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Everyday Male Chauvinism

copy pasted from a downloaded pdf file, cause the online version could not be found anymore. [the online version can now be found if you click on the link in this blogpost]

{i, Milla, figured it would be nice to make the text accessible, and in order to make it a bit more easy to read, i changed the page-numbering system, since the text is now in one page. so there are some changes done to the original – for instance: references put inside the text, and some goof ups, words lost, and words corrected and such. But overall. Still the same text. Definitely useful, definitely worth reading.}

Everyday Male Chauvinism
Intimate Partner Violence Which Is Not Called Violence

Luis Bonino, Péter Szil
with contribution from Gábor Kuszing
© Luis Bonino, 2006
© Szil Péter, 2006
© Cserháti Éva (Hungarian translation) 2006
© Hajdu Bianka (Hungarian translation) 2006
© Gábor Kuszing (English translation) 2006
All rights reserved.
This publication was supported by the Daphne Programme of the European Union.
The sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors, editors and the Habeas
Corpus Working Group and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained in it.
Habeas Corpus Working Group, Stop Male Violence Project, Budapest
www.stop-ferfieroszak.hu
info@ stop-ferfieroszak.hu
1364 Budapest Pf. 31.

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Table of Contents
About the Publication :1
A little linguistic diversion :2
Back to Luis Bonino’s study :3
“I Am Your Wife, Not Your Maid” :4
The structure of the book :5
Everyday Male Chauvinism
Foreword
Introduction

The Strategies for the Maintenance of Male Power (Aa-a
Types of power (Bb-b
The effect of everyday male chauvinism (Cc-c
Coercive everyday male chauvinism
1.1 Intimidation
1.2 Financial control
1.3 Dominating time and space
1.4 Overwhelming repetition
1.5 Forced intimacy
1.6 Reference to the supremacy of male logic
1.7 Sudden seizing or releasing of control
1.8 Forced pardoning

Everyday male chauvinism used in crisis situations
2.1 Hypercontrol and hypercriticism
2.2 Fake help
2.3 Passive resistance and distance
2.4 “Come what may”
2.5 “If you had said in a different way…”
2.6 Avoiding criticism and discussion
2.7 Making promises and collecting good points
2.8 Martyrdom
2.9 Gaining time
2.10 Appearing to deserve pity
Covert everyday male chauvinism
3.1 Creating the lack of intimacy
3.1.1 Silence
3.1.2 Staying away and manipulative bad mood
3.1.3 Rationing out of acknowledgement and availability
3.1.4 Invading the intimate space with outsiders
3.2 Fake intimacy
3.2.1 Defensive-attacking communication
3.2.2 Misleading and lying
3.2.3 Fake negotiations
3.2.4 Ceremonial presence
3.3 Undermining the woman’s authority
3.1.1 Berating/minimising
3.3.2 Not mentioning the positive side
3.3.3 Isolation through collusion with outsiders
3.3.4 Misogynistic micro-terrorism
3.3.5 Self-praise and arbitrary monopolising
3.4 Paternalism
3.5 Emotional manipulation
3.5.1 Double messages (love/agression)
3.5.2 Sulking
3.5.3 Abuse of attachment
3.5.4 Making the woman’s demands or criticism appear as fads
3.5.5 Denial of the obvious
3.5.6 “It is the woman who wears the hat”
3.6 Shifting responsibility
3.6.1 Shifting of responsibility with guilt-tripping
3.6.2 Self-acquitting and self-justification
Utilitarian everyday male chauvinism
4.1 Missing out on household responsibilities
4.1.1 Zero cooperation
4.1.2 Fake cooperation
4.1.3 Self-advantageous cooperation
4.1.4 Emergency cooperation
4.1.5 Disappearance from cooperation
4.2. Abuse of women’s caring
4.2.1 Taking the caregiver role for granted, and exploiting it
4.2.2 Taking “helping out with the man’s work” for granted and exploiting it
4.2.3 Monopolising the right to signature

What to do with everyday male chauvinism?
Annex 1: Men’s Rights
Annex 2: Recommendations for Helpers
Bibliography

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About the Publication :1
Péter Szil

The publication the reader is holding in hand picks up an important thread started by Why does he abuse? Why can he abuse?, [Péter Szil: Why does he abuse? Why can he abuse? Domestic violence: men’s responsiblity. (Habeas Corpus Working Group, 2005, www.stop-ferfieroszak.hu)] the  publication published under the Stop Male Violence Project first, whose detailed elaboration could not be included in the earlier publication.

The above mentioned writing dealt with the myths which exist to cover up the reality of male violence. One of the most popular of these, victim blaming, is exemplified by the following quotation: “It is very common in relationships that the woman is as responsible for the deterioration of the relationship as the man; she displays a plethora of non physical aggression before a few slaps are heard.” [András Grád Ph.D.: A prostitúcióról és a megvert n kr l — tárgyilagosan, Élet és irodalom, 10 Oct. 2003.] The reader will find not only the continuation of the quotation on page 25 of Why does he abuse? Why can he abuse?, but also the detailed refutation of the myth. Only one sentence is quoted here: “Often men feel that a relationship has deteriorated when the mechanisms of male power, which are accepted as everyday communication, are no longer enough to maintain power over women.”

The subject of Everyday Male Chauvinism is the detailed analysis of the mechanisms of male power which are accepted as everyday communication. It is evident from the list of everyday power manipulations practised by men that not even emotional terror, often attributed to women, is women’s “privilege” or gender characteristic.

Luis Bonino [www.luisbonino.com] a psychiatrist and psychotherapist of Argentinean origin living in Spain coined the term “micromachismos” in 1990, which became everyday male chauvinism in the Hungarian and English translations.

A little linguistic diversion :2

In the Spanish compound, the first part (micro) is a reference to the “small power relations” described by the French sociologist Foucault. We need to recognise how the larger strategies of power are built into smaller power relations and how they find their conditions of operation in them… The first step in transforming power is to pinpoint these smaller power relations, to unveil them and to say who did what. [Conversations with Michel Foucault (Ornicar, Paris, 1977, No. 10., p. 62 to 93.)]

The second part (machismo), which in the Spanish original refers to both the ideology of male dominance and the exaggerated behaviour based on it, is a word that has a negative connotation in general Spanish usage—it describes a behaviour that treats women as subordinates and is discriminatory against them.

When a few years ago after three decades of stay in Sweden and Spain, I started to work on the topic of male violence in Hungary as well, as a Hungarian coming back from abroad, I was going to introduce the term “micro-machisms” for a new foreign word. The reason why this did not become the title of the book is not a fear of neologisms or foreign words. It turned out that in general parlance in Hungary, macho (macsó) has a tone of criticism over the traditional male role only for a few, and that it generally describes the stereotypical image of the idealised “masculine male.” This can be considered symptomatic of the environment and its current ideological state for which Why Does He Abuse? Why Can He Abuse? and now Everyday Male Chauvinism is written. Thus the term “micro-machisms” (much as it seemed an easy and witty solution) could have been a careless own goal on our part (as often happens with word-by-word translations), when we want to introduce a way of thinking based on the critical examination of social gender roles in Hungary.

