Why We Hate Women – Misogyny

Why we hate women – Misogyny

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss misogyny – why do we hate women and why do we allow it to occur?

First a quick update:

“Charlie Sheen – a misogynist?”
Read the transcript of the interview that I gave to a reporter from the NY Daily Mail about Charlie Sheen who was hospitalized after allegedly being high on cocaine, hiring a prostitute and becoming enraged and trashing the suite at the Plaza hotel in New York.

Now, let’s talk about women haters, the origins of misogyny and why we give free passes to misogynists and men who commit acts of violence against women.

Charlie Sheen is a famous actor who has become equally famous for his behavior off-screen and on-screen. He has an extensive resume with drugs, prostitutes, violence against women and run-ins with the law. He pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife, Brooke Mueller last Christmas; Charlie Sheen sat on her, strangled her, and held a knife to her throat on Christmas day.  Brooke Mueller, his third wife, told police he had pulled a knife on her and threatened to have her killed; Sheen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor third degree assault. When Charlie Sheen was called to testify in the trial of “Hollywood Madame” Heidi Fleiss, he admitted that he was a frequent customer of Fleiss’ call girl service, spending over 50,000 dollars on the services of prostitutes. And just yesterday, Charlie Sheen was released from hospital after allegedly being high on cocaine, hiring a prostitute and becoming enraged and trashing the suite at the Plaza hotel in New York. No charges were laid.

I told Bill Hutchinson from the NY Daily Mail that Charlie Sheen’s history of mistreating women and patronizing prostitutes are signs of misogyny. When you’re violent toward women that means you have deep-seated rage and anger at women. Further when a man is paying a prostitute, it implies and signifies that he doesn’t respect women; he is lured by his desire for control and power.

But this article is not about Charlie Sheen, it is though, about misogyny. And Charlie Sheen’s behavior is clearly misogynistic. The point is that he continues to get away with it; he was ordered into rehab for assaulting his wife, rather than being sent to jail; CBS renewed his contract for his TV show, “Two and a half men”, paying him 1.7 million dollars an episode.

Meanwhile, while Charlie Sheen continues to be welcomed as the bad boy in society and in Hollywood, Mel Gibson has been cut off – the cast and crew voted against allowing him to appear in film, The Hangover 2. Charlie Sheen was found guilty of assault but there have been no charges against Mel Gibson for allegedly hitting his girlfriend Oksana, and yet, Sheen hasn’t been cut off. Why? Mel Gibson was guilty of making racist remarks and racism is considered a much worse crime, a more evil deed than hitting a woman.

From where did we get our stamp of approval for misogyny? How did we make it okay to be abusive to women?

Pat Bond is a woman who was impregnated and abandoned by a Catholic priest but cannot get funding for her son’s brain cancer treatments. In fact, she and Father Willenborg lived in secrecy as lovers for five years. In public he was the parish priest but in private he and Pat Bond lived as husband and wife, and eventually they had a son together. When the church found out, they tried to hide what the priest did by agreeing to pay Ms. Bond child support, as long as she also signed a confidentiality agreement. But today, the response from the Franciscan order, who never asked the priest to leave the ministry, is that they have already given enough financial support – far beyond what the law would require.”

Some of the trail of misogyny can be traced back to mythology and religion, and our concept of God as being male.

In Greek mythology, the human race had already existed before the creation of women which was described as a peaceful, autonomous existence as a companion to the gods. Thus women were secondary, and when we believe that God is a man or male, and that it is woman who is responsible for original sin, then we also make women inferior.

From my book: “Finding God – Spiritual Strategies to Help YOU Find Happiness, Fulfillment and Inner Peace”

“Either way, in my opinion it makes little sense to see God as a man or as a woman. The term male could only be given to God if another gender such as female existed with God. Many theologians condemned women as inferior and put them all in the same basket as Eve, yet the Devil or Satan is depicted as male. Yet again we are told that Satan was once an angel and angels do not have a gender. Surprisingly, the theologians Tertullian “father of the Western Church” (160-220 AD) and Augustine both castigated all women as evil temptresses, an eternal danger to mankind, and yet it was Satan who allegedly was the first to rebel against God.

The point here is that even 21st century society – both men and women – still view women as inferior, as scapegoats, and according to some religions women must be submissive to men. Meanwhile, women support and play into misogyny by expressing self-loathing for their own bodies as being imperfect, needing to stay young and be perfect, needing plastic surgery or continual work striving to seek cultural acceptance because her body is never good enough.

