Misogyny (mᵻˈsɒdʒᵻni) is hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. It is a form of sexism that is used to keep women at a lower social status than men, thus maintaining the social roles of patriarchy. Misogyny has been widely practised for thousands of years. It is reflected in art, literature, human societal structure, historical events, mythology, philosophy, and religion worldwide.
An example of misogyny is violence against women, which includes domestic violence and, in its most extreme forms, misogynist terrorism and femicide. Misogyny also often operates through sexual harassment, coercion, and psychological techniques aimed at controlling women, and by legally or socially excluding women from full citizenship. In some cases, misogyny rewards women for accepting an inferior status.
Misogyny can be understood both as an attitude held by individuals, primarily by men, and as a widespread cultural custom or system. Sometimes misogyny manifests in obvious a