As opposed to this, “everyday male chauvinism” is not only a term consisting of two expressions already in use in Hungarian, but also fills the full span of the meaning of the original compound in an acute and sensitive way.

“Everyday” already contains the element that “small” (“micro”) would not express in itself but which is an important feature of the concept of everyday male chauvinism: its frequency, ordinary nature and its invisibility through being everyday.

In addition, “male chauvinism” faithfully represents how sexism is related to ideologies based on discrimination. Sexism, just as racism or nationalism, (and even more so as it intertwines with everyday personal relationships) has a destructive effect not only on the group discriminated against but also on the community that defines itself by overestimating its own group and despising the other group. Because if we have a look beyond the flatulent surface of male corporatism to see what connects men, we will find nothing but the fact that they are not women.

sexism = prejudice based on gender identity, primarily women’s negative discrimination

male corporatism = the conscious or unconscious collusion of men in order to protect group interests related to male dominance

Back to Luis Bonino’s study :3
Following the publication of the study explaining the concept for the first time [Bonino Méndez, Luis: Develando los micromachismos en la vida conyugal – Una aproximación a la desactivación de las maniobras masculinas de dominio. In Corsi, Jorge (ed.): Violencia Masculina en la Pareja. (Paidós, Buenos Aires – Barcelona – México, 1995.)], it was published in several versions. One would believe that after the phenomenon became the centre of attention, the list of the characteristics of everyday male chauvinism was enlarged through the accumulation of experiences. That is true. However, the ranking and evaluation of the phenomena changed over the years, and some terms turned from a professional expression into an everyday word, or entered even the legal literature.

As the subtitle of the present publication suggests, everyday male chauvinism is the form of intimate partner violence that is not called violence. In the past decade, Spain has taken great steps in the recognition and naming of the various forms of violence against women and in addressing these forms with political, legal and social means. As both a precondition and secondary result of this process, the phenomena of power and control over women that had been unrecognisable and unnamed parts of everyday relationships have become visible and have been named. Some of them entered public thinking, what is more, jurisprudence [Spain introduced a comprehensive and separate law on male chauvinistic violence in 2005. Apart from punishing violent criminal acts against women, the regulation covers the protection of victims, prevention and dealing with perpetrators. As part of the implementation of the law, a network of prosecutors specialised in violence against women was created.] as part of broader categories, such as “psychic abuse,” “verbal abuse” or “emotional terror,” or in themselves, such as economic violence in the form of “financial control” or “intimidation.” Thus, many phenomena that were classified as more elaborate forms of control methods have come lower on the list into the group of coarser, more easily recognised manifestations, and more circumcised methods took their places.

Behind the above described fine-tuning process is the development through which not only researchers of the phenomenon but also the whole of society came to know more about the systematic nature and structural background of violence against women. [Both aspects are dealt with in detail in the already mentioned Why Does He Abuse? Why Can He Abuse? and in the preceding Why Does She Stay? (Miért marad? Feleség- és gyermekbántalmazás a családban. Hogyan segíthetünk? (NANE Egyesület, Budapest. Második, b vített és átdolgozott kiadás, 2006.) http://www.nane.hu/kiadvanyok/kezikonyvek/miertmarad/miertmarad.html)] It is as important to keep these two aspects in mind in evaluating everyday male chauvinism, as in discussing the phenomena that public opinion already considers, even now, with a minimum level of condemnation, violence or abuse. Since it may easily be the case that those who will look for excuses and justifications so that the male perpetrators can avoid being called to account and taking the responsibility, in the case of more severe violence, will do the same when discussing everyday male chauvinism.


It is true for everyday male chauvinism as well that if we only look at its single manifestations, women may commit one or the other from time to time or perhaps quite often. Therefore, it is important to stress that, just as in the case of other forms of intimate partner violence, the manifestations of everyday male chauvinism are part of a systematic behaviour—they are not occasional and momentary manoeuvres but are tactical steps constituting a strategy. The strategic aim is again the maintenance of the power position, of male dominance, and its restoration if that power is injured. The emphasis is on maintenance and restoration and not on the creation of power because this latter has already been ensured largely by the social, structural element: patriarchal society teaches the individuals who live together in this social environment their gender roles therefore male dominance is self-evident.


For the women who use one or another of the behaviours presented here under the collective name everyday male chauvinism, the same is true as for the women who are violent against their partners in physical, verbal or other ways. On the one hand, their statistical proportion does not validate considering violence a general phenomenon independent of the person’s gender. On the other hand, the majority of violent women either protect themselves against the systematic violence that is committed against them or try to balance off the feeling of powerlessness that comes from the unequal division of power. (This is well exemplified by the fact that both women who hit back and who talk back are considered violent in the culture of male dominance.) Statistically speaking, the woman who systematically applies violence in order to have power over her partner is the exception to the rule. This situation is uncharacteristic because this violence goes against traditional power relations and the institutional reactions to it are in reverse proportion to the individual and social weight of the violence committed by women.

“I Am Your Wife, Not Your Maid” :4
Why Does He Abuse? Why Can He Abuse? was strongly related to Why Does She Stay?, published ten years earlier by NANE Women’s Rights Association, and it was its intention, as expressed by the title, to supplement and continue that publication.

When the idea of the publication of Everyday Male Chauvinism was conceived of, it seemed that this book would be providing information in areas that had not been mapped before in Hungary. This situation has changed since; meanwhile Anna Haas’s book entitled I Am Your Wife, Not Your Maid was published. [Haas Anna A feleséged vagyok, nem a cseléded. Arsenicum Kiadó, 2005.]

Just as I considered it important to emphasise in the case of Why Does He Abuse? that it should be accompanied with reading Why Does She Stay?, I would like to do the same in relation to Everyday Male Chauvinism and Anna Haas’s book.

The two books complement each other in every way. I Am Your Wife, Not Your Maid calls “male selfishness experienced every day by women” what this book calls “everyday male chauvinism.” The difference in naming only reflects the difference in approach and tone, the phenomenon described is the same: social and private inequality along the lines of gender roles and its harmful influence on women’s lives.

Anna Haas’s book, which is full of life-like examples (because they are taken from life), classifies what it has to say according to the manifestations of this harmful effect while this book provides useful categories for recognising the everyday communication tactics serving the strategy of male dominance.

Anna Haas talks primarily to women in a subjugated position. Her book can be used at the same time exquisitely in a reverse direction. One example: every chapter of I Am Your Wife, Not Your Maid starts with a short test by which every woman can assess “how selfish her partner behaves.” In a men’s group started recently in Hungary, which deals with the male role in a self-critical way, we used the same tests to asses how selfishly the participants behaved with their partners. The aim was the same as the one that Anna Haas put before female readers: “to lose our illusions.” Without a self-critical approach, Anna Haas’ outspoken confrontation with the realities of relationships results mostly in really chauvinistic and aggressive defence reactions from male readers, the indigenous inhabitants of the several-thousand-year-old patriarchal empire called Masculand. The male opinions on the internet homepage of the book give a nauseating taste of these.

