Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Misandry defined in other dictionaries

Or should I say, "Misandry defined in other dictionaries, assuming that word appears in the dictionary in the first place."

The motivation for this post stems from a substitute teaching assignment I had late last year. During my preparation period (where basically you get to hang out, for all you non-teachers out there -- this is also called a "prep" period), I got a chance to examine several dictionaries in order to compare the number of variants of the term misandry to its sister term misogyny (no pun intended). In all honesty, I think the former only appeared in one dictionary, at best. Unsurprisingly, the latter appeared in all of the dictionaries I examined, and adding insult to injury, variants such as "misogynist" and "misogynistic" appeared as well.

So that's one pet peeve I have about dictionaries, namely, unequal treatment of sexism directed at specific demographic groups. What's more, even if the word "misandry" does appear in a dictionary, it is not guaranteed that its definition will mirror that of misogyny. For example, there is at least one dictionary out there that simply defines "misandry" as the hatred of men, whereas when it defines "misogyny," that definition is hatred of women, esp. by men. My reaction to the latter definition is simple: only a bigot says that.

I mean, why do we even need the "esp. by men" part? Why can't the word "misogyny" be taken at face value (and I hope the staff member who scolded me at another substitute assignment read that last question)? When will the all-out scapegoating of males stop? When will the scapegoating of any demographic, for that matter, stop?

And most importantly, when will dictionaries open their (expletive deleted) eyes and treat "misandry" with the same seriousness as they treat "misogyny"? And no, saying that that's because misogyny has been around for thousands of years, is a cop-out. Thank you for rubbing it in my face.

1 comment:

Vince M said...

One other thing I noticed while I was writing this entry. I noted that all instances of the word "misandry" were underlined in red like a word that is misspelled. All instances of the word "misogyny," in contrast, were left alone.

Hmm... do you smelllll... what the double standard is cookin'?