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Misandry (/mɪsˈændri/) is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys.[1][2]

Men's rights activists (MRAs) and other masculinist groups have characterized modern laws concerning divorce, domestic violence, conscription, circumcision (known as male genital mutilation by opponents), and treatment of male rape victims as examples of institutional misandry.

In the Internet Age, users posting on manosphere internet forums such as 4chan and subreddits addressing men's rights activism have claimed that misandry is widespread, established in preferential treatment of women, and shown by discrimination against men.[3][4] This viewpoint is denied by most sociologists, anthropologists and scholars of gender studies, who counter that misandry is not a cultural institution and not equivalent in scope to misogyny, which is both far more deeply rooted in society and more severe in its consequences.[5][3][6] The false idea that misandry is commonplace among feminists is so widespread that it has been called the "misandry myth" by 40 topic experts.[7]

Many scholars criticize MRAs for promoting a false equivalence between misandry and misogyny,[8]: 132 [9][10] arguing that modern activism around misandry represents an antifeminist backlash, promoted by marginalized men.[9][11][12][13][14]


Misandry is formed from the Greek misos (μῖσος 'hatred') and anēr, andros (ἀνήρ, gen. ἀνδρός 'man').[15] "Misandrous" or "misandrist" can be used as adjectival forms of the word.[16] Use of the word can be found as far back as the 19th century, including an 1871 use in The Spectator magazine.[17] It appeared in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) in 1952. Translation of the French misandrie to the German Männerhass (Hatred of Men)[18] is recorded in 1803.[19]

A term with a similar but distinct meaning is androphobia, which describes a fear, but not necessarily hatred, of men.[20][better source needed] Anthropologist David D. Gilmore coined the term "viriphobia" in line with his view that misandry typically targets machismo, "the obnoxious manly pose", along with the oppressive male roles of patriarchy. Gilmore says that misandry is not the hatred of men as men; this kind of loathing is present only in misogyny which is the hatred of women as women.[5]


The term misandry started to be used in men's rights literature and academic literature on structural prejudice in the early 1980s. It has been used on the internet such as usenet, and blogs since at least 1989.[9]: 9  Usage of the term misandry in the internet age is an outgrowth of antifeminism and misogyny.[9]: 543–559  The term is commonly used in the manosphere,[9]: 4  such as on men's rights discussion forums on websites such as 4chan and reddit, to counter feminist accusations of misogyny.[10][4][21] The critique and parody of the concept of misandry by feminist bloggers has been reported on in periodicals such as The Guardian, Slate and Time[9]: 11 [22].


Men's rights activists (MRAs) and other masculinist groups have criticized modern laws concerning divorce, domestic violence, the draft, circumcision (known as genital mutilation by opponents), and treatment of male rape victims as examples of institutional misandry.[3][23] MRAs invoke the idea of misandry in warning against what they see as the advance of a female-dominated society.[24] The word misandry forms a core part of the vocabulary of manosphere online spaces. The use of this term in the manosphere provides justification for harassment of people espousing feminist ideas by online groups, citing Gamergate as an example.[9]: 2  Arguments based on the concept of misandry are used by the men's rights movement to counter feminist accusations of misogyny.[21] Proposed examples of misandry include social problems that lead to men's shorter lifespans, higher suicide rates, requirements to participate in military drafts, and lack of tax benefits afforded to widowers compared to widows.[3]

The activist Warren Farrell argues that men's rights publications are censored online and it is difficult to publish books on the topic compared to feminist issues.[25]: 91  He argues that men are often socially rejected for expressing feelings, while at the same time being blamed for not doing so.[25]: 90  He argues that there is gender bias, reinforced by feminism, of who is considered to deserve protection and who is held accountable for problems with women tending to be seen as both unaccountable while needing protection, arguing that this needs to change to remove gender roles.[25]: 104  In response, philosopher James P. Sterba argues that women may have been excluded from dangerous professions such as the military to protect male status, citing the example of Eritrean–Ethiopian War where he argues women gained status in society by virtue of fighting in the war and contrasting it with Israel where he says that women's exclusion from military national service and the military in general diminishes their status and as a result their influence in politics.[25]: 139 

Sociologist Michael Kimmel states that claiming an equivalence between misogyny and misandry is "utterly tendentious".[26] Marc A. Ouellette argues in International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities that "misandry lacks the systemic, transhistoric, institutionalized, and legislated antipathy of misogyny"; in his view, assuming a parallel between misogyny and misandry overly simplifies relations of gender and power.[3] Anthropologist David Gilmore argues that misogyny is a "near-universal phenomenon" and that there is no male equivalent to misogyny.[5] He argues that misandry is "different from the intensely ad feminam aspect of misogyny that targets women no matter what they believe or do".[5]