And unfortunately, women are also guilty of promoting misogyny. As I explained to Hollie McKay of FOXnews.com in reference to the recent controversial photo shoot for GQ magazine of Glee actresses dressed as sexually provocative school girls:

Young women posing suggestively as school girls impact all women by promoting the ideal that the younger the woman, the more appealing she is.

“Although the actresses [in the ‘Glee’ shoot] are adults, they are dressed as schoolgirls. This promotes and drives the male obsession and desire for younger and younger women,” explained relationship expert Patrick Wanis, PhD. “The GQ ‘Glee’ photo shoot also sends the message to women that if you want to be attractive and appealing to men, then you need to be really young – a teenager – and sexual.”

The third element to misogyny is our decision to reward bad boy behavior, and yes, this is done by men and women alike.

We show favoritism towards Charlie Sheen when we watch him weekly on his TV show “Two and half men” and for almost 7 years; we welcome his TV character and welcome him in life as a bad boy but we refuse to see him as a man who has abused a woman, a man who cannot control his behavior or drug habits, and, we refuse to see him as an irresponsible father. The reality of his abuse, of his violence against a woman, is ignored because people generally seem to like him, to find him affable, viewing him as basically just a boy who is slightly wild and has not yet grown up.

Oh, we say, “He’s just a bad boy. It’s not his fault. He’s that little rebel. He’s what we all wish we could still be, 17 years of age and breaking the rules.” But he’s not 17. He’s a married man who’s a father of children and unfortunately, we’re happy to keep watching him on TV as the person that he is outside of the TV. In other words, his TV character is just an imitation of his real life character. He’s a bad boy and the problem is that we keep rewarding his behavior.

As I wrote in my article, “Is racism more important than violence against women?”.

The most significant and critical point is that the incidents of Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen have, instead of highlighting the issue of domestic violence, only served to diminish and undermine our attention to the gravity of domestic violence  which affects not only women but also children. Each year, 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner and; half of those perpetrators abuse children in the household.

In conclusion, the answer to eradicating the hatred of women begins with individual choices and by example. What do you teach your sons about how to treat women and what do you teach your daughters about their significance and where their real value is to be found? What example do you show about the way you treat yourself, your body and your intrinsic value?

You can post your comment on this newsletter below.

If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page at PatrickWanis.com.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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7 replies
  1. Avatar
    john says:

    1st off I would like to say , your missing the bigger picture here, (VIOLENCE ) is, and always has been a problem for humanity as a whole, not just one gender to another or one race to another .
    The bigger problem here is that we put people into ( SPECIAL )
    category’s – ie: it’s bad to kill a civilian but worse to be a COP KILLER, it’s bad to hit a man but worse to hit a WOMAN !
    Our so called society is, and has always been full contradictions and hypocrisy . Capitalism is built on ( better than , less then ) ie: when a child is struck down , I notice the media likes to mention the kids grades and weather he or she was an honor student or not, like as if it’s bad that a child died but even worse because it was an honor student ! To me it’s bad because a child
    died before his or her time period !
    As far as hating woman goes I went to catholic school my 1st 6 yrs and never thought poorly of women , religion is a belief not a fact so it’s still up to the individual to believe as they choose, I choose to interact with them and find out for myself form my own opinion as I do with ALL humans and the facts are there is good and bad , kind and mean in all humans regardless of gender or nationality . I treat people on an individual bases , not a blanket policy .
    As for the violence against woman , of course it upsets me I love
    woman for their feminine deference as much as their human sameness . However a word to the wise , to help stop that violence , you need 1st stop accepting it ! Also stop rewording it!
    No Iam not saying it’s your fault, just that you can help yourselves by saying, No this is NOT acceptable I will not take you back, because if you do, (you say it’s not bad enough for me to leave you) and it should be and must be to exact change.
    Humans usually won’t change a negative behavior unless the conerquenses for there behavior are dier , make up sex is not going to defer him from doing it again nor will continued forgiveness . This is a sad fact about most humans NOT an opinion . I would be willing bet half of the violence against women are repeat offences by the same man on the same woman. No that doesn’t make it right, there are no (right)reasons for human on human violence accept self defense and defense of the innocent !
    I am of course aware that in some countries there is no help but in others , ours – USA there is help , but you have to stick to it see it through to the end don’t cave in and take him back or at some point ( minus treatment for his problem) he almost certainly will hit you again.

  2. Avatar
    Taylor says:


    I absolutely love the way you responded to Tom Justin’s comment. You are able to be challenging without trying to dominate or suppress, and you take on the typical anti-feminist devaluation of personal experience by having a frank discussion about what is anecdotal and what isn’t. And I love the question of “what is threatening you here”. I can see why he didn’t respond back.

