Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒɪni/) is hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women. It is a form of sexism that is used to keep women at a lower social status than men, thus maintaining the societal roles of patriarchy. Misogyny has been widely practiced for thousands of years. It is reflected in art, literature, human societal structure, historical events, mythology, philosophy, and religion worldwide.

Swetnam the Woman-Hater, printed in 1620. The work is credited with originating the English term misogyny.

An example of misogyny is violence against women, which includes domestic violence and, in its most extreme forms, misogynist terrorism and femicide. Misogyny also often operates through sexual harassment, coercion, and psychological techniques aimed at controlling women, and by legally or socially excluding women from full citizenship. In some cases, misogyny rewards women for accepting an inferior status.

Misogyny can be understood both as an attitude held by individuals, primarily by men, and as a widespread cultural custom or system.

In feminist thought, misogyny also includes the rejection of feminine qualities. It holds in contempt institutions, work, hobbies, or habits associated with women. It rejects any aspects of men that are seen as feminine or unmanly. Misogyny may or may not include hate towards LGBT people, in the forms of homophobia and transmisogyny. Racism and other prejudices may reinforce and overlap with misogyny.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the English word "misogyny" was coined in the middle of the 17th century from the Greek misos ‘hatred’ + gunē ‘woman’.[1] The word was rarely used until it was popularised by second-wave feminism in the 1970s.

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