Farrell writes that portrayals of men in popular culture as absent, insensitive, or abusive, as well as a legal process that discriminates against men in divorce proceedings, or in cases of domestic or sexual violence where the victim is a man, are examples of misandry.[27][unbalanced opinion?] Religious studies professors Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young describe misandry as a "form of prejudice and discrimination that has become institutionalized in North American society", writing, "The same problem that long prevented mutual respect between Jews and Christians, the teaching of contempt, now prevents mutual respect between men and women."[28][unbalanced opinion?] Kimmel writes that much of the misandry identified by Nathanson and Young is actually the result of patriarchy.[8]: 132  Kimmel condemns Nathanson and Young for their "selective, simplistic, and shallow" interpretations of sexism in film and fiction, writing that the "bad history" produced by Nathanson and Young should only be used as an indicator of how the "male studies enterprise" operates.[8]: 84 

The popularization of the term "misandry" by online men's rights activists has been examined by information policy scholars Alice Marwick and Robyn Caplan. They characterized men's rights activists' use of the term "misandry", which is similar to the term "misogyny", as an appropriation of the victim's language. Marwick and Caplan criticize the use of the term "misandry" as a synonym for "man-hating", suggesting that it may reinforce the men's rights activist paradigm.[9]


Misandry can be racialized.[3] According to some researchers in Black male studies such as Tommy J. Curry, Black men and boys face anti-Black misandry.[29][30][31][32] E. C. Krell, a gender researcher, uses the term racialized transmisandry describing the experience of Black transmasculine people.[33][34]

Psychological studies

Glick and Fiske developed psychometric constructs to measure the attitudes of individuals towards men in their Ambivalence toward Men Inventory, AMI, which includes a factor Hostility toward Men. These metrics were based on a small group discussion with women which identified factors, these number of questions were then reduced using statistical methods. Hostility toward Men was split into three factors: Resentment of Paternalism, the belief men supported male power, Compensatory Gender Differentiation, the belief that men were supported by women and Heterosexual Hostility, which looked at beliefs that men were likely to engage in hostile actions.[26] The combined construct, Hostility toward Men, was found to be inversely correlated with measures of gender equality when comparing difference countries[35] and in a study with university students, self-describing feminists were found to have a lower score.[36]

In literature

Ancient Greek literature

Classics professor Froma Zeitlin of Princeton University discussed misandry in her article titled "Patterns of Gender in Aeschylean Drama: Seven against Thebes and the Danaid Trilogy".[37] She writes:

The most significant point of contact, however, between Eteocles and the suppliant Danaids is, in fact, their extreme positions with regard to the opposite sex: the misogyny of Eteocles' outburst against all women of whatever variety has its counterpart in the seeming misandry of the Danaids, who although opposed to their Egyptian cousins in particular (marriage with them is incestuous, they are violent men) often extend their objections to include the race of males as a whole and view their cause as a passionate contest between the sexes.[37]


Literary critic Harold Bloom argued that even though the word misandry is relatively unheard of in literature, it is not hard to find implicit, even explicit, misandry. In reference to the works of Shakespeare, Bloom argued:[38]

I cannot think of one instance of misogyny whereas I would argue that misandry is a strong element. Shakespeare makes perfectly clear that women in general have to marry down and that men are narcissistic and not to be trusted and so forth. On the whole, he gives us a darker vision of human males than human females.

Modern literature

Sociologist Anthony Synnott argues that there is a tendency in literature to represent men as villains and women as victims and argues that there is a market for "anti-male" novels with no corresponding "anti-female" market, citing The Women's Room, by Marilyn French, and The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. He gives examples of comparisons of men to Nazi prison guards as a common theme in literature.[39]: 156 

Racialized misandry occurs in both "high" and "low" culture and literature. For instance, African-American men have often been disparagingly portrayed as either infantile or as eroticized and hyper-masculine, depending on prevailing cultural stereotypes.[3]

Julie M. Thompson, a feminist author, connects misandry with envy of men, in particular "penis envy", a term coined by Sigmund Freud in 1908, in his theory of female sexual development.[40] Nancy Kang has discussed "the misandric impulse" in relation to the works of Toni Morrison.[41]

In his book, Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition, Harry Brod, a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Northern Iowa, writes:[42]

In the introduction to The Great Comic Book Heroes, Jules Feiffer writes that this is Superman's joke on the rest of us. Clark is Superman's vision of what other men are really like. We are scared, incompetent, and powerless, particularly around women. Though Feiffer took the joke good-naturedly, a more cynical response would see here the Kryptonian's misanthropy, his misandry embodied in Clark and his misogyny in his wish that Lois be enamored of Clark (much like Oberon takes out hostility toward Titania by having her fall in love with an ass in Shakespeare's Midsummer-Night's Dream).

