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Misandry

[mis-an-dree]

Misandry (IPA [mɪ.ˈsæn.dri]) is hatred (or contempt) of men or boys. Misandry is parallel to misogyny—the hatred of women. Misandry is also comparable with misanthropy which is the hatred of humanity generally. Misandry (μισανδρία) comes from Greek misos (μῖσος, "hatred") and anēr, andros (ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός; "man").

Misandry in literature

Misandry in ancient Greek literature

Classics professor Froma Zeitlin of Princeton University discussed misandry in her article titled "Patterns of Gender in Aeschylean Drama: Seven against Thebes and the Danaid Trilogy." She writes:

The most significant point of contact, however, between Eteocles and the suppliant Danaids is, in fact, their extreme positions with regard to the opposite sex: the misogyny of Eteocles’ outburst against all women of whatever variety (Se. 181-202) has its counterpart in the seeming misandry of the Danaids, who although opposed to their Egyptian cousins in particular (marriage with them is incestuous, they are violent men) often extend their objections to include the race of males as a whole and view their cause as a passionate contest between the sexes(cf. Su. 29, 393, 487, 818, 951).

Misandry and literary criticism

In his book, Gender and Judaism: The transformation of tradition, Harry Brod, a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Northern Iowa, writes:
In the introduction to The Great Comic Book Heroes, Jules Feiffer writes that this is Superman's joke on the rest of us. Clark is Superman's vision of what other men are really like. We are scared, incompetent, and powerless, particularly around women. Though Feiffer took the joke good-naturedly, his misandry embodied the Clark and his misogyny in his wish that Lois be enamored of Clark (much like Oberon takes out hostility toward Titania by having her fall in love with an ass in Shakespeare's Midsummer-Night's Dream).

Julie Thompson connects misandry with envy of men, in particular "penis envy", a term coined by Sigmund Freud in 1908, in his theory of female sexual development.Kate Millet proposes a much broader social envy, that involves the penis only by association. "Confronted with so much concrete evidence of the male's superior status, sensing on all sides the depreciation in which they are held, girls envy not the penis, but only what the penis gives one social pretensions to.

Misandry and pop-feminism

In My Enemy, My Love (1992), Judith Levine classifies these stereotypes of men as targets of women's misandry within intimate relationships:

  • Infants: the Mama's Boy, the Babbler, the Bumbler and the Invalid
  • Betrayers: the Seducer, the Slave, the Abandoner and the Abductor
  • Beasts: the Brute, the Pet, the Pervert, the Prick and the Killer

Valerie Solanas, a schizophrenic and radical feminist, provides an example of misandry in her screed SCUM Manifesto:

Conservative discourse on misandry

Christina Hoff Sommers, a conservative commentator, argues that feminism has a 'corrosive paradox' and that no group of women can wage war on men without at the same time denigrating the women who respect those men.

Wendy McElroy, a Fox News commentator, argues that some feminists "have redefined the view of the movement of the opposite sex" as "a hot anger toward men seems to have turned into a cold hatred." She argues that men as a class are considered irreformable, all men are considered rapists, and marriage, rape and prostitution are seen as the same. She says "a new ideology has come to the forefront... radical or gender, feminism", one that has "joined hands with [the] political correctness movement that condemns the panorama of western civilization as sexist and racist: the product of 'dead white males.'" Conservative pundit Charlotte Hays argues "that the anti-male philosophy of radical feminism has filtered into the culture at large — is incontestable; indeed, this attitude has become so pervasive that we hardly notice it any longer.

Analogies to other forms of bigotry

Masculist writer and frequent speaker at the Cato Institute Warren Farrell compares dehumanizing stereotyping of men to dehumanization of the Vietnamese as "gooks."

Religious Studies professors, Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young make similar comparisons in their ambitious three-book series Beyond The Fall Of Man, which treats misandry as a form of prejudice and discrimination that has become institutionalized in North American society. Nathanson and Young credit "ideological feminism" for imposing misandry on culture. Their book Spreading Misandry (2001) analyzes "pop cultural artifacts and productions from the 1990s" from movies to greeting cards for what they consider contains pervasive messages of hatred toward men. Legalizing Misandry (2005) the second in the series, gives similar attention to laws in North America.

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