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I came across the following sentence in New Yorker’s (February 23) article, titled “In Defense of Liz Lemon”:

“She behaves as if Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is her daddy. She doesn’t trust her own judgment, she’s bad at her job, and there’s something awfully misogynist about all this! Liz Lemon is pathetic.”

When I checked the word, misogynist on dictionaries at hand, OALD defines it as “a man who hates women.” CALD likewise defines it as “a man who hates women or believes that men are much better than women.”

But here it is used for Liz Lemon, a woman. Is misogynist used only for male as both OALD and CALD define, or for both sexes?

According to www. memidex com, misogyny derived from modern Latin, misogamia from Greek “misein” (to hate) + “gamos” (marriage). Then, what is Latin equivalent antonym to misogamy?

  • 2
    Your last question asks for an antonym to 'misogamy', which is not the same as 'misogyny', that is, hating marriage, not women. The antonym of m'misogamy' would then be 'loving marriage' which for a male would correspond most nearly to uxorious. – Mitch May 20 '12 at 17:32
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I'm afraid your etymology is incorrect: it comes from misein "to hate" and gunê "woman".

In your quotation, it is not Liz who's misogynist, but the story in which she figures, "all this": the script writer portrays her as a stupid woman, and the article is telling us that, by so doing, he is disparaging women in general, in an anti-feminist manner. It would have been less confusing if the writer of the article had removed the word "and" while adding a full stop after "her job": then it would have been clear that "misogynist" refers to all the preceding.

The antonym would probably be someone who likes women. That would be a philogynist (from phileô, "to like"), but I don't think that word exists. There is also a philanderer, a man who likes to court women a little too much. This word is a bit strange, since ander- comes from anêr, "man".

A man-hater would be a misandrist perhaps, or a misanderer—but I don't think those words exist either, or at least they are rarely used: it is just not an historically significant concept.

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    Misanderer isn't a word, but misandry gets 7600 hits in Google Books, and misandrist another 1000, so I don't think they're all that rare. And many people will know the andro component, if only through android (man-like automaton), or androgynous (having both male and female characteristics, hermaphrodite). Definitely not as popular as mysogyny. As a word, I mean - the sex-based antipathy could always have been just as common, but men might have just refused to let the word be used in polite society. Like Queen Victoria refusing to believe in lesbianism (I know that's a myth!) – FumbleFingers Feb 25 '12 at 2:37
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    Misanthrope ... – GEdgar Feb 25 '12 at 3:21
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    The OED records 'philogynist'. Its comment is ‘now rare’, but the most recent citation is dated 1997. It also records 'misandrist', with three citations from the twentieth century. 'Misanthrope', of course, is well established, but means something different. – Barrie England Feb 25 '12 at 7:21
  • The way it is used, it does very much seem like Lemon is the misogyner. But what the author is trying to say is that this man -- it's a movie, based on the two names being given -- doesn't like women, at least not this woman. He probably makes her feel inferior, like she can't measure up. This has caused her, on top of past insecurities and hurts, to become very unsure of herself, and possibly dangerous "clingy" (maybe not literally, but emotionally). (Pardon the flat adverb) – Arlen Beiler Jul 25 '12 at 18:19
  • This is the accepted answer, but it contains incorrect information — about the existence of misandrist (and perhaps implicitly of misandry). Shouldn't it be edited to correct that? – SQB May 4 '18 at 9:39
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You've misconstrued the etymology of misogyny - it's Gr. miso (I hate) + gyne (woman). It's only applicable to "woman-haters".

The equivalent for "man-hating" is misandry. Hence misandrist n., one who hates men, a man-hater (esp. in feminist usage).

I also think you've been misled by the conventional assumption that all misogynists must be men. It seems to me your correspondent is suggesting that Liz Lemon's inability to trust her own judgement, etc., is being portrayed as a manifestation of her (Lemon's) misogyny. She doesn't trust herself because she's a woman. But the logic is confused because Liz Lemon is a fictional creation. It probably makes more sense, as Cerberus says, to lay the misogyny on the script-writer rather than the character.

  • Or misanthropist for someone who hates all people, regardless of sex. – John Lawler Feb 25 '12 at 2:16
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    Yeah, I don't think "misogynist" refers to her at all: it refers to "all this", and the conjunction "and" is just wrong. – Cerberus Feb 25 '12 at 2:26
  • @Cerberus: I often get confused when people discuss the "philosophy" of fictional characters - they don't really exist independently of the people who write them, in most cases. Possibly Lemon's lack of self-confidence is "closet (self-)misogyny", if we treat her as "real". But I suppose you're right that if she's bad at her job too, that's probably the misogynistic writer showing through. – FumbleFingers Feb 25 '12 at 2:44
  • @John Lawler: I must admit I always thought misanthropist was the real "English" version, and misanthrope was only used by people who wanted to show off their familiarity with Molière. But both OED and Google Books agree misanthrope is more common – FumbleFingers Feb 25 '12 at 3:59
  • In feminist theory, they talk about "internalised misogyny", when they mean women not trusting themselves because they are women. Depending on the context, this could refer either to the writer intentionally writing Lemon as having internalised misogyny, or the writer themselves being misogynist. Since, in fact, the principal writer of 30 Rock is Tina Fey, the actress that plays Liz Lemon, I'd suggest the former interpretation. – Richard Gadsden Apr 25 '14 at 21:26
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For one thing, note the "all this" in "awfully misogynist about all this".

The word is used in reference to the situation/ state of things -- not to Liz at all. So there's no issue about gender.

  • It seems that my confusion started from taking “misogynist” for a noun as “misogynistic person” from the suffix, -ist, which led me easily associate it with Liz Lemon. – Yoichi Oishi Feb 28 '12 at 1:11
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Etymology and Definition

The literal meaning of misogyny is "hatred of women". As others have pointed out, your source has the etymology incorrect. Its parts come from miséō, "I hate", and gunḗ, "woman".

You may recognise the first part from misanthrope, someone who hates people. You can find the second part in words like gynaecologist. Queen shares the same root.

While OALD and CALD define it to mean a man who hates women, nothing in its parts prescribe the hater to be a man. And indeed, Merriam–Webster omits this requirement.

Interpretation

A definition that does not assume the gender of the hater could allow an interpretation where Liz Lemon is (a) misogynist. Internalised oppression and self-hatred would surely make this possible.

However, a more likely interpretation involves "all this". It's "all this", the show in general and how Liz Lemon's character is written in particular, that is misogynist. How her character behaves is based on misogynistic ideas (of the writer).

Antonyms

There are two parts that we can reverse to arrive at an antonym. If we reverse the hatred, we get philogyny, "a fondness of women" according to Merriam–Webster.

If we focus on the second part, we get misandry, "a hatred of men" according to Merriam–Webster.

Both antonyms are used much less, which we see if we look at the N-grams for misogyny vs. philogyny and for misogyny vs. misandry.

protected by Mitch Mar 16 '16 at 3:07

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