The structure of the book :5
This publication consists of Luis Bonino’s study entitled Micromachismos. As I have mentioned above, this study has been published in many versions in the past one and half decade. The text exists in so many versions not only because its knowledge base was continuously expanding in the course of dealing with the topic, but also because readers, at Luis’s express request, contributed to the writing with new examples and new kinds of everyday male chauvinism discovered by them.

I myself have had the opportunity to take part in this process during our friendship since 1993. I selected, edited and complemented all of Luis’s manuscripts and publications for the version published here, in cooperation with him and Gábor Kuszing. We were striving to create a version that is exhaustive, relevant to the current Hungarian situation and is easy to use practically. That is why we presented the long list of Luis’s text in a workbook format.

The function of the empty spaces is that the reader may make his or her own list of everyday male chauvinism after the general examples, and the personal examples on the margin of the text (which come from a variety of sources: Spanish import and Hungarian home-grown).

The chapters of the book “What to do with everyday male chauvinism?” and “Recommendations for helpers” contain ideas about how the recognition of everyday male chauvinism can result in changes in the lives of women who suffer from it, men who recognise their own behaviour and want to change it and professional helpers who want to help both of them.

Luis Bonino’s work has a pioneering role in making visible, naming and classifying even the smallest manoeuvres of everyday male chauvinism. The list he created, which may rightly seem dry, may become the active substance of change when filtrated through the reader’s own life experience. And naturally we will be glad to hear your examples and thoughts noted down into the “workbook.” [For our addresses see: www.stop-ferfieroszak.hu]
Two annexes supplement Luis’s book. One is the bulleted list of male prerogatives considered obvious as a result of socialisation. The target group of the other annex is therapists and other professional helpers, whom the text shows how the concepts of everyday male chauvinism can be introduced into the work on relationships and family relations.

This book invisibly contains the work of creating a whole terminology. Unnamed everyday things had to be named in Hungarian and English, things whose naming is still in progress in the original Spanish text. Éva Cserháti and Bianka Hajdu were helping not only the process of naming the phenomena of everyday male chauvinism with their ideas about translation but also their  interpretation through their personal examples. Their thoughts were included in the examples illustrating the texts, just as Gábor Kuszing’s. His cooperation and support was decisive in all phases of the creation of the book from editorship to typist.

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Everyday Male Chauvinism
Luis Bonino in Péter Szil’s presentation

Foreword
It is an unquestionable ethical requirement of the 21st century to develop forms of relationships between men and women that are based on mutual respect, are equal and democratic.

To perform this task, it is not only necessary for women to fight, but men’s active work is needed. Similarly, it is not enough to fight against general social inequalities and pass new laws. We must critically analyse and transform people’s mentality since that is where unfair treatment dictated by social gender roles just as pretended equality are created and re-created.

I have been examining the impediments to couple’s living together on the basis of equality, and within that men’s “small” controlling, violent and dominant behaviours. These forms of behaviour are all within the limits of so called normality and are not particularly outstanding, still they do insidious and continuous harm to women’s autonomy, dignity and even their psychic equilibrium. They are extremely common among so called “nice” men whom public opinion would call neither violent nor particularly controlling or male chauvinistic.

These almost unrecognisable mechanisms of “soft” control exercised over women, which I have named everyday male chauvinism, have a devastating effect not only on women but in the long term also on the men who exercise them. That is why with this writing, I would like to contribute to making these mechanisms visible. This could be the first step, where women who suffer from these mechanisms could recognise them, understand their effect and resist them more, men who exercise these mechanisms could recognise themselves and start to change their behaviour, if equality matters to them, and professionals working in the helping and educating professions could recognise and understand them as factors that need to be overcome.

Since I started to uncover and analyse these mechanisms in 1990, I have learnt more and more about their importance, effects and frequency from my two main areas of observation: my own relationship and my gender-based psychotherapeutic practice.

The first area was indispensable in being able to understand and describe from within the elaborate power practices that help us men dominate women. But, and it is not easy to say this even today, this understanding had little to do with my initiative but to a large extent comes from my relationship over many years with a woman who continually confronts me with reality: I am no exception, power mechanisms occur in my male behaviour, as well.

Susana Covas, a feminist and diligent teacher of activities promoting women’s autonomy always confronted me with my own everyday male chauvinism, whose recognition and modification is a process that has been going on for years. This and especially the countless original ideas and acute observations she had about men’s behaviour and its effect on women, and the power games in relationships were fundamental contributions to what you may read on the following pages.

In addition to her, others have helped me think about everyday male chauvinism. I would like to express my thanks to Jorge Corsi, José Ángel Lozoya, Josep V. Márqués and Péter Szil with whom I have continued to make observations about men and the male role to this day; —– Mabel Burín, Clara Coria and Emilse Dio Bleichmar who introduced me to gender studies and to understanding the female and male psyches;—– Harry Brod, Bob Connell, Michael Kaufman, Michael Kimmel, Jeff Hears and Vic Seidler profeminist men and researchers who critically address men and the male role whose writings were important sources; —– my patients at the Centro de Estudios de la Condición Masculina (Centre for the Study of the Male Condition) in Madrid, participants of my groups and lectures, who enriched the first description of everyday male chauvinism printed in 1990 with new examples.

Introduction
Abused women, men perpetrating violence: two dramatic aspects of the unequal relations between the sexes.

Male violence against women is getting more and more conspicuous and untenable in the whole of the Western world. At the same time, social action both within the legal and the therapeutic arena deal almost exclusively with the obvious, extreme and tragic manifestations of violence. However, if we accept that every act that uses coercion or other limitation against women’s freedom and dignity is violence, we must also recognise the countless forms of non-performance of responsibilities, abuse of power, violence and domination which men practise and which hitherto have passed unnoticed
as part of everyday life.

Male violence against women = all kinds of coercion or limitation against women’s freedom or dignity: non-performance of responsibilities, abuse of power, violence and domination

The various forms of violence against women are possible to display in many forms. Either as gradual and sometimes not clearly separable shades of a continuous scale or, as in the figure provided, as levels of a pyramid or iceberg. Everyday male chauvinism is the starting point of this scale, or the basis of the pyramid—the soil on which other forms of gender based violence thrive.

Death, Rape, Burns, Broken bones,

Kicks, Slaps, Pushing, Threats, Verbal violence,

Silence, Ridicule, Everyday male chauvinism

The practices that I call everyday male chauvinism various authors (Miller, Bourdieu, Glick, Castanéda, etc.) call various names: small tyranny, intimate terrorism, “soft,” “weak” or “low- intensity” violence, domination tricks, invisible male chauvinism or benevolent sexism. The more unacceptable “brutal” violence becomes as a form of domination, the more these practices become men’s most commonly used weapons, tricks, traps through which they create the same dominance with “civilised” means. This way, these constitute the largest part of the repertoire of male behaviours against women.

