Male Chauvinism refers to the maintenance of fixed beliefs and attitudes of male superiority, associated with overt or covert depreciation of women (Woods, 1976)
Chauvinism was found to represent an attempt to ward off anxiety and shame arising from one or more of four prime sources: unresolved infantile strivings and regressive wishes, hostile envy of women, oedipal anxiety, and power and dependency conflicts related to masculine self-esteem.
Challenging chauvinist attitudes often result in anxiety or other symptoms. It is frequently not investigated in psychotherapy because it is ego-syntonic, parallels cultural attitudes, and therapists often share similar biases or neurotic conflict
WHAT AIDS CHAUVINISM?
- Our culture aids male chauvinism. It’s imbibed in us since birth. The fact that boys are superiors, they are to be treated carefully. Also, the girls are expected to tread lightly around them.
While some might argue that men in this part of the world are more than chauvinists and that they lean more towards misogyny. I would say that that distinction is more of a personality trait.
Or what can I say, it sounds the same sometimes. Especially when as a lady you experience this first-hand from a guy. To me it only makes him look smaller or should I say sad.
- Families also aid this behaviour. Boys are automatically given a symbol of authority, “He is the man of the house”. He is seen as superior or as who are seen as strong and virtuous, while girls are likened to being weak, unworthy, or inferior.
Mothers often played a more important role than fathers in the promotion of chauvinism, and the resolution was sometimes associated with decompensation in wives.
- RELIGION: Even before Christ, and both with Christianity and Islam, has aided this behaviour in men. While we can argue that things are a little better, the scriptures are still being followed and it is a big testament to the fact that we are a long way from equality.
How would we defeat Chauvinism?
This is not a campaign against men. I can proudly say that most of the guys I know are not like this. I would not keep anyone with this sort of attitude as an acquaintance. And I want to believe that most men understand that the chauvinistic character is a demeaning one. One they should not practice.
I think it’s the lack of self-esteem that brings it all to the boot. Some guys have a need to show superiority over women, especially those they feel intimidated by. And this is the first point on this.
- Self Esteem: Low self-esteem breeds a lack of self-confidence, which in turn entertains jealousy. We should always know that it is okay to be wrong or incorrect and make peace with it. You can’t always be the smartest in the room, therefore feeling inferior to others is of no need.
Instead, always learn how to take corrections, how to admit a wrong or a failure and how to ask for help.
- Parents should also do better. All these would be highly nipped at the bud if parents can train their children to understand and always practice respect.
Even adults should also learn and practice this, Respect they say is Reciprocal. We should always treat people how we want to be treated.
- While we can’t abolish our cultures, there are certain aspects of them that can be changed. Or perhaps be upgraded a bit.
- Also, with religion. We preach that God is love, and we should love one another. Love to me is peace, respect, forgiveness, understanding and a whole lot of positive characters. Let us learn to practice what we preach.
Woods, S. M. (1976). Some dynamics of male chauvinism. Archives of general psychiatry. JAMA PSYCHIATRY.