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Famous Misogynistic Quotes

Colleen, a lover of the written word, has a master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes.

L. Ron Hubbard (March 13, 1911 –  January 24, 1986) was the founder of the Church of Scientology.

L. Ron Hubbard (March 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986) was the founder of the Church of Scientology.

Misogyny Defined

The word misogyny is generally defined as contempt towards women. The Greek philosopher Aristotle posited that women are deformities, men who are not fully formed; and Socrates contended that immoral men could be reincarnated as women.

The term misogynistic in modern society is used to describe behaviour and attitudes of men that belittle, undervalue, discriminate against, and dominate women. The bias that still exists within culture, religion, and politics are hurdles women strive to overcome in their quest for equality.

Hence the quotes and anecdotes collected here reflect both direct and indirect examples of misogyny, both disturbing and humorous.


The Quotes

  • Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote: "A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out. . . . The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant when women begin to take part."
  • "Now what I love in women is, they won’t; or can’t do otherwise than lie, but they do it so well that the very truth seems falsehood to it." - Byron
  • "The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul is: What does a woman want?" - Sigmund Freud
  • "I’m not a misogynist, I respect any woman who knows her place." - Stephen Braithwaite
  • "The louder the woman, the more likely she is to be spiritually bereft, like an empty bowl which vibrates with a resonant echo. A full container makes no sound; she is packed too densely to ring." - Deborah Feldman
  • "Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you’re driving at another." - George Bernard Shaw
  • "A proper wife should be as obedient as a slave . . . The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities . . . a natural defectiveness." - Aristotle
  • "Women are only stronger when they arm themselves with their weaknesses." - Marquise Du Deffand
  • "Nothing agrees worse than a lady’s heart and a beggar’s purse." - John Heywood
  • "You can write on running water what a woman says to an eager lover." - Catullus
  • "The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "In all the woes that curse our race, there is a lady in the case." - W. S. Gilbert
  • "Every man to his trade, but every woman to the washtub." - Chris Enss

A father works from son to son, but mother’s work is never done.

— Proverb

  • "At what age does one become old? The misogynist believes the female grows older and the male grows wiser." - John Caff
  • "What is woman? She is one of nature’s agreeable blunders." - Hannah Cowley
  • "It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals." - Bertrand Russell (The Liberation of Women)
  • "Half the sorrows of women would be averted if they could repress the speech they know to be useless." - George Eliot
  • "A woman scoffs at evidence. Show her the sun, and tell her it is daylight; at once she will close her eyes and say to you, 'No, it is night.'" - Emile Gaboriau
  • "As a teenager, I asked our local priest, why priests were always men? And he replied “Only men can be both man and angel”. That was my first encounter of spiritual misogyny." - Vivienne Williams
  • "It costs an unreasonable woman no more to pass over one reason than another; they cherish themselves most where they are most wrong." - Montaigne
  • "There is no other purgatory but a woman." - Beaumont and Fletcher
  • "Women’s words are as light as the doomed leaves whirling in autumn; easily swept by the wind, easily drowned by the wave." - Ovid
  • "There’s no such thing, you know, as picking out the best woman: it’s only a question of comparative badness." - Plautus
  • "Women are decorative. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly." - Oscar Wilde
  • "The average woman sees only the weak points in a strong man, and the good points in a weak one." - Elbert Hubbard
  • "Men are the reason that women do not love one another." - La Bruyere
  • "There is no ache more deadly than the striving to be oneself." - Vinokurov
  • "I’d be equally as willing for a dentist to be drilling than to ever let a woman in my life." - “I’m an ordinary man” from the musical My Fair Lady

Male Controlling Mechanisms: 3 Anecdotes

The desire to orchestrate the actions or even thoughts of a partner is by no means limited to the male gender. Indeed, in addition to the exploitation of their seeming vulnerability, female domestic violence has been exposed as a long-concealed torment. Still, given the focus of this article, we will deal with male manoeuvres. Each of the three following reflects the experiences of various women when equality is meant to be essential to any successful relationship.

  1. Firstly, there is the implicit awareness of a man’s greater overall physical strength. One woman felt no choice but to end what had appeared to be a potentially lasting bond, due to one menacing remark by her well-muscled partner. The man, during a dispute regarding the interpretation of a classic poem they had been discussing, said, “If you weren’t a girl, I would hit you big-time, in order to end your stupidity.” Then, seeing her degree of alarm, he strove to regain her affection by enfolding her in his arms, saying, “Surely you know I will always be your protector.”
  2. Another woman became disconcerted when her partner said he understood they needed to be equal in every way, except physical intimacy. In that one avenue, his manhood should be preeminent. He dismissed her efforts to point out the incongruity between requests for affection and flat-out commands, by assuring her he would never ask more of her than he felt she could offer.
  3. Lastly, a woman bought a bouquet of wildflowers at a nearby stand, hoping they would make a pretty centrepiece for her dining-room table. To her dismay, when her partner arrived for the dinner she had spent two hours preparing, his eyes went straight to the flowers. “Sweetheart,” he said, “don’t you know what an insult it is to a man if his woman buys herself flowers? If you wanted flowers, you should have asked me, and I would have bought you whatever you wished. Now, I feel degraded.”

Misogyny Regretted

A now elderly minister admitted, in a recent sermon, a sexist comment he had once inadvertently made. During the early 1960s, during training, he had taught a weekly religious education class of seven girls and one boy, all between eight and ten years of age.