The Strategies for the Maintenance of Male Power (Aa-a
One of the most important mechanisms of maintaining power over others is the way those in power keep unclear and ensure through tacit understandings to keep secret how they maintain their power and everything that goes with it (prestige, social superiority, success, etc.).

This is as true in business (money laundering, selling influence) as in relationships. Bringing these secrets to light, uncovering power manoeuvres and making them transparent is a fundamental condition of decreasing power and building democratic relations between the parties.

Two French sociologists (Maurice Godelier and Piere Bourdieu) came face to face with the phenomenon of non-transparency in the 1980s, while they were examining in various African societies the way men attained prestige and superiority over women.

Observing the Baruja society in Oceania and the Berber society in Africa, they discovered the mechanisms by which men acquire the rules and abilities that ensure their self-determination, outstanding social status and respect. Men handed down these abilities through a special socialisation process, and excluded women from them. Godelier called them “the secrets of the powerful” because they deprived women from taking certain positions or from being members of the community with full rights.

In one of the tribes Godelier examined, the Barujas, one of these secrets were the knowledge of music and the use of instruments. The Baruja used these to maintained direct contact with the gods and to have contacts with other groups. Because music was forbidden for women, they had no access to this contact and became dependent on the men. In order that women stay in the subordinate role they were designated, one of the abilities handed down among men consisted in various manipulative and more or less everyday strategies: how to suppress women, how to take away their enthusiasm, convince them, prevent their revolt, or make them feel guilty if they do so.

It is along the lines of these male manipulations that the viewpoint that Bourdieu calls “the viewpoint of the ruler” is formed. Someone who perceives reality from a power position “from above” (like a feudal lord from the tower of his castle, or like the guests of the VIP-lounges at airports) does not identify this viewpoint with power, since he or she is so accustomed to it that this is the “normal” way of perceiving for him or her. This does not only prevent him or her form understanding the needs of those not at the same position but also makes the consequences that his or her own activities has on those subordinated invisible. Instead, he or she will attribute these consequences to the “nature” or “weakness” of the victims.

Men of the modern democratic world (at least those who consider themselves progressive) are far from (or at least think that they are far from) committing the practices described by the two French sociologists and are supporters of equality with women and the equal division of power. At the same time, Godelier and Bourdieau found that male behaviours that aim to exclude women from power have not disappeared and the majority of men has not abandoned the behavioural norms of women’s domination and exclusion handed down from one generation to the next, just as their way of looking at women “from above” has not changed. Because is there really a difference between Baruja men’s behaviour related to music and those men’s behaviour who make appointments beyond the normal working hours to take important business or political decisions, when women usually cannot be present, as they are to do the housework even if they are in a decision taking position in their workplaces? At these appointments, which are not transparent for women, not only only decisions are taken but they are an active component of the exchange and influence networks which are unavoidable to get higher in hierarchy. Godelier and Bourdieu have also pointed out that working for the equality of the sexes must include making the mechanisms of male chauvinism visible and uncovering the secrets of power.

Types of power (Bb-b
There are two types of power. One kills the soul, the other nourishes it. These two types of power are power over others and the power of the individual over oneself. Power over others aims at control while power over oneself is fulfilled in mutuality and cooperation. [ Patricia Evans The Verbally Abusive Relationship. Adams Media Corporation, 1992.]
When we say power, we mean power over others, the ability to control or dominate over the life or actions of another person. This power is coercive, which manifests over or against others in a visible or invisible way. In relationships, power has been assigned to men for centuries. This made it possible not just to abuse power against women’s existence but also for men to monopolise the power of defining small things, through which a person can force his or her interests, beliefs and viewpoint on others.

Power over others is different from the power of autonomous action, self-determination and self-empowerment, through which a person is capable not only to act but also to change his or her own situation and to influence his or her environment. Such a person has not power over others but power over his or her life, does not become a slave to others, can speak in first person singular and can say no. This kind of power makes it possible to cooperate with others and to use the power assigned to the person democratically. To exercise it, it needs social legitimacy, which practically only men have had to this day.

The power of empowering others also exists, which is different from the power of self-empowerment. This is the ability to care about others, to be there for another person, which is necessary for the growth, strength and autonomy of the persons taken care of. This is what Anna Jonnasdöttir calls the “power of love.” (Jonnasdöttir, 1993) Our culture only endows women with it while men have to revolt against the traditional male role if they want to exercise this kind of power.

The effect of everyday male chauvinism (Cc-c
The various manifestations of everyday male chauvinism seem insignificant and banal when taken separately. Their significance lies in the fact that if the woman does not recognise them in time and does not do something against them (and some times years pass before that happens, if ever) their compound and repeated use creates a more or less poisonous atmosphere that undermines women’s life energy, psychic and intellectual equilibrium and autonomy. This is how everyday male chauvinism creates the conditions of women being continuously at the disposal of men.

One reason for the effectiveness of everyday male chauvinism is that it is almost absolutely invisible. This is how it can do insidious and continuous harm to women’s lives, which is only aggravated as time passes. Because women are facing actions that are not obviously abusive or coercive, they have difficulty recognising them and that is exactly why it is difficult to address them. Most of the time, they are not even aware of their effects, thus when they sense the harmful effects, they do not recognise that they result from the manipulative manoeuvres. The first step in mapping everyday male chauvinism was when the professionals who were helping women asked themselves the question: why do so many women feel bad without being able to say why?

— The effect of everyday male chauvinism on women
For some women, irrespective of their personal characteristics, the manifestations of everyday male chauvinism causes effects that are similar to those of the more severe brutal forms of abuse, they are only lower in intensity. Here are some examples of the consequences, which affect women’s quality of life on various levels, but always adversely:

// Overburdens the woman physically and psychically, deprives her of the emotional supplies that she could use to satisfy her own needs and for her own sustenance.

// Decreases the woman’s personal power, slows down her personal growth, limits her freedom and increasingly elicits ineffective self-defence reactions such as complaining, which can only increase with time if no change takes place in their causes.

// Inhibits the woman’s intellectual capacities, courage, abilities of effective criticism, protest, thinking and action and so makes the woman incapable of working out and implementing her own life-plan.

// Decreases the woman’s self-esteem and credence before herself. Because of the growing dejection and insecurity, the woman feels incompetent, a loser, emotionally detached and helpless.

// Causes undefined discontentment and chronic irritation. The woman feels she has had enough of the relationship although “she has no reason” to feel so. Women blame themselves for this feeling because they are not aware of its origin.

— The effect of everyday male chauvinism on relationships
The manoeuvres of everyday male chauvinism have the following effects on relationships:

// An unequal, antidemocratic and badly working relationship comes about where the man’s self-determination and personal growth is realised at the expense of the woman’s.

// Step by step, the man’s interests are focused on in the relationship. In the wake of the manoeuvres of everyday male chauvinism, women often leave everything up to the man for whom it becomes even easier to influence situations the way he likes.

// As soon as the woman demands changes in the relationship and the man is reluctant to move towards equality in exercising the rights, or when the woman is forced to complain ineffectively, which the man will not listen to, the deterioration or crisis of the relationship will be considered the woman’s sin. Women often sense that something is not working right in the relationship but men deny this. The deterioration of the relationship usually comes from the lack of equality, to which everyday male chauvinism contributes largely.

However, if this reason cannot be pointed out, the woman will blame herself as she has been socialised to do so in learning the female role. The man, on the other hand, who does not consider himself an everyday male chauvinist, will not feel responsible for the situation and will seem innocent.

// Living together without discussion and cooperation turns the relationship into a battlefield of “cold war” where the woman lives in constant stress. The emptying out of the relationship gives rise to further power abuses and break-up.

Types of everyday male chauvinism
Everyday male chauvinism is made up of more or less occasional manoeuvres, which are so small and so much a part of everyday life that they are not recognised. At the same time, it includes those behaviours that are not recognised but are not small and are not of an occasional nature but make up the strategy itself which is the framework for the occasional manoeuvres. These are repeated, parallel manoeuvres, more or less global strategies or trenchant situations, which are comfortable for men but overburdening for women.

There is no intentionality or malevolence behind the majority of these behaviours but they are rather the automatic, unpremeditated habits of living with women. Many other behaviours are conscious however. In both cases, men practice them in an expert way based on their experiences that they gathered in the process of “becoming men.”

Because everyday male chauvinism continues unnoticed and unpunished despite the fact that it causes discontentment for women and harms primarily their independence. These harms become apparent only later in the relationship as they contribute more and more to the maintenance of the privileged male position.

Everyday male chauvinism appears in four main categories below:
// Coercive everyday male chauvinism
// Everyday male chauvinism used in crisis situations
// Covert everyday male chauvinism
// Utilitarian everyday male chauvinism

Because there are numerous overlaps between the various categories this classification has primarily a didactic aim, that of making visible the complex nature of everyday male chauvinism.

The four categories differ in their degree of invisibility. Following the above pyramid of violence against women, we will start with the “harsh” forms of everyday male chauvinism which have been made visible in society and will continue towards the manoeuvres that have become an invisible part of everyday life. Because coercive everyday male chauvinism is close to violence, this is the easiest to recognise. And utilitarian everyday male chauvinism is noticed the least often as it consists not so much in actions but in the non-performance of actions.

Broken bones, Burns, Rape, Death
Kicks, Slaps, Pushing, Threats, Verbal violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silence, Ridicule, Coercive everyday male chauvinism

Everyday male chauvinism used in crisis situations
Covert everyday male chauvinism
Utilitarian everyday male chauvinism

 

Coercive everyday male chauvinism
In this type of everyday male chauvinism the man uses force directly, it is just not his physical force he uses. Instead he uses a moral, psychic or economic force, or a force that comes from his personality, to break the woman’s will, limit her freedom, monopolise her thoughts, time, life-space and to narrow down her freedom of decision.

 

Manoeuvres in this category are effective in instilling the feeling in the woman that she has lost, cannot use effectively, or never possessed the ability to protect her rights, decisions and opinion. As a result she increasingly feels to be a loser, she withdraws, does not trust herself, and her self-esteem deteriorates. Naturally, this further decreases her equality and independence.

 

Coercive everyday male chauvinism can be divided into the following categories:

1.1 Intimidation

This is the borderline between psychic violence and everyday male chauvinism. A manoeuvre that causes fear and which the man uses after he has created his, real or imagined, reputation as a violent or aggressive individual.

The manoeuvre can consist of any threatening sign (look, tone of voice, posture, wording or gesture) through which the man lets the woman know that if she is not obedient “something” will happen. In order to make the signal credible, a power demonstration of physical, sexual or financial nature is needed from time to time.

In the long term, it usually leads to the man achieving that the woman does not want him to do anything when he does not feel like it and so he need not be at the service of anyone but himself.
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1.2 Financial control

A large part of the manoeuvres of everyday male chauvinism has the aim of the man monopolising the use and decisions over the use of money.

Its various forms are all based on the belief that the money is the man’s possession or at least he has more right to it than her. It includes withholding information on common money, control of expenses, questioning on the details of spending, withholding money (which forces the woman to ask for money) (Coria, 1992), keeping secret bank accounts and credit cards.

This is where the denial of the economic value of housework and childcare and childrearing belongs.
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1.3 Dominating time and space

It is based on the idea that time and space are male possessions which women have less right to; therefore their domination is given by nature.

It does not even occur to the man that the use of space and the division of time consuming joint tasks could be subject to discussion.

Examples of dominating space in the home environment include: the man scatters his clothes in the whole apartment, he takes a siesta in the armchair in the living room, which makes it impossible for anyone else to use the common space, monopolises television, or sits with his legs spread wide at the table and so takes up all the space under the table. (Guillaumin, 1992)

Examples of dominating time include: the man creates time for his own leisure or pastime at the expense of the woman’s time and by overburdening her (he devotes the weekend to his own hobby or stays out after work), he is reluctant to spend time on others, or portrays certain activities as useless without any grounds and so keeps away from housework. Countless sociological surveys attest that this form of everyday male chauvinism is effective as men have more free time on average than women (and they have it at the expense of women). (Álvaro, 1996)

♀ My partner is an efficient boss of a company that employs several people. His standard answer to everything at home is that he cannot make an appointment in advance. Even if we do fix a date, it is his express expectation that he has to be reminded a day earlier. In practice, this often means that it is then that you realise he has made another appointment, so in the end his time and decisions dominate everything. He does not like me making phone calls either. As I speak with my friend, he always grumbles, asks questions, like who I am talking to, and makes remarks about me talking too much, for himself so to speak, but I think it can be heard even over the phone.
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1.4 Overwhelming repetition

The man enforces his will despite the woman’s counter opinion by tiring the other party. The incessant and tireless repetition continues until the woman, so that she can have a little peace, gives up her wish or opinion and accepts the solution forced on her.
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1.5 Forced intimacy

The man approaches the woman in a one-sided and pushy manner with a personal or sexual aim, when he wishes to do so, and without being interested in the woman’s need or without any discussion about how they are to reach the intimate situation. Forced allurement by the man who wants to have sex is a typical manifestation of forced intimacy.

♀ I always have a difficult time when my partner, however much I try to keep my head out of reach, keeps kissing and licking me in a conspicuous way in the street or other public space, where I would be more reserved. I often have the impression that he is not so much overwhelmed by a flood of intimacy at these times but wants to show that I am his. This becomes especially depressing when there is a disagreement between us and instead of taking me seriously, he wants to annul my opposition to him in this way.
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1.6 Reference to the supremacy of male logic

The man refers to “reason,” “logic,” or “proper” arguments with the aim of enforcing thoughts, behaviours or choices on the woman that are disadvantageous to her.

