Is there a single word that denotes the belief that women are or should be inferior to men? For example,

That ideology advocates murder, rape, slavery, homophobia, xenophobia and [insert the requested word here].

The word patriarchy comes to mind but I am not sure if it fits in the sentence above. I am also thinking of sexism, but it denotes prejudice based on sex, which, although in practice usually against women, can work both ways.

Any suggestions?

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    Patriarchy would not fit because the other words in the list show that you are searching for the negative meaning, while patriarchy would be too neutral or even positive to fit in the list. But you already got good answers in the mean time. – vsz Mar 14 '12 at 21:42
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    On the other hand..."I married beneath me. All women do." - Lady Astor. – Hexagon Tiling Mar 15 '12 at 11:39


  • Yes, that's perfect! – Armen Ծիրունյան Mar 14 '12 at 16:13
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    I was going to suggest misogyny but OP's op didn't seem to call for outright hatred of women. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 14 '12 at 16:22
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    J.R. True - both male chauvisnism and misogyny are very irrational. I'm still trying to think of a good way to state the difference. @cornbread ninja hit on something there. I think the main difference is that male chauvinism isn't as individual. Imagine one of the eras where male chauvinism reigned; it isn't necessarily the case that each individual hated women, merely that they were brought up to think that they were in every way inferior to men. So there could be (and have been) people who don't hate women, but simply believe that they are inferior. Misogyny is a case-by-case problem – Daniel Mar 14 '12 at 16:38
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    I think the distinction here is that misogyny is rooted in hatred which can lead to discrimination etc. While male chauvinism reflects a simple feeling of superiority as in, "we don't hate them, they're simply just not as good." – Jim Mar 14 '12 at 20:55
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    @Jim: The first sentence doesn't "only" ask about inferiority, it asks about "the belief that women are or should be inferior to men." I find that to be a misogynist world view. The belief that women are inferior is chauvinism; the belief that women should be inferior is misogyny. Just my opinion. – J.R. Mar 14 '12 at 23:58

Male chauvinism is the term I've heard for this:

Male chauvinism is a term used to describe the belief that men are superior to women. It is often used interchangeably with "sexism" and is closely associated with misogyny and perceptions of women as inferior to men, especially intellectually. The unqualified term "chauvinism" is far more likely to refer to a male chauvinism than female chauvinism in the context of chauvinism as sexism.

  • My apologies; I just had to exercise my shiny new editing privileges. :D – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 14 '12 at 16:16
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    Note that "chauvinism" can refer to any claim of arbitrary superiority. It was originally used in reference to the extreme (French) nationalism of Nicholas Chauvin, and for a time was understood to mean something like "extreme patriotism". It is occasionally used in other contexts today, but admittedly is now mostly used in the phrase "male chauvinism". – Jay Mar 14 '12 at 17:16
  • @Jay, agreed, I think the 'male' is necessary to make the 'chauvinism' more specific. – Paul Hutton Mar 14 '12 at 20:31

I suggest androcentrism.

centered on, emphasizing, or dominated by males or masculine interests: an androcentric society; an androcentric religion.

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    Why the downvote? – user11752 Mar 14 '12 at 17:24
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    A bit obscure, but probably best captures what the OP intended. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Mar 14 '12 at 19:00
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    @FrustratedWithFormsDesigner: I think androcentric can be used in a neutral way, without implying anything negative about women, or discriminating against the opposite sex. Obstetrics may be a gynocentric field, but that doesn't imply any kind of animosity toward men. Fraternities are androcentric; sororities are gynocentric. (BTW, Mark, just to clarify: it was not my downvote). – J.R. Mar 14 '12 at 20:28
  • @J.R.: I agree (it wasn't my downvote either), I think the OP wanted neutral and this is probably as neutral as they come. While some might find the meaning relatively easy to understand the first time they see it, it's not a very common word and might confuse many, especially non-native English speakers. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Mar 14 '12 at 20:30
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    @FrustratedWithFormsDesigner: Given that he was looking for a word to go at the end of "rape, slavery, homophobia, xenophobia, and _______," I didn't assume he was looking for a neutral word - in fact, I assumed the opposite. That said, androcentrism is indeed one fine neutral word, in case my assumption was erroneous. – J.R. Mar 14 '12 at 20:39

I believe the word you're looking for is "Sexism"

  • Not really. Sexism is a discrimination against any individual, not just women, because of their sex. Not necessarily because of any perceived inferiority. – Chenmunka Mar 31 '15 at 12:24
  • Welcome to ELU, user115520. Please visit this page on how to write good answers. – ScotM Mar 31 '15 at 21:34

protected by tchrist Apr 4 '15 at 12:55

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