What does misogyny look like?

Clockwise from top left: Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, Sept. 8, 2018; Ana Maria Archila confronts Senator Jeff Flake, Sept. 28, 2018; Anita Hill at a news conference, Oct. 7, 1991; Representative Pat Schroeder announcing she would not seek the Democratic presidential nomination, Sept. 28, 1987.CreditClockwise from top left: Elsa/Getty Images; Jim Lo Scalzo, via EPA-EFE, via Shutterstock; Scott Andersen, via Associated Press; Aaron E. Tomlinson, via Associated Press.


The article traces the origin of the word “misogyny” and attempts to unpack the term’s loaded implications in a contemporary context. According to second-wave feminism, the prejudices that women face, such as in domestic violence, social inequality and healthcare, do not emerge from isolated interactions between individuals per se, but are argued to be systemic biases that have been deeply entrenched within society’s customs and traditions. In this way, society itself was thought to be structured as misogynistic, even if the individuals who inhabit it may not consciously act in misogynistic ways. Women’s issues have become more complex today, where women can occupy positions of power and yet societal inequalities against them remain. The article concludes with quotes that capture how the modern woman can still be oppressed if she behaves outside what society expects of her.

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