Misogyny… Capture the Flag

In a world of possibilities there is truth that labels confine. However we can observe a patterned behavior, identify it and release its grip. In identifying the root cause (without shame/blame) we can eradicate the behavior that stems from a latent condition.

The condition may often be the result of a relationship with a parent. This can drive the relationship with a partner and hinder relationships that encompass intimacy. If there has been an adverse gender related experience this can create a division between a man and a woman. It makes no difference if it’s a feminists or misogynist in each case, left unresolved the behavior builds a wall between intimacy and the availability to share love with the opposite sex.

In moving forward, the healing process begins with REAL honesty. Begin with ourselves, then share it with others. Our greatest healing exists when we examine our greatest vulnerabilities. Begin by looking objectively at our history, without getting side tracked by emotions of past traumas. Then take an honest look at the “man in the mirror”. This is where clarity begins as we move towards forgiveness. Forgive others, for what they did or didn’t do. Then forgive ourselves, for all we have done and didn’t do. A good indicator of where we need to focus on this honesty and forgiveness is exactly where we cast the blame. For every time we point a finger, three are pointing back at us.

How would you know if you’re in a relationship with a misogynist? A common indicator is his relationship with his mother. Are healthy boundaries in place? Is he over committed or over obligating or indifferent towards his mother? The bottom line is good or bad, is this relationship out of balance? Left unresolved the relationship with his mother will likely replicate itself in female relationships.

Understand many of these men had mothers and/or women in roles that managed limited or controlled their environment. From childhood to adulthood, when faced with these scenarios, the boy did not have the resources or the freedom to stand up so they learned to act out, medicate or redirect their suppressed aggression. Then 20 years later (give or take) along comes a woman hoping to build a partnership and off the races we go; the cycle is replayed over and over again. Often the wall that has been constructed will not allow the boy now man to be available; he won’t allow himself to trust or become vulnerable.

Misogyny defined Greek miso, to hate, and gyne, for woman, translates into “woman hater”. Today we see a growing epidemic of males with resentment towards women. Perhaps this epidemic was spawn from the onset single mothers of the 60’s 70′s & 80′s who attempted to shoulder the responsibility of duel parenting. These once young boys may be at greater risk given the differences in female vs. male parenting. A mother (the nurturer) attempts to keep her (children) son out of harms way; therefore mom has hard time allowing her son to be a boy by wandering and exploring. Instead she may covet her son rather than trusting “the elements” (falling down so he learn to get up) to help train the child, over protection in sheltering boys in general may later result in forms of rebellion which may likely be directed towards women.

A father often enhances a son’s development by fostering independence rather than becoming overly concerned about safety. Consider another family scene, a full time father out earning a living is not as available as the stay at home mother who then tends to “her” flock. Perhaps the young boy does not realize the sacrifice both the father and the mother have made and he delves an unrealistic view of the family dynamic, he sees it as limiting and hard. In this out of balance family scenario resentment is created and from that the devaluation of women and misunderstanding of action begins. Essentially these boys often become men who have underlying feelings of superiority over women. They do not value or appreciate the feminine intuition or mind. There is little doubt this creates barriers to building trust or becoming committed in their present day relationships.

There are different layers of misogyny that can be camouflaged until triggered then exposure occurs in relationships at work, home or with their partner. One may think that the last place you would expect to find a modern day misogynist is in a loving, committed relationship. Since committed relationships are built on trust and respect, the question becomes how can someone who loves and respects you be a misogynist? The answer is in limited quantity. In truth is that many misogynists are in monogamous relationships. While they may enjoy you they often do not like you, beyond the pieces of you that they find enjoyable. This is a huge barrier to intimacy (beyond sex) and full on commitment. Keep in mind this is not to assign blame only to understand a root cause as a condition created from childhood or experiences that can be redefined.

So the question is can you move forward as a couple and bridge this gap. Can a partner help to facilitate the healing of the (parent) relationship; the answer is yes!… But only if HE is open to do the work and rid himself of these weighted patterns. With the gift of an encouraging partner and the courage within he may very well become liberated from patterns of the past.

For all of us as human beings lets look at the quality of the relationships we have with the people in our lives. How we communicate is an indicator of the consideration we extend towards others. Consider that it is in how we communicate about someone that IS actually how we view them and relate to our relationship with them. Our words are both powerful indicators of our actions & inaction.’

TO determine if you are misogynists…. or dating/loving misogynists… consider the following questions;
Are the women in his (your) world valued as his (your) equals.
Are women physical creatures to satisfy his (your) desires?
Are women people with legitimate feelings that matter to him (you)?
Do they (you) prefer women in limited doses?
Do women warrant the same regard as men?
Does he (you) like women?
Is there an agenda/ulterior motive in his (your) female relations?

Written By: Patricia Bonelli Matt Jackson & Lauren Ranes

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