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Gutted to discover that my BF is a misogynist.

(57 Posts)
YouAreMyRain Sun 08-Dec-13 21:44:07

He believes that women who do manual work should be paid less as they tend to be given the easier jobs which are less physically demanding.

He thinks that life/business/politics is now a completely level playing field for women. I pointed out the lack of female world leaders compared to men, his response is that it is due to less women aspiring to be prime minister etc.

I also pointed out that business done eg on the golf course excludes women. He thinks that women should take up golf.

I have accidentally had a baby with this man. I am beyond gutted, I am devastated. I'm not sure I can continue in this relationship now hmm

Vatta Sun 08-Dec-13 22:29:23

Well...that sounds ignorant, mainly wilfully naive, rather than downright nasty IYSWIM?

I'd be very upset/angry if my DH came out with any of that, but if you have a child with your boyfriend I suppose it's worth trying to salvage this.

Maybe you could give him some books/articles to read - tell him you disagree with him, are upset by his views, and he needs to learn a bit more about these issues then discuss it again?

TheDoctrineOfSanta Sun 08-Dec-13 23:02:47

Sometimes people can appreciate their own prejudice more when it's "converted" to racism - anything he's come out with where this might help?

whatdoesittake48 Mon 09-Dec-13 11:44:37

the problem is that men hate to feel guilt over these issues. they want to believe that they have achieved what they have through their own merits. To admit that women get a harder deal, it is to admit that he has had it easy.

I understand where you are coming from - but look at it this way. Your OH has never had first hand experience of these things. he has never had to fight for something just because of his gender. he is looking at things in a very sanitised way because that is his experience.

men tend to think that women should just adjust the way they work or do things to get ahead - because that it how it works for him. he wants a promotion - he asks for one. it just doesn't occur to him that there are so many barriers for women which prevent us even taking that initial step.

I have had the whole - should women tennis players get paid the same as men argument with my OH too. he just thinks it is fair to get more money for more work. there is no real malice involved in that opinion. he just sees it as being fair enough.

Men seem to think that physical work is harder - therefore men should be paid more. it is a ridiculous argument (it is effort which we should be judged on), but i doubt it is enough to break up over.
if he isn't willing to take the time to understand your point or to at least agree to differ - you have another issue on your hands.

Buy wife work and ask him to read it. Do you have examples in your own life you could point out to him.

My husband had much more sympathy for me when i started to tell him about the everyday sexism experiences I had. he became quite angry about one or two of these in fact.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Mon 09-Dec-13 14:45:32

That 'tennis player' argument is such rot. I point out in such circumstances that sports personalities are not paid by the hour.

If they were:

-women footballers would earn the same as male ones
-cricketers would earn fantastically more than footballers on a 'per match' basis;
-sprinters would earn far less than marathon runners. A tiny fraction in fact!

I also point out that, if a football match suddenly became 85 minutes instead of 90, it wouldn't radically change the workload of a footballer because time spent on the pitch in a match isn't what the workload revolves around.

snowshepherd Mon 09-Dec-13 14:57:07

I think that the women tennis player should play 5 set in the major tournaments. All players should be fined for grunting/screaming.
I think that pay should reflect the public demand/sponsorship. I think that if the men's and women's major tournaments were played separately then you could definitely see a case for paying the men more.
It should be 5 sets all round

scallopsrgreat Mon 09-Dec-13 14:58:23

Plus the workload of a sports person is mainly off pitch/court/arena etc. You may train in different ways to be a sprinter rather than a marathon runner but the effort put in is probably similar. Male footballers on the other hand...

scallopsrgreat Mon 09-Dec-13 14:59:38

That was supposed to follow on from Penguins post.

The women want 5 sets snowshepherd. It is the establishment that doesn't.

NigellasLeftNostril Mon 09-Dec-13 15:00:40

maybe he has a point that women tend to be less power crazed and therefore under-represented in politics?
try to discuss these things and educate him a bit rather than leaving him surely?
or are there other things about him that you don't like?
does he "help" in the house or do his fair share?

NigellasLeftNostril Mon 09-Dec-13 15:03:04

also, 'misogynist' means that he hates women btw.
from the Greek 'miso' = hate
gynai = woman
does he really though? how does he speak of his mother?

snowshepherd Mon 09-Dec-13 15:04:22

Yes, scallop, 5 set would be better to watch too. In the area of sport I don't mind differences in pay

scallopsrgreat Mon 09-Dec-13 15:06:40

I'm sure you don't snowshepherd.

snowshepherd Mon 09-Dec-13 15:11:36

It's an entertainment product.

slug Mon 09-Dec-13 15:41:23

I'd be tempted to start Beschdel testing everything he watches and making sure he knows the results. I got into the habit a while ago of counting the number of women in the sports pages and pointing it out every day. If all else fails, a daily reading of Everyday sexism complete with a running commentary should start to bring it home to him.

sashh Mon 09-Dec-13 15:55:27


I'm not a tennis fan but I seem to remember last year's men's final was only 3 sets. Does he think the payment should be less?


