Famous Misogynistic Men
Although there are many different factors to consider about what makes a person misogynistic, there are nonetheless several notable people who have often been referred to as fitting the description. Often these men are philosophers, as their beliefs about the role of sex and gender is often more closely examined and discussed than other individuals. Because of this, we can take a look at which men are considered to hold particularly misogynistic views; however, this is open to interpretation.
1 Otto Weininger
Born in Austria in 1880, Otto Weininger published a controversial book entitled “Sex and Character” in 1903 that has often resulted in him being labeled a misogynist by academics discussing the work. In the book, he referred to women as being amoral and illogical, as they were suggested to lack what he referred to as the “intelligible ego” -- the part of the human character that regulates ethics and rational thinking. Because of this, it’s said that he viewed women merely as passive and existing as sexual objects for men.
2 Friedrich Nietzsche
Born in 1844, Friedrich Nietzsche remains a hot topic among academics partly due to his views on religion, culture and philosophy. However, some observers also consider him to have displayed strong misogynistic characteristics; for example, his famous book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” contains a section called “Old and Young Women.” In this passage, Nietzsche suggests that women’s sole purpose is to become pregnant and raise the next generation -- consider the line “Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution -- it is called pregnancy.”
3 Immanuel Kant
Born in Germany in 1724, Immanuel Kant was (and continues to be) hugely influential as a philosopher, writing about issues such as ethics, logic and transcendental idealism. However, some of Kant’s views on gender have caused his work to be seen as anti-feminist and misogynistic; this includes his suggestion that men have a duty to protect women, “the weaker sex,” and that women should control the household while men manage world affairs.
4 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Born in 1712, Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains one of the most influential philosophers of his era; his most notable work is often considered to the book “The Social Contract.” Some of his views on gender are often considered to be misogynistic by academics though. This includes his assumption that men don’t “need” women, but purely desire them for sexual gratification; however, women on the other hand do “need” men for protection and in order for them to take their “natural” role as a wife.
- 1 The Absolute: Precious Pieces about Weininger
- 2 H-Net: Recontextualizing Bigotry
- 3 Washington State University: Study Guide for Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra
- 4 State University of New York Press: "Women are a Huge Natural Calamity"
- 5 Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: Jean-Jacques Rousseau