Their first assignment was to memorize and recite the names of all the books in the Christian Bible in sequence. While the girls did so with comparative ease, the boy had to struggle. At one point, at a stuttering stand-still, the boy was approaching tears. The trainee minister sneered, “Well, I guess someone in this class will need to help you out-some GIRL” .

Misogynistic Misconception

Having joined a singles organization, I was not surprised to find there were far more women than men. Several women were quite lovely, and I have always viewed myself as quite plain.

Hence, I felt pleased and bewildered when one of the most attractive men there began to pursue me. Later, when our relationship formed, I asked his reasons for having chosen me.

He replied, “You didn’t seem to be angry at men. So many women have almost come to expect to be let down yet again, they become brittle and hostile, almost seeming to say, “Right, here comes another one.” Harriot Gaff

Misogyny and misandry are not a status or a belief; they are a sickness.

— Unknown

Her Breasts, His Size

Often, men with a misogynistic urge to control believe themselves to be adorers of women. Sadly, they interpret their fixation with the size of mammary glands as reflecting devotion.

In his comprehensive book, Cosmetic Breast Surgery: A Complete Guide to Making the Right Decision, Dr. Robert Freund discusses examples of his criteria for deciding whether a potential patient’s wish for a requested procedure is truly her own.

He describes one couple who, each time he asked the wife a question as to her medical history, wishes, and views, it was answered by her husband. Dr. Freund’s question to the wife as to the degree of augmentation she sought was answered by the husband.

"She wants them as big as you can make them.”

During their entire consultation, despite the surgeon’s questions consistently directed to her, the husband responded. Beyond a few reluctant nods and vague verbal affirmations, she sat in almost absolute silence.

Dr. Freund soon realized this wife had been degraded to a state of complete subjugation. Aware of this painful dynamic, he deemed it ethical to decline surgical augmentation.

Ingrid Bergman (August 29, 1915 –  August 29, 1982) was a renowned film star.

Ingrid Bergman (August 29, 1915 – August 29, 1982) was a renowned film star.

Ostracized for Being a Woman

A disturbing number of men believe women are meant to be either adored or abhorred, angels of chastity or cruel enchantresses, often hell-bent on destroying the men they entice. The idea of a woman feeling and acting upon those same drives and desires which impel men towards carnality cannot be endured in their opposite gender.

A blatant example of this polarity is illustrated by the career of stage and screen actress Ingrid Bergman. Born in Stockholm Sweden on August 29th, 1915, her acting ability began to be recognized during her early teens. In 1937, she married Dr. Petter Lindstrom, and they had a daughter named Pia.

In 1939 she became an American film star after appearing in the film Intermezzo. During the late 1940s, she travelled to Italy in order to appear in the film Stromboli, directed by Roberto Rossellini. By 1950, when this film was released, the director and star embarked on an affair which would result in the birth of Rossellini's son.

A week after the birth she divorced Lindstrom and then married Rossellini a few weeks after. The affair etc was a highly publicized scandal and Bergman was ostracized, and her career in America stalled. She was denounced as ”a powerful influence for evil” by Senator Edwin C. Johnson on the floor of the US Senate.

This condemnation ended, however, when, given the opportunity in 1956, she astounded audiences with her performance in the film Anastasia also starring Yul Brynner. Her magnificence allowed her transgression to be more-or-less overlooked. The resumption of respect was assisted as the evolving feminist movement began to emerge.

To some extent, the trajectory of the times is shown by the fact that, in 1972, Senator Charles H. Percy entered into the Congressional record an apology for the previous injustice with which she had been treated, nearly two decades before.

Mata Hari (August 7, 1876 – October 15, 1917) was a stage dancer and mistress.

Mata Hari (August 7, 1876 – October 15, 1917) was a stage dancer and mistress.

Mata Hari: Spy and Paramor

Who Was Mata Hari?

In fact, she was an entity invented, in order to bring a frisson of exoticism to her erotic verve. Born Margaretha Zelle in the Netherlands on August 7th, 1876, at 18 she married Rudolf MacLeod, an Army Officer twenty years her senior and relocated to the Dutch East Indies.

Although this marriage provided financial stability and a significant rise in social position, acrimony between the couple soon evolved into venom, and they separated in 1902, each detesting the other.

A Separate Self is Invented

Having glimpsed an elegant, bejewelled lifestyle, Margaretha was determined to obtain one, whatever its moral or physical costs. Therefore, she deployed her study of dance in the East Indies when she relocated to Paris in 1903. Once there, she was proved right in believing she could parlay her knowledge into a pretext for flaunting her semi-nudity under the guise of sacred rituals.

She changed her name to Mata Hari, translated in Indonesian as “sunrise” or “eye of the day”. This name and façade allowed her to tantalize her largely male audience beyond the bounds of respectable conduct. An affluent man could arrange a rendezvous, ostensibly in order to learn more about her background in dance.

Execution of Mata Hari

At some point, when age and weight gain curtailed her dancing career, Mata Hari’s financial needs rose. Akin to others who justify a means of living in various spheres of deceit, she detached her genuine self from the feigned Mata Hari.

As she would say, when accused of espionage, those who confided in Margaretha Zelle were entirely different from those who consorted with Mata Hari.

Still, the law does not accept such distinctions.

It is almost certain she worked, to some extent, as a German spy against France during World War 1. Still, according to her biography by Pat Shipman, Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari, the evidence of the significance caused by her conveying of information is largely open to question.

Ms. Shipman maintains Mata Hari’s execution, on October 15th, 1917, via firing squad, was based in part upon her lack of conventional morality and her refusal to grovel before the tribunal of men.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.