“Misogyny in feminist theory
Traditional feminist theorists propose many different forms of misogyny. In its most overt expression, a misogynist will openly hate all women simply because they are female. Other forms of misogyny may be less overt. Some misogynists may simply be prejudiced against all women, or may hate women who do not fall into one or more acceptable categories. Entire cultures may be said to be misogynist if they treat women in ways that can be seen as harmful. Examples include forcing women to tend to all domestic responsibilities, not allowing women to take jobs outside the home, or beating women. Subscribers to one model, the mother/whore dichotomy, hold that women can only be “mothers” or “whores.” Another variant is the virgin/whore dichotomy, in which women who do not adhere to a saintly standard of moral purity (Abrahamic) are considered “whores”.
Frequently, the term misogynist is used in a looser sense as a term of derision to describe anyone who holds an unpopular or distasteful view about women as a group. A man who considers himself “a great lover of women,” therefore, might somewhat paradoxically be termed a misogynist by those who consider his treatment of women sexist, such as sex-negative feminists. Archetypes of this type of man might be Giacomo Casanova and Don Juan, who were both reputed for their many libertine affairs with women.
Misogyny is a negative attitude towards women as a group, and so need not fully determine a misogynist’s attitude towards each individual woman. The fact that someone holds misogynist views may not prevent him or her from having positive relationships with some women. Conversely, simply having negative relationships with some women does not necessarily mean someone holds misogynistic views. The term, like most negative descriptions of attitudes, is used as an epithet and applied to a wide variety of behaviors and attitudes. As with other terms, the more antipathetic one’s position is in regards to misogyny, the larger the number of misogynists and the greater variety of attitudes and behaviors who fall into one’s perception of “misogynist”. This is, of course, the subject of much controversy and debate with opinions ranging widely as to the extent and breadth of misogyny in society.
Feminist theorist Marilyn Frye argues that misogyny is phallocentric and homoerotic at its root. In Politics of Reality , Fyre analyzes the alleged misogyny characteristic of the fiction and Christian apologetics of C.S. Lewis. Frye argues that such misogyny privileges the masculine as a subject of erotic attention. She compares the misogyny characteristic of Lewis’ ideal of gender relations to underground male prostitution rings, which share the same quality of men seeking to dominate subjects seen as less likely to take on submissive roles by a patriarchal society, but in both cases doing so as a theatrical mockery of women.”
Is any of this applicable to current American politics? Birth Control? Abortion?
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Lashes Out Against Sexism in Blistering Video