Ptgymatic's picture
Submitted by Ptgymatic on Mon, 2009-09-14 13:53

What is the philosophical meaning of misogynism? Is it just a personal preference, like chocolate over vanilla? Is it an objectively valid generalization about the relative moral significance of women versus men? Is it compatible with Objectivism?

Linz's recent blatant misogynistic statement, under the "Courtly Heroes" thread, is as strong an avowal of fundamental, moral opposition to women as one could make. I've seen references to others of his statements of similar import.

One's first thought is that, as a homosexual, Linz has no "use" for women. On top of that is the undeniable fact that, statistically, women are less hard-headed, less serious in their intellectual lives.

That women tend to neglect their intellectual potential is very, very regrettable, and dealing with such people (men and women of that sort) is a problem for all of us.. Perhaps there are other motivations for Linz's own misogynism, I do not assume I know him well enough to say.

But Linz's statement and attitudes are just the occasion, not the subject of this thread. I want to explore the philosophical implications of misogynism.

Misogynism is wrong because it is misanthropic. In all essential respects, women are as much particulars of mankind as men are. Women are rational animals, with the capacity for all the virtues men are capable of. Even if physical strength were to be a primary virtue, it could only be said that women were less strong than men, not that they have no strength.

Virtues are not a matter of competition. One man's greater productivity does not discredit another man's productivity. Life, and the virtues of the individual, are fully real in women.

How large a fault is it to be misogynistic? It implies that life itself is not appreciated, that human virtues are real only for those who are at the highest level, and that there is an essential conflict among men: between men and women. As such, it is a very great fault, a fatal flaw for an Objectivist.

I invite other interpretations of the significance of misogynism for one's philosophy and sense of life.


( categories: )

The Sheesh #3

Olivia's picture

I just caught up with this because I linked to it.

Your bile gives homosexuality a bad name, Linz.

I think, Mindy, that Linz is waaaaaaaay past caring about homosexuality having a bad name, especially on his account. He hasn't exactly made his mark on the world by fighting for gay rights.

If anything, your cliched bullets of gratuitous psychobabble give women, yes even "mature, married ones with children" an infinitely insufferable name.


Ross Elliot's picture

...I answered the *serious* part of Mindy's question. You can speak for yourself. And you have.

Sheesh x 2.

Of course...

Ross Elliot's picture

...and it was Eve who ate the apple.

The frustration inherent in anti-capitalistic Islamic society is expressed, partly, in the subjugation of women, and violence.

Ross on the Virgin Mary

Ptgymatic's picture

That made me think, Ross. Would Mary have been venerated if she had conceived in the carnal way? Isn't the "immaculateness" of her pregnancy a key part of her importance? And doesn't that express a certain misogyny?

Just a thought.


Plagiarizing Toohey?

Ptgymatic's picture

Sheesh, it was only a joke? Humour is actually funny. Glee at vandalizing an opponent's property is not humor, or have you lost sight of the difference?

Take the insults in your post. Question is, which is more offensive, your facetious terms of endearment or your efforts at intellectual intimidation, or your misogynistic retort?

Malevolence cannot be defended as "passion." Abuse is a sign of impotence. Intellectual intimidation is the refuge of the ideologically desperate. The patronization of inappropriate terms of endearment are a further intimidation, and a sign of simply being at a loss to redress a problem.

Your bile gives homosexuality a bad name, Linz.


Mindy, darling ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Ever heard of humour? Did it enter your head this might be mock-misogyny? If I were truly a misogynist, would I hero-worship the likes of Rand, Moffo and Callas the way I do?

Do try to keep up, even if you are having your period.

Same goes for you, Ross.



Ross Elliot's picture

...is wrong because it's *collectivist*.

Like racism, it blurs the individual into the collective. Its most virulent expression is found in religion, particularly Islam, where it is a central idea: the Saudi Mutaween--the religious police--beating women in shopping malls because an errant hair escapes from their hijab, or the power of a husband to divorce his wife simply by saying, "I divorce you". Also in the Catholic Church where Mary is venerated, yet women are denied entry into the priesthood. You'd only have to draw a short bow to suggest that this is the basis for both the sexual repression and deviancy of that church.

Objectivism is not misogynistic. That's a contradiction in terms; actually, in essentials.

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