The man who uses this manoeuvre bases his actions on the idea that his is the only or at last the best argument. He does not leave room for differing feelings or wishes, nor for alternative solutions, and presumes that solely by presenting his arguments he is also entitled to carry out his will.

The man will not accept anything from the woman that is not a so-called logical argument (while of course the man thinks that the woman will never be able to come up with one). The woman, unless she wants to be overwhelmed, is forced to be absolutely clear about her position and the arguments supporting it. This kind of manoeuvre is especially efficient against women whose sense of reality is based on perception or intuition.

A typical example is the coercion used in choosing a place for holidays. If the woman does not like the place the man chose, how could she enforce her different wishes if those do not make sense under (male) logic?

Another example of the manoeuvres in this group is when the man monopolises the right to decide if a topic is serious or not.

♂ I’m not going to discuss this nonsense.
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1.7 Sudden seizing or releasing of control

More or less surprising manoeuvres through which the man annuls or disregards the woman’s decisions, without prior discussion.

They are based on the belief that the man has an exclusive right to decide. Its most typical example is the monopolising of the remote control or the right to change the channel and then the release of the control over this as soon as he is no longer interested in the given programme.

This is where shortcutting of decisions belongs. This special manoeuvre consists in the man taking decisions without asking the woman in situations where she has a role or that are difficult to leave. An example is the invitation of important persons (bosses or relatives) in the last minute.
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1.8 Forced pardoning

It is part of the process which is termed “the cycle of violence” in abusive relationships. [Why Does She Stay? (Miért marad? Feleség- és gyermekbántalmazás a családban. Hogyan segíthetünk? (NANE Egyesület, Budapest. Második, b vített és átdolgozott kiadás, 2006.) http://www.nane.hu/kiadvanyok/kezikonyvek/miertmarad/miertmarad.html), page 34.] The main characteristics of the cycle are independent of whether the violence is physical or “only” verbal. At the time of the accumulation of tension, the man’s hurtful actions become more common and severe and when they reach their (usually explosive) climax, the third phase, the “honeymoon” ensues.

The man shows repentance, behaves in a kind and affable manner and makes promises that this will never happen again. This phase is important in itself to break the woman’s psychic opposition. During the transition from this phase into the next cycle, the man “pardons himself” and forces his one-sided decision about it on the woman. Here he uses force to achieve the same goal as the tactic of “let’s clear the slate” does with manipulation.
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Everyday male chauvinism used in crisis situations Men deploy the manoeuvres that belong here when there a crisis comes about in the so far stable inequality of power in the relationship and the equilibrium tilts towards greater equality. The reason for the crisis can equally be the greater independence of the woman or the man losing power because of a negative change in his employment status or physical state. The changing situation usually goes together with the woman’s increasing request to attain greater equality in the relationship.

With the manoeuvres used in the crisis situation the man tries to prevent changes in the status quo, attempts to maintain or regain power over the other, tries to avoid any change, and/or alleviates his fears. (Equal relationships with women usually elicit fears of impotence, inferiority, subjugation or abandonment from men.)

The man, who loses his power and his sense of security with it, not necessarily uses only the manoeuvres listed here but can deploy other means listed under the other categories of everyday male chauvinism by increasing their quantity or intensity. Men usually use these manoeuvres in the order as presented here, using more or less of them depending on how much opposition the woman can marshal against the man exerting pressure to avoid change.


2.1 Hypercontrol and hypercriticism

At the first sign that the woman is gaining strength, the man increases the control over the woman’s space, criticises her activities and use of time.

Most often, it is used by men who feel they have lost some of their power even before the woman has gained more power. These methods usually go together with the strategy that considers the woman incapacitated in all respects. The man is moved by fear and he tries to prevent the woman from gaining more, absolute or relative, power over her own life and in the relationship and from so supplants him in his ruling position. For instance, when the woman starts to take driving lessons, which threatens with her gaining greater physical autonomy or having better employment opportunities, the man expresses his doubts if she is capable of learning to drive at all.
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2.2 Fake help

These manoeuvres are usually relied on when the woman wants to have more out-of-the-home activities.

The man ensures her of his support in words but that never manifests in actual cooperative actions. Thus, the man avoids any face-to-face conflict, while the woman will not have more time as he continues not to take his share of the housework. For example, the couple may agree that on the days of her driving lessons he will do the shopping, but he always forgets to buy something important.
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2.3 Passive resistance and distance

The man uses these manoeuvres to suppress the woman’s growing autonomy. His aim is to weaken the woman so that she would have less energy for increasing her power over her own life.

The following sentence is an excellent example: “I hope you know what you’re doing” (that is: with the housework, when the woman wants to have a job that gives her an income).

This category includes the lack of support and cooperation, alienation, “attack from under cover” (the man does not take the initiative, he waits and then criticises: “I would have done better…”), distancing, threatening with leaving, or practically leaving the relationship (the man leaves into his work or for a relationship with a “more understanding” woman).
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2.4 “Come what may”

The man does not take any steps hoping that the woman will get tired of initiating change.
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2.5 “If you had said in a different way…”

The man refuses the woman’s demands by saying they were not expressed “properly” (that is according to the man and the social expectations towards the woman).

♂ You can only shout!
♂ If you had said “please” instead of “I want” I would have understood and I would have felt you were taking me for a human being, too.

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2.6 Avoiding criticism and discussion

The man tries to avoid having to acknowledge his power situation, tries to quench the woman’s criticism and wants to ward of the change which is not according to his wishes.

He enforces this on the relationship by denying that the woman’s suggestions are justified and also excludes the possibility of arriving at a solution by negotiations.

These manoeuvres are usually accompanied by accusatory and guilt-tripping statements finding fault with how the woman “has changed.”

♂ I’m fine with how things are, unlike you.
♂ Why should I change just because you are changing?
♂ That’s your problem!
♂ What are you complaining about, wasn’t I like this when you got to know me?
♂ If you hadn’t changed, everything would be all right.

It is also in this category when the man attributes the woman’s ideas, criticism or objection to the “bad influence” she has been subject to (female friends, mother and father in law, feminists, psychologist).

Through this he also states that the woman has no independent ideas: if she is not realising the man’s ideas she must be realising someone else’s…
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2.7 Making promises and collecting good points

In face of the woman’s persevering request for change in the relationship, the man makes promises that he will change.

In reality, he only makes temporary concessions, and expects them to work as a “magic wand.” They are not the real questioning of the male role or about real change but a tactical withdrawal. The temporary nature of changes becomes evident when even the already achieved results disappear and the man returns to the original state as soon as the woman stops voicing her requests, expressing her anger and accepts the man’s request for “another chance.”