Ask you dp to buy you membership at Muirfield for Xmas. Or at the Royal & Ancient golf club or Royal St. Georges.

Then ask him if it would be OK for these clubs to exclude men who are black? After all golf is a mainly white man's choice of hobby it won't affect many non white men.

If that's not OK then why is it OK to ban someone because they have a vagina, that's not even on show.

LeBFG Mon 09-Dec-13 19:35:33

I almost don't believe the OP actually. The things she's said hardly make her partner a misogynist! Needs eyes opening a bit but not misogynistic.

The tennis comparison doesn't follow. People are paid to do manual labour based purely on outcome. If I want someone to barrow a load of stone I pay in relation to work done: that's why I would pay a 15 year old less than a fully grown man, it could take a 15yo twice as long to do!!! And so following this reasoning, I would pay men (as a class) less than women (as a class). If I were to pay a particularly strong woman to do it and she could shift the same per hour (and I have a female friend in mind who does a very physical job) she should be paid the same as the men. So this particular point for me rests with what exactly OP's partner said in relation to this. The tennis comparison does not work for me.

YouAreMyRain Mon 09-Dec-13 19:36:25

He is good hearted otherwise, I just feel so disappointed and let down and hurt that he can't see what the world is really like for women. (He already has a daughter!)

It's so long since I had to argue the basics with anyone hmm my fault for assuming that he would already be educated on the subject I suppose.

I will try and discuss this with him but I'm honestly not sure I could be in a relationship with him if he can't see my POV.

When it comes to tennis, I also think that women should play 5 sets, it's patronising and insulting to suggest they can only manage 3. I doubt it will change because it would lengthen the Wimbledon fortnight too much to have extra games.

YouAreMyRain Mon 09-Dec-13 19:42:47

I agree with the PP about the manual work aspect if it's a like for like role. Industry can't be expected to subsidise people who produce less/take longer on a production line for example. It's not economically viable.

He is talking about a situation where there are a variety of manual jobs, some more strenuous, some less so. Women typically do the less strenuous roles. My argument is that these roles need filling so they can either be done by a woman or by someone less physically able such as an older man.

Should the older man be paid less?

YouAreMyRain Mon 09-Dec-13 19:45:29

I use the word misogynist because I have always assumed that to not understand a woman's struggle means that the person has made no mental effort to understand, therefore does not think women worthy of consideration etc. in this case maybe I have used it wrongly.

BasilCranberrySauceEater Mon 09-Dec-13 20:58:36

"try to discuss these things and educate him a bit rather than leaving him surely?"


Seriously? That's a genuine question.

Why is it worse to leave someone than not to leave them? Why is the basic assumption that being in a relationship, is better than not being in one?

And why the assumption that it is up to the OP to educate him rather than him having take responsibility for his own education?

If he were racist and thought that the reason black men were less likely to be in directorial roles than white men, must be because of their lifestyle choices or because they weren't suited to business or something, should the OP stay and educate him? Or would we all assume he ought to have become a reasonable human being by the time he's an adult?

CailinDana Mon 09-Dec-13 22:37:20

I have had something of a similar problem with my dh down through the years. He's not a misogynist, he just lives in a world where his privilege is so automatic and accepted that he had to have it pointed out very clearly for him to see it. The important thing is, he has listened to me and he has accepted the fact that situations he has viewed as "normal" are actually subtly (or not so subtly) biased against women. Even my MIL who was brought up in an incredibly chauvinistic situation and who married and has been ground down by an out and out misogynist is starting to make feminist comments!

CailinDana Mon 09-Dec-13 22:45:42

Posted too soon. Said misogynist (my FIL ) now refuses to stayin my house. Thesupposed reason is that he doesn't sleep well. I think it's because both my Dh and MIL no longer pander to his misogyny when I'm around. Where once they might laugh uncomfortably at yet another sexist comment/joke they now just do as I do and pretend he hasn't spoken. FIL therefore just ends up looking like a twat.
My point is, it's possible to change ingrained attitudes provided that the person is willing to address those attitudes honestly.
Bcse - people generally prefer not to walk away from close relationships without exploring ways to improve the relationship.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 09-Dec-13 22:47:58

He sounds naive or ignorant to me. But then I had to explain recently to DH that doctors and nurses had different roles in a hospital, rather than doctors being male and women being nurses. He genuinely thought they did the same job. Bless.

BasilCranberrySauceEater Mon 09-Dec-13 22:55:34

Yes but the OP doesn't give the impression that it is a close relationship.

I don't know why I've got that impression, I guess because I'm assuming that this sort of low-level misogyny reveals itself quite early on in a relationship.

And she talks about "accidentally" having a baby with this man. Which implies to me that she realises the relationship is not as close or desirable as she may have thought it was.

CailinDana Mon 09-Dec-13 23:01:25

Well she calls him her boyfriend, which is a close relationship in my book.

However I do agree with you in principle. If my DH hadn't been willing to change his attitudes then our relationship wouldn't have survived.

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