In 2020, the explicitly misandric essay Moi les hommes, je les déteste (I Hate Men) by the French writer Pauline Harmange caused controversy in France after a government official threatened its publisher with criminal prosecution.[43]

In feminism

Embroidery of Male tears
Entrepreneurs on Etsy sold embroidery parodying the concept of misandry.[22]

The role of misandry in feminism is controversial and has been debated both within and outside feminist movements. Opponents of feminism often argue that feminism is misandristic; citing examples such as opposition to shared parenting by NOW, or opposition to equal rape and domestic violence laws. The validity of these perceptions and of the concept has been claimed as promoting a false equivalence between misandry and misogyny.[8] Radical feminism has often been associated with misandry in the public consciousness. However, radical feminist arguments have also been misinterpreted, and individual radical feminists such as Valerie Solanas, best known for her near-fatal shooting of artist Andy Warhol in 1968, have historically had a higher profile in popular culture than within feminist scholarship.[44][45][failed verification]

Historian Alice Echols, in her 1989 book Daring To Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975, argued that Valerie Solanas displayed an extreme level of misandry in her tract the SCUM Manifesto, but wrote that it was not typical for radical feminists of the time. Echols stated: "Solanas's unabashed misandry—especially her belief in men's biological inferiority—her endorsement of relationships between 'independent women,' and her dismissal of sex as 'the refuge of the mindless' contravened the sort of radical feminism which prevailed in most women's groups across the country."[46] Echols also claims that, after Solanas shot Warhol, the SCUM Manifesto became more popular within radical feminism; but not all radical feminists shared her beliefs.[46] For example, radical feminist Andrea Dworkin criticized the biological determinist strand in radical feminism that, in 1977, she found "with increasing frequency in feminist circles" which echoed the views of Valerie Solanas that males are biologically inferior to women and violent by nature, requiring a gendercide to allow for the emergence of a "new Übermensch Womon".[47]

Melinda Kanner and Kristin J. Anderson argue that "man-hater feminist" represents the popular antifeminist myth which has no any scientific evidences, and it's rather the antifeminists who perhaps hate men.[48]

The author bell hooks conceptualized the issue of "man hating" during the early period of women's liberation as a reaction to patriarchal oppression and women who had bad experiences with men in non-feminist social movements. She also criticized separatist strands of feminism as "reactionary" for promoting the notion that men are inherently immoral, inferior, and unable to help end sexist oppression or benefit from feminism.[49][50] In Feminism is For Everybody, hooks laments the fact that feminists who critiqued anti-male bias in the early women's movement never gained mainstream media attention and that "our theoretical work critiquing the demonization of men as the enemy did not change the perspective of women who were anti-male." She has theorized previously that this demonization led to an unnecessary rift between the Men's movement and the Women's movement.[49]

Sociologist Anthony Synnott argues that certain forms of feminism present misandristic view of gender. He argues that men are presented as having power over others regardless of the actual power they possess[39]: 161  and that some feminists define the experience of being male inaccurately through writing on masculinity. He further argues that some forms of feminism create an in-group of women, simplifies the nuances of gender issues, demonizes those who are not feminists and legimitizes victimization by way of retributive justice.[39]: 162  Reviewing Synnott, Roman Kuhar argues that Synnott might not accurately represent the views of feminism, commenting that "whether it re-thinks men in a manner in which men have not been thought of in feminist theory, is another question."[51]

Sociologist Allan G. Johnson argues in The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal Legacy that accusations of man-hating have been used to put down feminists and to shift attention onto men, reinforcing a male-centered culture.[52] Johnson posits that culture offers no comparable anti-male ideology to misogyny and that "people often confuse men as individuals with men as a dominant and privileged category of people. Given the reality of women's oppression, male privilege, and men's enforcement of both, it's hardly surprising that every woman should have moments where she resents or even hates 'men.'"[52] [emphasis in original]

Religious scholars Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young argue that "ideological feminism" as opposed to "egalitarian feminism" has imposed misandry on culture.[53][undue weight?discuss] Their 2001 book, Spreading Misandry, analyzes "pop cultural artifacts and productions from the 1990s" from movies to greeting cards for what they consider to be pervasive messages of hatred toward men.[54] Legalizing Misandry (2005), the second in the series, gives similar attention to laws in North America.[55][undue weight?discuss] The methodology used by Nathanson and Young to research misandry has been criticized.[56]

Wendy McElroy, an individualist feminist,[57] argues that some feminists "have redefined the view of the movement of the opposite sex" as "a hot anger toward men [that] seems to have turned into a cold hatred".[58] She writes that it is misandrist to consider men as a class to be irreformable or rapists.[undue weight?discuss] Individualist feminist Cathy Young writes that neologisms using "man" as a derogatory prefix, including "mansplaining, manspreading, and manterrupting", are part of a "current cycle of misandry" within feminism.[59][undue weight?discuss]

A meta-analysis in 2023 published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly investigated the stereotype of feminists' attitudes to men and concluded that feminist views of men were no different to that of non-feminists or men towards men and titled the phenomenon the misandry myth - "We term the focal stereotype the misandry myth in light of the evidence that it is false and widespread, and discuss its implications for the movement."[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Misandry" at Oxford English Dictionary Online (ODO), Third Edition, June 2002. Accessed through library subscription on 25 July 2014. Earliest recorded use: 1885. Blackwood's Edinb. Mag, Sept. 289/1 No man whom she cared for had ever proposed to marry her. She could not account for it, and it was a growing source of bitterness, of misogyny as well as misandry.
  2. ^ "Misandry" at Merriam-Webster online ("First Known Use: circa 1909")
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Ouellette, Marc (2007). "Misandry". In Flood, Michael; et al. (eds.). International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities. Routledge. pp. 442–443. ISBN 978-1-1343-1707-3.
  4. ^ a b Riggio, Heidi R. (2020). "Online Sexism and Anti-Feminism Movements". Sex and Gender: A Biopsychological Approach. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-06630-2.
  5. ^ a b c d Gilmore, David G. (2001). Misogyny: The Male Malady. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 10–13. ISBN 978-0-8122-0032-4.
  6. ^ Ferguson, Frances; Bloch, R. Howard (1989). Misogyny, Misandry, and Misanthropy. University of California Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-520-06546-8.
  7. ^ a b Hopkins-Doyle, A.; Petterson, A. L.; Leach, S.; Zibell, H.; Chobthamkit, P.; et al. (7 November 2023). "The Misandry Myth: An Inaccurate Stereotype About Feminists' Attitudes Toward Men". Psychology of Women Quarterly. 48 (1): 8–37. doi:10.1177/03616843231202708.
  8. ^ a b c d Kimmel, Michael S. (5 November 2013). Angry white men : American masculinity at the end of an era. New York. ISBN 978-1-56858-696-0. OCLC 852681950.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Marwick, Alice E.; Caplan, Robyn (2018). "Drinking male tears: language, the manosphere, and networked harassment". Feminist Media Studies. 18 (4) (Online Misogyny ed.): 543–559. doi:10.1080/14680777.2018.1450568. S2CID 149246142.
  10. ^ a b Ging, Debbie; Siapera, Eugenia (July 2018). "Online Misogyny: Introduction". Feminist Media Studies. 18: 515–524. doi:10.1080/14680777.2018.1447345. S2CID 149613969.
  11. ^ Barker, Kim; Jurasz, Olga (2018). Online Misogyny as Hate Crime: A Challenge for Legal Regulation?. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-138-59037-3.
  12. ^ Berger, Michele Tracy; Radeloff, Cheryl (2014). Transforming Scholarship: Why Women's and Gender Studies Students Are Changing Themselves and the World. Taylor & Francis. pp. 128–129. ISBN 978-1-135-04519-7.
  13. ^ Sugiura, Lisa (2021). "Legitimising Misogyny". The Incel Rebellion: The Rise of the Manosphere and the Virtual War Against Women. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited. pp. 102–103. doi:10.1108/978-1-83982-254-420211008. ISBN 978-1-83982-254-4.
  14. ^ Lumsden, Karen (2019). "'I Want to Kill You in Front of Your Children' Is Not a Threat. It's an Expression of Desire': Discourses of Online Abuse, Trolling and Violence on r/MensRights". In Karen Lumsden; Emily Hamer (eds.). Online Othering: Exploring Digital Violence and Discrimination on the Web. Palgrave Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity. Springer. pp. 91–120. ISBN 978-3-030-12633-9.
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  16. ^ "Misandry". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
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  21. ^ a b Hodapp, Christa (2017). Men's Rights, Gender, and Social Media. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-1-4985-2617-3.
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  24. ^ Masequesmay, Gina (2008). "Sexism". In O′Brien, Jodi (ed.). Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, Volume 2. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications. p. 750. ISBN 978-1-4522-6602-2. Proponents for men's rights even conjure the notion of misandry or hatred of men as they fear a new world order or a return to matriarchy, a female-dominated society. Also see:
    Masequesmay, Gina (5 January 2024). "Sexism | Sexism and the men's movement". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  25. ^ a b c d Farrell, Warren; Sterba, James P. (2008). Does Feminism Discriminate Against Men?: A Debate. With Steven Svoboda. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531282-9.
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  28. ^ Nathanson & Young 2001, p. 6.
  29. ^ Bryan N. Remembering Tamir Rice and other Black boy victims: Imagining Black playcrit literacies inside and outside urban literacy education // Urban Education. — 2021. — V. 56. — №. 5. — pp. 744—771.
  30. ^ Curry T. J. Killing boogeymen: Phallicism and the misandric mischaracterizations of Black males in theory // Res Philosophica. — 2018 — pp. 13–21.
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  32. ^ Johnson T. H. Is Anti-Black Misandry the New Racism? // Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships. – 2022. – V. 8. – №. 4. – pp. 77–107.
  33. ^ Krell E. C. Is transmisogyny killing trans women of color? Black trans feminisms and the exigencies of white femininity // Transgender Studies Quarterly. – 2017. – V. 4. – №. 2. – pp. 226–242.
  34. ^ Martino W., Omercajic K. A trans pedagogy of refusal: interrogating cisgenderism, the limits of antinormativity and trans necropolitics // Pedagogy, Culture & Society. – 2021. – V. 29. – №. 5. – pp. 679–694
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  36. ^ Anderson, Kristin J.; Kanner, Melinda; Elsayegh, Nisreen (1 June 2009). "Are Feminists man Haters? Feminists' and Nonfeminists' Attitudes Toward Men". Psychology of Women Quarterly. 33 (2): 216–224. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2009.01491.x. ISSN 1471-6402. S2CID 144704304.
  37. ^ a b Zeitlin, Froma I. (1 April 1990). "Patterns of Gender in Aeschylean Drama: Seven against Thebes and the Danaid Trilogy". Cabinet of the Muses – Rosenmeyer Festschrift. Princeton University, paper given at the Department of Classics, University of California, Berkeley
  38. ^ Brockman, Elin Schoen (25 July 1999). "In the Battle Of the Sexes, This Word Is a Weapon". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 February 2024.
  39. ^ a b c Synnott, Anthony (2016). Re-Thinking Men: Heroes, Villains and Victims. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-06393-3.
  40. ^ Emphasis added. Thompson, Julie M. (2002). Mommy Queerest: Contemporary Rhetorics of Lesbian Maternal Identity. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 978-1-55849-355-1.
  41. ^ Kang, N. (2003). "To Love and Be Loved: Considering Black Masculinity and the Misandric Impulse in Toni Morrison's "Beloved"". Callaloo. 26 (3): 836–854. doi:10.1353/cal.2003.0092. JSTOR 3300729. S2CID 143786756.
  42. ^ Brod, Harry (1995). "19. Of Mice and Supermen: Images of Jewish Masculinity". In Rudavsky, Tamar (ed.). Gender and Judaism: The Transformation of Tradition. NYU Press. pp. 279–294. ISBN 978-0-8147-7453-3.
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  46. ^ a b Echols, Nicole (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 104–5. ISBN 978-0-8166-1786-9.
  47. ^ Dworkin, Andrea (Summer 1978). "Biological Superiority: The World's Most Dangerous and Deadly Idea" (PDF). Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics. No. 2. 2 (#6): 46. ISSN 0146-3411. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
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  52. ^ a b Johnson, Alan G. (2005). The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy (2, revised ed.). Temple University Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-59213-384-0.
  53. ^ Nathanson & Young 2001, p. xiv: "[ideological feminism,] one form of feminism—one that has had a great deal of influence, whether directly or indirectly, on both popular culture and elite culture—is profoundly misandric"
  54. ^ Nathanson & Young 2001, p. ix.
  55. ^ Nathanson, Paul; Young, Katherine K. (2006). Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. ISBN 978-0-7735-5999-8.
  56. ^ Jabir, Humera (14 January 2010). "McGill profs to testify against equal marriage". The McGill Daily. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  57. ^ "Wendy McElroy". The Independent Institute.
  58. ^ McElroy 2001, p. 5.
  59. ^ Young, Cathy (30 June 2016). "Feminists treat men badly. It's bad for feminism". The Washington Post.


Further reading

External links