Misogyny can be of varied degree. It can be obviously extreme and moderate.
The existence of the word ‘misogyny’ no doubt asserts its presence in our world. Be it as it may, its activeness varies in the minds of many as man is innately built to have an inconspicuous interest in the opposite sex. This goes a long way to support a Freudian theory which states that what a person does consciously or unconsciously, he does to please the opposite sex.
It is quite interesting that there are people with an irreconcilable view of this subject; skeptical of the rawness of its reality due to an inveterate naivety.
Aristotle’s empirical philosophy states that nothing enters the intellect without first passing through the senses. This supports Maria Montessori’s pedagogic view that what a child fails to learn in childhood may be difficult to learn in boyhood. Besides our innate knowledge and understanding of our environment, there is a concise knowledge of our environment which is relative.
A child’s genetic make-up and relative ambience have great influences on him as he gradually grows into adulthood. This stems from the fact that popular courses like Engineering, Accounting, Medicine and law that become visible to him as he grows become what he probably chooses from. He cannot become an Engineer or a Medical Doctor if he has never had an exiguous knowledge of it. So also a child who lives in a celibate environment may easily gain access into misogamy and misogyny if not properly guided.
African parents find it intimidating and generally off-putting discussing human sexuality with their children, dumping the responsibility on institutions of learning like schools, mosques or churches. Turning a blind eye to it by parents later culminates into a superstitious paranoia or an ineluctable hypochondria as boys in their puberty experience nocturnal emission and girls, menstruation.
Every person has his own aesthetic evaluation. What may be aesthetically satisfactory to one person may be totally rebarbative to the other person. Humans are variable in mindset, core value system, philosophies and genetic make-ups. A lady may be aesthetically functional but still lack some traditional values of hard-work, delayed gratification, subservience to constituted authorities and love.
Despite her aesthetic activeness, the absence of such values may cause some disinterestedness by the male counterpart. Moreover, long are the days when people conclude that no man is ugly. Ladies look for men who are cute, with considerable height, intelligence, charisma and more importantly - wealth. A rift is possible if demands by a lady do not considerably commensurate with supply by the man, instigating or fanning an unsearchable desire to look elsewhere.
Young boys who have incessantly received disappointments by jilting and deliberate break-ups often find it difficult to trust ladies, hence misogyny, viewing them as unreliable and vacillating entities. Most ladies have allergies for extremely endomorphic and ectomorphic physiques perceiving them as unappealing. Guys with such physiques will only end up in frustrations after being financially sapped.
Besides the mental anguish and emotional trauma faced by boys when disappointed by their female counterparts culminating in distrust, there is another rationale behind a dissent for misogyny. This is caused by an anguish arising in divided homes which are roughly built without female figures caused by divorce. Africa has a roughly one percent divorce, greatly inharmonious with the Western world with a high percentage of 53 in the United States and 70 in Belgium majorly caused by poor pre-marital relationship, sexual incompatibility, inability to meet up with expectations and extra marital relationships.
The female conspicuous absence from home as a result of divorce is plausible enough to instigate a deep seated distaste for ladies especially when this irreplaceable vacuum falls on the boy child, affecting his social life. If the hopefulness of the parent’s togetherness is betrayed and becomes a journey of futility, this perniciously gravitates into misogyny. Male children of this nature most times end up giving cold shoulders to their female counterparts with a slight contempt for heterosexual schools or institutions.
Misogyny can be of varied degree. It can be obviously extreme and moderate. An epitome of the extreme, is the abduction of the “Chibok secondary school girls” in Nigeria, an act which vitiated the administration of the democrat President, Goodluck Jonathan. Girls in this plight, stay under a house arrest where they are sexually molested and used as sexual slaves.
Another extreme case of this is the serial killing of ladies featured in the popular soap opera called “Observando voce” and the Nigerian film produced by kunle Afolayan called “October First” in a bid to satisfy their reprisals. In unconscionable cases, the misogynist may even decide to circumvent marriage and adopt a personal celibate life.
There is also the group of the male counterpart with moral superciliousness and exasperated insouciance. They may not have received any formal education on misogyny, which is unheard of, but may decide to wholeheartedly aloof themselves from feminine activities. Imagining a rendezvoused tryst, engaging in female allied discussions or even reading the “Kama sutra” or “every woman” elicits a big frown.
They are capable of reducing femininity to mere menses, water and blood. They do this by thinking that their sexual taciturnity or reclusiveness is a gateway for the circumvention of any prurient activities and a green card into moral consciousness.
It may also be prevalent in the lives of celibate people like priests and Buddha or Confucian monks who in their course of formations having dissented from the natural, innate concupiscence, form into an unwitting dislike for ladies. This attitude or behavior may not be so awkward in its interpretation but may reflect, in a cursory attention rendered to even the most beautifully intimidating ladies without the slightest chivalry.
The life of Jesus on one hand would have proved a deliberate misogyny or an espousal for gender inequality as some Religious critics may believe regarding his unadulterated celibate chastity and his conscious selection of 12 men as his disciples without the interference of a single lady, but the unconcealed bewilderment on the face of his disciples on meeting him in a salvific discussion with the lady of Samaria ,his subscriptions to the performance of miracles at the request of women, his virginal birth of Mary and the apparition to Mary Magdalene on his resurrection morning rebut this belief.
Anthropologically, there are sets of men who lived in 14BC and whose work was to guard the palace. They were majorly entrusted with the duty of working in the queen’s apartment or the women’s court, especially by offering a conventional spa therapy, but, for fear of engaging in any hanky-panky activities with the queen, they were being completely castrated as ordered by the king.
The surgical removal of the testicles called castration obviously pulverize or estranges them from sexual proclivities shutting the male from any sexual feelings as the brain no longer keeps a correspondence with the seminiferous tubule where the spermatozoa are produced.
The obliteration of the testicles by castration now causes the men called eunuchs to adopt a feeling of consanguinity towards every lady on the planet. A pathological condition called Dysrophia adiposogenitalis also affects sexual desires in men, causing hormonal retardation of the genitals ipso facto sexual disinterestedness. Though the responsibility of the eunuch is to guard the female folks, but there may be some deposited animosities towards them for being castrated.
In conclusion, misogyny is a silent menace confronting the world today, though there is a drastic undertone compared to the contemporaries of Maria Curie and Maria Montessori as the former was almost denied the honour of her first nobel prize. This would have been possible but for the intervention of one of the committee members an advocate of women scientists, Swedish Mathematician, Magnus Mittag Leffler and the latter who was admitted into the medical school after unconscionable numbers of trials.
Intrinsically, this belligerence by the male folk is reactionary, a reprisal and a dissent from the African norms. Africa has a great love for women which is judged by some as a hallucinatory realism or a congenital behavior. Nonetheless, their place in the society is indispensable which has overtime created the dearth of progress in several institutions until their inclusion.
Written by Sylvester Agbeboaye.
Sylvester Agbeboaye is a final year physiology student of the University of Benin, Benin city Nigeria. He is geared towards birthing positive change in the society by addressing social issues with his writings.