Sunday, 21 October 2012

more about the word misogyny

Further to yesterday's post about misogyny, misanthropism and misandry, I've noticed an article in The Sydney Morning Herald reporting that, since our Prime Minister's recent speech about misogyny, there are moves afoot to refine the meaning to reflect its modern usage.

The Macquarie Dictionary has announced it is broadening the definition of the word "misogyny".
As it stands, the reference book says misogyny is a hatred of women, the kind that's pathological.
But editor Sue Butler says it's time that changed to reflect what Ms Gillard really meant last week when she accused Opposition Leader Tony Abbott of sexism and misogyny during a speech to parliament.
Not that he needs a session on the psychiatrist's couch, but that he merely has an "entrenched prejudice against women".
That will be the official second definition in the next updated edition of the dictionary.
"We decided that we had the basic definition, hatred of women, but that's not how misogyny has been used for about the last 20, 30 years, particularly in feminist language," Ms Butler told ABC radio on Wednesday.
"Sexist does seem to be moving towards this description of surface features and misogynist applies to the underlying attitude."
It was the underlying prejudice that gave rise to these instances of sexism, Ms Butler said.
Misogyny was like sexism, with a "stronger edge to it".


Mary said...

I had heard that the Macquarie Dictionary had redefined the word in relation to Julia Gillard's speech but then I read (in The Age, October 20 Forum page) that the Oxford Dictionary did so a decade ago.

parlance said...

Oh, thanks for that Mary. I had a look on the Net to see if I could find that page, but I couldn't find it, so I'll have to take your word for it!