.
Every guy likes to think he's a nice guy, and don't get me wrong, some are. Some certainly are not. Just because you're nice to a woman doesn't mean she owes you attention, her number, a relationship, or sex. You can be a decent person without thinking you have to have something in return. Chances are, if you have to tell people you're a nice guy, you're probably not as nice as you think.
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The deeply ingrained misogyny in today's society continues to negatively affect women in their everyday lives. These behaviors have just become commonplace in our day-to-day lives, such that to the point where some women are just taught to accept the degradation and condescending attitudes of the men around them. Any man is capable of being respectful of women without compromising his masculinity. In my opinion, it takes a real man to know how to treat others, and there is no exception for women. Make yourself aware of what you say and do and who it could be affecting.