Male chauvinism is the belief that men are inherently superior to women. Many people consider male chauvinism to be a sexist and misogynistic belief system. Male chauvinists are defined as men who hold fixed and maintained opinions of male superiority.
The phrase male chauvinism is a derivative of the original concept of chauvinism, named for Nicolas Chauvin. Chauvin was a French soldier from the late 1700s. Supposedly, the Frenchman enlisted at a young age and was sent to fight. He continued to fight for his nation despite facing repeated injuries and ridicule. Although he suffered greatly for his beliefs, Chauvin was steadfast in his nationalism. His fervent, passionate patriotism eventually became immortalized by the term chauvinism.
Since Chauvin's time, the word chauvinism has evolved. It no longer necessarily reflects intense nationalism. Instead, a chauvinist is said to be someone who very strongly holds a belief, usually one of a bigoted nature. This is why, nowadays, chauvinism is almost always used in reference to male chauvinism. Male chauvinists' steadfast beliefs of male superiority are often compared to Chauvin's beliefs about his beloved France. Both ideologies are held despite the ridicule or disdain that may those who hold them may have to face.