    I’m a self-identified feminist male and I’d love it if you looked at my blog (listed as my website).

  3. Avatar
    Jennifer Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for being brave and taking a stand on a subject as controversial as this. There is a lot of truth, weight and validity to your arguments because the fact is, that in spite of recent progress, there is still a shockingly high level of physical violence against women in the world, the majority of the world’s women (and children) live in abject poverty, not to mention that, despite gains in education, women still make up the majority of the illiterate in the world.
    Also, we can not ignore the fact, that where there has been progress for women, it has been largely only in developed countries such as the USA, Europe, and certain Asian countries such as Japan. It has not really occurred on a significant level in developing countries.
    It is wrong to assume that just because women in developed countries are enjoying today a degree of success and progress, that is “proof” that misogyny no longer exists and therefore, people have no “right” to speak out against it anymore. That is definitely the point of view of someone is total denial about the state of our world today and who wishes not to recognize the problem because doing so would mean confronting his or her own personal demons.
    There are some who would say that the conditions of women in developing countries doesn’t count as evidence of misogyny. That people who live in those regions are backwards anyway so why worry about them as long as women in developed countries have progress? Such thinking is not only misogynistic but racist as well. It’s rationalizes that as long as “we”, the people of the “superior” developed countries have women living well, then we don’t need to care about the “other inferior ones” who are “backwards” anyway and probably “deserve” to be living so.
    The fact of the matter is this – until we ALL learn to see each other as true equals in spite of differences in gender, race or even cultural values, we will never be free of social problems such as misogyny. It exists and it is there because we don’t take responsibility for our behavior on a social level since we are comfortable with our biases and live in happy denial about the “demons” we have inside.
    So until we confront this, there can’t be any significant progress for the human race. Misogyny continues to persist in our world and society today and we all feed into it, regardless of whether we are women or men. We need to listen to Patrick’s words of wisdom and take a look at ourselves first.
    Thank you Patrick for speaking out. You are truly brave.

  4. Avatar
    Tom Justin says:

    “We hate women?” Who is this “we” you’re talking about?

    You give anecdotes not evidence, not cultural bias, but stories. Is that the kind of research you did to get a Ph.D? Where did you go to school?

    Never in our history have women made more progress and become more accepted culturally than in the past 25 years.

    As with any bias or prejudice, you’ll find anecdotes, as you described or pockets of cultural ignorance and prejudice, but to make such a blanket statement places you in the ignorant category.

    Even back in the ’70s, when I was an executive for the Playboy organization, the biggest commercial exploiter of women on the planet, with their consent, of course, women held several executive positions within the company. A fact overlooked by people like you and the feminist movement.

    I now sit in client meetings all the time now with a mix of men and women and seldom notice any gender discrimination. To say that there still isn’t some of that, would be as silly as your assertions of “We hate women.”

    Had you placed your headline in the form of a question, you might have had some legitimacy. Unfortunately, you didn’t.

    You’ve actually exposed your own gender bias against women with your remarks. Train our sons to respect women? How about to respect others regardless of race, gender, religion or beliefs. That is unless they make some ridiculous assertions and have a comment box to respond.

    Love and respect to women as equals? Of course, and without considering gender in the process. Try it. That’s the true recognition of equality.

    Tom Justin

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Tom,

      Thanks for your open response.

      You wrote: “Who is this “we” you’re talking about?”

      The “we” is society. It does not refer to every individual and obviously does not refer to you personally as I do not know you. And if I were to read an article about “why we are greedy” I might accept that there is cultural greed based on the evidence, even if I do not view myself as being a greedy person. The two can be exclusive. In other words, there can be examples of individuals that are greedy and individuals that are not greedy. The same applies to the contention that we as a society are misogynostic.

      George Sodini, who murdered three women and injured nine other women in a gym, before turning the gun on himself in 2009, wrote on his blog about his growing rage at women for rejecting him. He wrote about his hatred towards his mother and women. Read my insights here: https://patrickwanis.com/blog/index.php/2009/08/06/a-man-kills-3-women-in-a-gym-why/

      Stories and anecdotal evidence can be cited as evidence to support a point when it is obvious that they form and represent a trend. I am not saying that George Sodini represents a trend but yes, he would be an example of individual misogyny not societal misogyny.

      Nonetheless, you claim that I have not presented evidence – only stories.

      Did you read the entire article? Did you read this statistic?

      1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner.

      Or do you believe that 1.3 million women assaulted is not high enough to count as evidence or do you simply view it as anecdotal evidence? Or maybe you don’t believe that violence against women is an example of misogyny?