This is where buying presents, promises of the type “I’ll be a good father/husband,” alluring or attentive behaviour and the “acknowledgement” of faults belong. The intensity of the manoeuvres greatly increases as soon as the woman threatens with leaving the relationship.
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2.8 Martyrdom

The man makes himself appear as an innocent victim of the way the woman has changed and “gone crazy,” and tries to break the woman’s will by accusations concerning that.

If he does decide for a change of some sort, he experiences each step as a huge sacrifice. He expects applause for the smallest change and when that does not happen, he gets angry. All this happens so that nothing can be expected from him. The man evaluates his actions for a change based on his own efforts and not on whether he has really effectively decreased his power practices objected to by the woman.

The manipulative sentence most often heard at this time is: “Nothing is good enough for you!”
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2.9 Gaining time

This manoeuvre takes place usually when the man realises that the woman will not let herself be manipulated and expects real changes from him.

The man formally accepts that this request is justified but puts off starting to change until something forces him to do so (usually that the woman has enough and gives him an ultimatum on divorce). It is obviously a power tactic in as much as it forces the woman to continue to endure the unfair relationship and to subject herself to the man’s time schedule and wishes. Meanwhile the man continues to control the decision over when he is willing to change (or acknowledge that he he is not even considering to change or cannot change).

The man has many ways of delaying the decision or even the discussion about the change. He often refuses even to ask for external therapeutic help, or even when he accepts that in principle he keeps putting off taking it.

♂ I need time.
♂ We’ll talk about it.
♂ We’ll see.
♂ I’ll consider it.

The effectiveness of the time-gaining manoeuvre lies in exhausting the woman, unless she is clearly aware of her aims and can represent those firmly.
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2.10 Appearing to deserve pity

The man tries to make the woman give up her aims and to restore the original situation by inducing pity.

The manoeuvre can take place in the woman’s environment. The man looks for coalition partners who will attest what a “nice guy” he is (and how “bad” she is).

The manoeuvre can manifest in self-harming behaviours: he neglects himself, provokes an illness or accident, increases the consumption of alcohol or other drugs, or threatens with suicide.

All this appeals to the woman’s caring attitude and attempts to make her feel that things will end up very bad unless she stays in her place. This manoeuvre often continues after the break-up of the relationship.
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Covert everyday male chauvinism
This is the form of everyday male chauvinism most harmful to equality between the partners and the woman’s autonomy. Because of its insidious and hardly noticeable nature, the underlying intention of dominating the woman and forcing her to be available remains hidden (sometimes even for the man). As opposed to coercive everyday male chauvinism, the man achieves this not with force. Instead, he uses his partner’s love and trust towards him to make her do things that decrease her opportunities for efficient thinking and action, and finally she will take steps against her own will in the direction dictated by the man.

All this causes feelings of defencelessness and helplessness in the woman, which mix with confusion, anxiety, guilt and doubts about her own sense of reality (as there is no obvious coercion). Naturally, this contributes to undermining her self-esteem and trust in herself, and consequently her autonomy, and so her own view of herself will make her accept the role of subordinate.

Exactly because of its covert nature, the woman rarely realises this kind of everyday male chauvinism, which does not mean she feels its coercive effects to a lesser extent. Because of the discontentment that grows in its wake, the woman often reacts in a delayed (and according to the man exaggerated”) manner with anger, coldness and tantrums “without a reason.”

Covert everyday male chauvinism is usually considered “normal” male behaviour. Because of this, it not only increases the man’s chances to power in a very effective way so that his truth and his wishes prevail in the relationship but also has an especially destructive effect on women who are dependent on men’s approval.

The manoeuvres that belong here can be divided into the groups listed below. Such a division of the manoeuvres serves primarily the purpose of making their description transparent, while in reality the man creates a complicated and cunning mixture of all of these techniques.


3.1 Creating the lack of intimacy

It is often heard that men have difficulty in creating intimacy. This is true, however it is equally true that avoidance of intimacy is a power tool men use day after day. We collected the manoeuvres of distancing under the term “creating the lack of intimacy.”

The man will prevent the relationship from becoming deeper to avoid the danger of losing his power and being defenceless to the woman, who is usually more comfortable in intimate relationships (Weingarten, 1991).

Through keeping the distance, the man controls the rules of conversation. He acts on the belief that he “the crown of creation” has unlimited right to increase the distance without any prior discussion and he is the only one to call himself to account about his actions (without allowing the same rights to the woman).

This is how the man makes the woman conform to his wishes regarding the level of intimacy, the amount of housework to be done, the extent of being available and the topics to be shared. The man’s wish that he primarily wants to deal with himself is realised, and the woman’s request that the relationship should be mutual fails. The main message of the manoeuvres is that for the man, he himself is the important thing, the relationship and the bond are secondary.

3.1.1 Silence

It has been a well-known male behaviour since ancient times that men do not like to talk, at least not about their inner, emotional worlds. Measured on a historical scale, this has become problematic only lately with the questioning of male authority and the growth of the value of discussion and closeness that has always been put forward by women. Irrespective of what internal motivation makes a man short of words (men are often silent because they do not want to show that they feel helpless, or because they do not know what to reply to a request posed by the woman), silence is a power manoeuvre that enforces the man’s own interests: he who is silent forces silence on his partner.

To be silent is more than not being able to speak: the man does not feel obliged to speak or to provide explanation or to provide his partner with information (while he demands that she should be an open book for him). Only someone who has power can afford this. Thus silence forces the lack of
discussion on the relationship and forces the woman to fill in the gap in communication herself.

The woman has to find out what the man feels and thinks, and her attention has to be centred on him if she does not want to miss the rare moments when the man is accessible. The man often perceives this effort of the woman’s as persecution and denies that its reason lies in his behaviour. (Travis, 1992)

The various forms of the manoeuvre are: the man is reserved, will not answer, answers in monosyllables, does not ask, does not listen to the other, speaks for speaking’s sake. (Durrant and White, 1990; Wieck, 1995)

This manoeuvre sometimes draws a mystic aura around the man, which many women find very attractive. Many men justify the lack of discussion with the statement “I cannot express myself.” In reality, this is a good example of when silence is a covert manoeuvre and active distancing: it effaces his wish of not having to say what he thinks (for instance: “why should I change when I am okay the way I am”), or his wish to continue to control the situation, or of not having to acknowledge that he has no reasons against the changes the woman is requesting and he himself understands that the woman’s views are justified, or that he has no idea how he could win the game.

It is important to distinguish between the silence that serves as a means of male power and the meditative silence that goes with being together with a lover, and thirdly the angry silence or silence based on fear and coercion, whose reason usually lies in the fact that the person has no right to speak, is forced to be silent or chooses not to speak to avoid retaliation.

This latter kind of silence is characteristic of oppressed groups, among others women.
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3.1.2 Staying away and manipulative bad mood

It is carrying further the above manoeuvre. The man usually employs it when the woman expects closeness, answer or commitment from him. The man creates distance at these times through which he forces the lack of closeness on her.

