Take a look at any news site today and you will find a common theme: that of the violation of women’s rights. 

Marketing executive Sarah Everard, tragically, was murdered on her way home by a police constable. A vigil in her honour was broken up by the Met Police. Turkey has recently pulled out of the Istanbul convention, an international accord helping protect women. 

Themes such as these in this day and age are frankly nauseating. Misogyny, nicknamed ‘the world’s oldest prejudice’ in Jack Holland’s book on the subject, can be dated back to the blaming of Eve for bringing about the origin of evil. Now, centuries later, some are still hanging on to the age-old belief that men are in some way superior to their female counterparts. 

But why does this belief still exist? Apparently, it may be due to fragile masculinity. Author Jill Stoddard defines misogyny as ‘hostility towards the women who threaten to remove the male status as superior to women.’ The world has long been dominated by patriarchal societies, and the threat of women to the upset of this power balance could provide a reason for the prejudice against females.  

It is not just males who can partake in misogyny. Women can also be prejudiced against themselves, being ‘female misogynists’ - defined by website Psychology Today (1) as a woman who expects others to be overly feminine, shows contempt towards her gender, and sees herself as superior to other women. It is somewhat disheartening to recognise these features in the women around us. 

The problem of violence against women is in need of some long overdue change. Education stands at the forefront of this, with clear definitions of harassment and degradation and how to combat these being important ways to reduce misogyny, among others. Taking steps in the right direction will ensure a safer future for all women. 

(1) Psychology Today article: (https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-mysteries-love/201908/12-ways-spot-female-misogynist)