      You claim that I have only presented stories and anecdotes and yet, you talk about your experience at Playboy which is just an anecdote and then you share a story about your experiences with your client meetings. Is that evidence or just anecdotes and stories.

      Yes I agree that women have made great progress as I explained and outlined with statistical evidence in my newsletter: Women are taking over:

      – More women are in the US workforce than men
      – More women attend and graduate college than men (in the US, UK and Australia)
      – 85% of purchases are made by women

      However those statistics do not in any way support your belief or claim that misogyny does not exist. They are merely a reflection of the shift in the economy and a reduction in industrialization. And when you read that article, you might be confused by my approach.

      You claim that there are not examples of cultural bias. How do you summarize the refusal by the Catholic Church to ordain women as priests? Is that anecdotal or cultural to you? Twenty-four percent of Americans are Catholic.

      Also, as I wrote in my article, it was the Fathers of Christianity and the Western church who wrote against women: “the theologians Tertullian “father of the Western Church” (160-220 AD) and Augustine both castigated all women as evil temptresses, an eternal danger to mankind.” That is not a story nor is it a pocket of prejudice. It is rather, a very clear example of cultural bias – cultural misogyny. Maybe, you ignored it because you do not view religion as part of culture and society.

      Further, are you aware of the misogyny that exists in many cultures and religions around the world or do you need exact statistics? Are you aware that female mutilation (circumcision) is still common in the continent of Africa? Does that count as misogyny to you? Do you know the origins and intentions of female circumcision?

      You can read more about the history, origins and male motivations of female circumcision and infibulations in my article: “why women can’t enjoy sex” where you will learn how male-dominated societies controlled women:

      In 2006, Billy Payne, new chair of Augusta National Golf Club, stated that he will uphold the all-male club’s practice of denying membership to women. He declined a request to meet with Martha Burk, the former chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) who has led protests against the club’s discriminatory policies, stating that “I don’t see at this time that any dialogue would be meaningful or helpful.” And yes, I realize that it is a private club which, incidentally, used to also have a whites-only policy.

      As recent as 2008, Citigroup Inc. paid $33 million to settle a lawsuit filed by three female brokers in Santa Rosa who charged its Smith Barney unit denied equal opportunities for women. There were numerous similar lawsuits and settlements by other companies on Wall Street. So despite your 1970s Playboy story, yes, misogyny clearly existed in the corporate world as recently as 2008. And on January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, the first bill signed into law by the President paving the way for lawsuits to require that equal pay be given to women, by way of seeking back pay awards for the difference they were paid and what men were paid for the same work. So the progress you refer to in the past 25 years, obviously wasn’t reflected in the corporate world in terms of equal opportunities and equal pay for women. I think it is fair to say that the need for an Act to be written by congress refers to national bias, cultural bias and discrimination and not “pockets of cultural ignorance and prejudice” as you claim.

      You wrote: “You’ve actually exposed your own gender bias against women with your remarks. Train our sons to respect women?”

      Why is it wrong to teach sons to respect women? You believe that that suggestion is gender bias. No I disagree. Let me explain. Yes, I agree that we should “respect others regardless of race, gender, religion or beliefs.” But how can you truly respect and appreciate anyone unless you can identify and accept the differences and unique characteristics. Real appreciation only occurs when you can identify what it is that makes someone unique. We should be able to identify the differences in the genders and embrace those differences while still being able to identify our common humanity.

      You worked for Playboy and I stand firm that pornography is an example of misogyny. It is designed for the pleasure of men; women serving men and being purely objectified in the process. Or do you not see that as misogyny? Do you believe that hip hop videos that portray women as sexual slaves to men are examples of misogyny and do you accept them as evidence of cultural bias?

      You wrote: “Love and respect to women as equals? Of course, and without considering gender in the process. Try it.”

      I never said not to respect women as equals. In fact, my article is written to encourage people to see women as equal; thus, my entire contention that we as a society are favoring men over women and that women believe that they must have the perfect young body to please men. But again, to say to view women as equals without considering gender in the process is akin to saying treat everyone as equals without appreciating their differences and unique characteristics. If we remove gender, what happens to your porn industry?

      Finally, you openly challenged me and I would like to do the same. What is it in this article that angers you to attack me personally? Ask yourself, “What would happen, how would I respond if I were to accept or be convinced that misogyny does exist?”

      I would think that a person who promotes equality would be more angered by the possibility that misogyny exists rather than being angered by an alleged lack of sufficient evidence of such a claim. Or does the message of the article hit too close to home and thus you attack with references to “people like you and the feminist movement.”

      I promote balance and equality while still recognizing what it is that makes us all different and thus special.

      Thank you for engaging the conversation.

      All the best,

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