What is Misogyny?


I have these thoughts and sometimes they become strong enough that I decide to write them down. I often wonder if everybody is like this–do you all talk to yourselves every waking moment as though you were two people and one is talking to the other?

In any case, I have been having this persistent thought about misogyny, since there is no avoiding the fact that I am female. We think of misogyny as being rooted in the visual. That men see women, see them as “objects” for their sexual gratification, and in the process, kill them a little. On the other hand, this phenomenon could also be interpreted as appreciation–and so the debate goes, on and on. Is it objectification or is it appreciation?

On one level, women, of course, want to be seen, want to be appreciated, visually, by men.  It’s complicated. But misogyny is about the ears, not the eyes.

Misogyny says, “I can’t hear you.”

It takes women’s communications and scrambles them, reduces them to noise. It is a blockade against hearing, in favor of seeing. Misogyny wants women to be mute. Corrects them when they do speak. Or willfully ignores what they have meant, even if it takes on board, scarcely, what they have said–the words.

It is a plague of deafness. It says, “I can’t hear you. I don’t want to hear you. You can’t possibly be saying anything important. Men say important things. Not women.”

It’s a denial of the very fact of a woman’s interior life. It never asks her any questions. It is not curious about her. It can’t hear her.





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