(Insert really catchy title on:) misogyny

I’d never intended to write about this here, but I do cherish clarity, as much as I sometimes don’t achieve it.

In the atheist community, for the past couple of years now (has it really been that long??), the term "misogyny" has been used with a good deal of frequency and a minimal deal of care. I won’t attempt to support or rebut its usage except to say that I’m unconvinced that it’s been applied accurately in every single case to which it was applied.

We all know the Greek. Hate + women. I recognize that the term doesn’t have to employ such a strict definition in order to apply to a person or situation. That said, though, I choose not to use the term myself unless I feel it comes as close to the Greek as it can since to use it for increasingly broader senses deflates the power of the word and diminishes the importance of the situations to which its more Greek definition could apply.

In some situations to which I’ve heard the word applied, words like "sexism" may have been more appropriate. Same with "misogynist" vs. "sexist." Thus, when an argument has erupted over someone being a "misogynist" or doing something "misogynistic," it’s never been that I’ve assumed something didn’t happen or someone wasn’t acting offensively; however, as I stated above, I’ve remained unconvinced that "misogyny" or "misogynist" was always the best word to use to describe the someone or something in question.

So when I say "misogyny" in quotes, it’s not that I doubt its existence, but rather that I doubt that its usage in both definition and scope are always accurate or appropriate.

I hope that clarifies a bit. If not, feel free to comment below.

2 Responses to “(Insert really catchy title on:) misogyny”

  1. Good concise post. I think that it is just used as a tool to disregard any valid points made. Much like “racist”, “bigot” or “religious” (we atheist use that one 🙂 Logical fallacies are a great way to avoid reasonable discussion.

    • Keep in mind, though, that I think there’s often at least a kernel of truth to a claim of “misogyny” as opposed to something like “bigotry,” which I think is even more carelessly used. Same with the careless use of “bullying.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: