First off, do you know what a misogynist is? Basically it is a man who dislikes women. He is not gay. He just doesn’t like women. Often they are hard to detect because that deep feeling is cosmetically covered or deeply rooted in his subconscious. In either case the negative behavior that emanates from this dislike is hurtful and destructive in relationships – especially in a marriage.
The roots of misogynism grow deep and have been reflected in policy and behavior over the course of history. Even St. Paul has been charged with being a misogynist, particularly in his Epistle writings in 1 Timothy and I Corinthians. In these Epistles he spoke of how women were created second, sinned first, and should keep silence. Google St. Paul if you are further interested in understanding why he has been characterized as such by some writers.
Religious, political, and business practices have often reflected misogynistic leanings. Examples would be that women cannot be Catholic priests; women were not allowed to vote; women were held back from responsible business positions.
At a more personal level, in my practice I frequently come across misogynistic men. One of my first encounters was meeting with a mean spirited, yet superficially charming, misogynist many years ago. My first clue was that he called his mother by her first name when he talked with me about her. This distancing away from the title “Mom” or “Mother” was indicative of the hostility he had for her. Part of the reason for this was that she and her husband sent him off to boarding school at a young age. (I do not believe that kids should go to boarding schools. The academic and discipline gains are usually developed at the expense of emotional growth and capacity for intimacy in relationships. There are exceptions to this rule, rare to be sure.)
This man married twice, divorced twice. He married “pleaser” type women who were beguiled by his charm and take charge manner. Once the dust had settled on the marriage papers he turned into a mean, angry, and controlling husband. I told him that if he didn’t do the necessary therapy to get rid of this misogynistic core he was going to end up as a lonely old man. He didn’t like that message and “shot the messenger”.
A woman perhaps could do a better job of due diligence to see if there are any misogynistic leanings in a man she aspires to marry – or perhaps is married to. What was, and is, his relationship with his mother? How does he speak to and about her. That relationship has been very instrumental in forming his attitude toward and defense from women who get too close to him emotionally.
(P.S. For those who wonder what a woman who dislikes men is called. The answer is misandrist. I don’t think I want to be in the same room when a misogynist and misandrist lock horns!)
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates