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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

Branleuse Fri 13-Dec-13 18:15:07

well i kind of like my dp to be my comrade too, but i dont see that what he says means he is unteachable., He might just have not thought about it much

whereisshe Fri 13-Dec-13 14:55:42

I see why you're upset OP. I'd be devastated if my husband genuinely believed that the under-representation of women in positions of power is due to less women aspiring to be prime minister etc. That's SO patronising (not to mention incorrect), and even if it were the case doesn't he think that's a problem? I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel if he's clumsily expressing a view that the world is designed by men for men (and the inherent set up therefore needs to change for greater equality between the sexes), but there's not enough info here to know if that's the case.

The manual labour thing is (to me) a different kind of worrying - is he actually saying that physical effort is the only thing that matters? Because I'd be bloody pissed off with (for example) a bricklayer if they got a wall up in 5 seconds flat but it was completely wonky and then fell down. I can't think of any physical pursuit where strength is the ONLY attribute that matters. If all he sees is the strength aspect, then he's overplaying the muscle side of things (which anyone with more testosterone is going to excel at) and ignoring the nuances - not overtly sexist in itself, but could indicate that he values typically male characteristics over other things (ie thinks being a bloke is great, and doesn't see why non-bloke attributes should be valued).

I hope you can have a sensible chat with him about this sad... Best case, he's just not thought it through and is parroting someone else's views.

grimbletart Fri 13-Dec-13 14:43:17

it is ok to have different viewpoints, as long as hes not a tory (obi)

Like left-wing men don't have a history of being obnoxiously misogynistic. grin

Loopytiles Fri 13-Dec-13 14:31:59

Does he do his fair share of domestic work and parenting OP? Are you working or planning to return, and if so does he support that?

Inclined to give benefit of doubt if his actions are good iyswim!

BuffytheElfSquisher Fri 13-Dec-13 14:19:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AskBasilAboutCranberrySauce Thu 12-Dec-13 22:53:42


I can't imagine ever being in a relationship again, where my partner isn't also my comrade.

There's something about being able to share something you deeply care about, with the person you love and cherish, which as I've got older, I've realised the value of.

I know you don't need it - your partner is your partner and you've got political allies and friends to share political things with - but I think nowadays, I might find that a bit of a gap emotionally. Dunno.

Branleuse Thu 12-Dec-13 22:00:08

it is ok to have different viewpoints, as long as hes not a tory (obv)

I dont think you need to panic and be gutted over this. An illusion has been broken, but this is really about communication between you two, and how well you talk and discuss things.

My dp had some dodgy views about some things in the beginning, but we pretty much see eye to eye on most things politically, with the odd heated argument. I didnt choose him as a comrade, I chose him as a partner

NotCitrus Wed 11-Dec-13 12:51:26

I wouldn't write him off on the basis of the OP. Yes he's clearly ignorant, but thinking back to when I was say 19,.most men I knew would have said similar - as would half the women of the same age, and quite a few of our female teachers. We were entering a post-sexism world of uni and work, apparently...most are now pretty feminist.

How he reacts when faced with examples of sexism by others would be telling.

Misfitless Wed 11-Dec-13 12:22:20

YouAre I had no idea of the strengths of your feelings.

I owe you an apology, I really didn't think you were in love with him, and think I've been a bit flippant, focusing totally on your wording in the title of your thread.

Hope you feel you can work it out if that's what you want.

YouAreMyRain Tue 10-Dec-13 21:59:18

I am very into him actually and I do love him and want to be with him. Trouble is that my past experiences make me very jumpy and ready to run at the first sign of twattishness. I didn't feel the need to get all gushy on here as I didn't see my feelings for him as part of the equation, if anything I was worried that they were clouding my judgement of the situation, hence my posting for more neutral responses.

My OP uses the term "gutted" not "miffed" or "slightly disappointed". I felt heartbroken at the thought of breaking up with him. I have spent two days sobbing. I know I am being over sensitive but I have had depression and anxiety in the past, I am aware that I am a high risk for PND and that my history makes me very cautious and emotionally defensive. That's why I value other peoples input.

Branleuse Tue 10-Dec-13 21:43:36

doesnt sound like youre that into him tbh.
Is this even a serious post?

Cant you have actual discussions with him and talk about his views and put yours forward?? Thats a fun thing to do in a relationship - yknow, talk about stuff, exchange views, debate.

Ive changed my dps views on loads of things over time, and he has changed my view on things too.

Nobodys perfect

YouAreMyRain Tue 10-Dec-13 21:41:43

I have come to the conclusion that he is ignorant with maybe a pinch of absorbed/unchallenged low level sexism. He does work in a very male dominated industry and has always worked in similar areas.

I am disappointed that he has not yet challenged these views but I don't believe him to be a lost cause. He has never expressed sexist views before and is positive about women being capable and successful, I have had my twat radar set to "super sensitive" and have been very alert to red flags and haven't spotted any. I think that's why I was so shocked and upset. I will talk to him and see how things go. Thank you for all your posts, they have helped me to clarify what's what.

Golddigger Tue 10-Dec-13 21:34:40

The trouble with not educating a partner is that then they remain ignorant. Which isnt often in the best interest of either party. Which can be quite a disaster as evidenced here.

Misfitless Tue 10-Dec-13 21:24:05

I think the distinction matters very much.

It can be the difference between being sexist/ignorant/misogynist.

Misfitless Tue 10-Dec-13 21:14:27

Well that explains it then!

The one I referred to was the one I bought when I was doing my A-Levels in 1991 a few years back.blush.


scallopsrgreat Tue 10-Dec-13 21:09:20

That's very true Basil! I don't suppose the distinction much matters. His attitude is still there!

BasilCranberrySauceEater Tue 10-Dec-13 20:50:14

The Oxford English Dictionary recently changed the definition of misogyny afair.

I wonder if the OP's primary concern is to nail down whether her boyf is misogynist, sexist or merely pig ignorant though.

scallopsrgreat Tue 10-Dec-13 20:27:25

Believing that pay should reflect productivity, and that women and men are treated equally Except he didn't say that.

Believing the playing field is flat Except he didn't just say that.

Do you now see the distinction JoTheHot?

Misfitless Tue 10-Dec-13 20:10:59

Well said Jo.
I stand by my post. We'll just have to agree to disagree, Scallops.

ashesgirl Tue 10-Dec-13 20:02:00

Definitions of misogyny have broadened remarkably in recent years so not surprising there's some disagreement here on whether it is or isn't.

JoTheHot Tue 10-Dec-13 18:35:58

Misogyny is not defined in terms of the consequences of a given view, but rather in terms of the psychology underlying said views. This is a distinction feminists who bandy the term around at every opportunity don't seem to get. Views are not misogynistic because they harm women, they are misogynistic because they are negative towards women. Believing the playing field is flat is not misogynistic, it's just ignorant. Believing the playing field shouldn't be flat is misogynistic. Do you now see the distinction scallop?

Believing that pay should reflect productivity, and that women and men are treated equally does NOT show a fundamental lack of respect for women. I suppose you could argue that the latter belief is sufficiently ignorant, that it could only be held by someone totally uninterested in the lot of women, and thus presumably lacking respect for women, but that's getting fairly tenuous.

scallopsrgreat Tue 10-Dec-13 09:56:08

Misogynist is a perfectly reasonable word to use. The problem with his views are that they are what keeps the inequality between the sexes going. It is low-level misogyny if you like. Pervasive and mainstream but shows a fundamental lack of respect for women. The belief that if women were just a bit more like men or should have to fit in a world designed for and by men then they'd be equal. Not that the world should accommodate women too.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines misogyny as: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. I think that covers what YouAreMyRain's BF is exhibiting.

The thing with misogyny is that because it is so pervasive most people will exhibit some level of misogyny. Doesn't mean to say that the situation is irretrievable or someone won't change their mindset when their conscious is raised. But I don't think that misogyny is all about extreme hatred of all women. And tbh I think it should be used more often. Name the problem.

Misfitless Tue 10-Dec-13 00:16:30

You have totally misunderstood my post, Basil.

My objection was to the OP's use of the word 'misogynist' to describe her BF.

Not everyone, regardless of their gender, has an in depth understanding and awareness of feminist issues.

The views the BF has expressed are ignorant and sexist.

Being sexist does not equate to being a misogynist.

I was not commenting on whether or not the OP's BF's views should be a deal breaker.

The racism argument is not relevant because I was not suggesting that the BF's expressed views are acceptable; therefore, I do not need you to try and educate me by giving me another example to help me understand.

People shouldn't throw the word 'misogynist' around without good cause, especially if you don't know what it means. It's extremely emotive.

crunchypower Mon 09-Dec-13 23:51:33

He will be able to sort it out OP. It's only the pay comment that maybe sexist. Depending on whether he is focusing on energy expended during manual work or gender.

That's if you want to sort it out

YouAreMyRain Mon 09-Dec-13 23:41:09

Baby is 11 weeks old. Accidentally got pg less than a year into our relationship.

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