Staying away can be literal, as in one of the reaches of the house or in an activity, or can be intellectual, when the man stays away immersed in his thoughts. If this manoeuvre does not prove to be enough, the man limits the woman’s request for information or closeness with tantrums. The  defensive sentences said at these times make it possible that the subject is again not whether the woman’s requests are justified but the man’s feeling that his territory has been invaded and he has been accused: “Leave me alone!” “Can’t you see I’m busy!” “Don’t bring your problems up again!” “Don’t be pushy!” “Nothing is enough for you!” “Don’t push me around!” “I do it as I like.” “I’ve been working all day, I want some peace!” and finally, as a climax, the categorical: “I’ve had enough of you!”

The sequence of silence-staying away-angry sentences-even more staying away is a complex and very common manifestation of everyday male chauvinism.
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3.1.3 Rationing out of acknowledgement and availability

The man is mean in rationing out acknowledgement of the woman’s person, needs, values and rights, and does not appreciate how much the woman contributes to the psychic and physical wellbeing of the man and the whole family.

This treatment is supplemented by the fact that he does not equally support and take care of the woman (while he leaves the role of care to the woman). Many women recognise this form of everyday male chauvinism (it is sometimes called “disregarding”) as the relationship is not the only arena where they suffer from it.

Often, it causes a lack of love (which increases dependence for women who are prone to it). Another effect is that what the man does is overvalued (the less often something happens the larger its value…). (Bernard and Schaifer, 1990)

A typical sentence accompanying the manoeuvre: “You know I love you anyway (or appreciate what you do), why should I say so?”

“Attack from under cover” pertains here: the man will not start performing a joint task on his own, he waits and then criticises: “I would have done it better…”
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3.1.4 Invading the intimate space with outsiders

The man continually fills the space of the relationship with friends, television, meetings or other activities.

With this manoeuvre, the intimate space decreases to a minimum or ceases to exist at all. It is sometimes accompanied by the accusation that the woman is “not sociable enough.”
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3.2 Fake intimacy

As opposed to the above group, the man is not distant in this manoeuvre, on the contrary, he is open to discussion but uses it to his own advantage and to put forward his position. The lack of common agreement on honesty and discussion continues to deprive the woman of power.

Sometimes there are misunderstandings in the discussion because, although the man is really trying to create a relationship based on mutual respect, his communication style, which is more confronting than women’s, makes the woman feel that he wants to force his will on her. However if the man continues to use the opportunity provided by socialisation to decide what is right, this becomes a manifestation of everyday male chauvinism in reality as the man’s style defines the conversation.
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Within the group of fake intimacy, the following manoeuvres can be distinguished:

3.2.1 Defensive-attacking communication

A mode of relating based on the alternation of defence and attack that lacks openness and joint discussion, through which one party wishes to force his will on the other. “I understand if you can’t go to the kindergarten for the kid but I’ve been running around all day, you could have more stamina.”
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3.2.2 Misleading and lying

The man alters reality through keeping certain information secret, or by distorting or omitting them, so that he can continue to enjoy certain advantages (basically the power of decision and the use of his own freedom at the expense of the other) he would lose if he were honest.

As he deprives the woman of equal access to information, he has more elements to play with through which he can increase his own power and freedom.

The forms of misleading that occur most often are not keeping promises and varnish.

Outstanding, among lies, are the ones that concern the use of money or the time spent on various activities, the ones by which the man does not acknowledge mistakes he very well knows he made, or when he offers something (primarily understanding and cooperation) he has no intention to fulfil, or, as happens often, when he stubbornly denies obvious things (usually mistakes, being inattentive or being wrong).
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3.2.3 Fake negotiations

False communication in reality: the man appears to be inclined to discussion so that the couple can find a solution to a problem through negotiation so to speak, but in reality he is reluctant to give up his position, he only “makes concessions” at best. He makes himself appear flexible by sitting down to talk but in reality, the solution is not subject to negotiation. [That is why the application of mediation and couples therapy is to be evaluated from case to case in cases where intimate partner abuse occurs even in the “mild” forms described here. For more on this see: Annex 2: Recommendations for helpers on page 83. {Milla’s note: I have no clue what page 83 means! Sorry! :P}] “All right, I’ll go and fetch some beer but at least make some chips to go with it.”

The manoeuvre is often accompanied by the stopping of the conversation, which is made to appear as the woman’s fault as she was not using so called “proper language” (see: “If you had said it in a different way…”).
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3.2.4 Ceremonial presence

The man is there when the shopping is done but he is looking around while she is filling up the trolley. Although the father is there at the children’s doctor but has no idea what vaccination and illnesses the child has had. He participates at the birthday party but takes no part in the work.

Another form of ceremonial presence is when the man’s presence is formal and scarce.
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3.3 Undermining the woman’s authority

The man’s communications demonstrate the idea that he considers the woman’s person, wishes, thoughts and values to be of a lower order. All this coincides with the value judgements of traditional culture that debase women. These demonstrations deeply harm the woman’s self-esteem, especially for women who have a strong need for external approval.
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Manoeuvres serving to undermine the woman’s authority have several subgroups:

3.1.1 Berating/minimising

The man uses berating expressions and labels directly or indirectly (in the form of allusions, covert charges) against the woman.

For instance, pronounces the woman’s opinion to be ridiculous, insignificant or not serious, makes her characteristics or the changes important to her appear negative, or browbeat all diversions from the traditional female role.

Berating often questions the woman’s intelligence or ability of perception.

♂ You have no idea!
♂ You can’t even think!
♂ Nitwit!
♂ You are always exaggerating!
♂ You’re really crazy!

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3.3.2 Not mentioning the positive side

The man ignores the woman’s positive characteristics, her positive contribution to the relationship and everyday life, her thoughts and actions. This manoeuvre is especially apparent in the area of housework and taking care of persons.

♀ Gerg won a two-year scholarship in Milan. In order to prevent this from harming our relationship, I found a college in Milan, I worked hard for the tuition fee and then in Milan, I did cleaning beside the school. I hadn’t spoken Italian since my secondary school days but my friend Judit helped with filling in the application form and the translation of my CV and diploma. When we met Judit next, Gerg started to lash me: that I can’t do anything, I live on my friends, Judit should have been accepted to the college since she filled in the papers and she wrote my CV.
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3.3.3 Isolation through collusion with outsiders

The man attempts create alliances with persons close to the woman (family members, friends) by grumbling and tendentious storytelling with the aim of discrediting and isolating her and making her even more helpless this way.
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3.3.4 Misogynistic micro-terrorism

The man makes unexpected berating remarks about the woman, usually in public, that explode like a bomb. The most pertinent element in the comments is making fun of the woman, accusation, aggression and guilt-tripping.

Exactly because of their unexpected nature, they affect the woman when her defences are down, who becomes confused and unable to act as a result. They are said most often in the company of friends, relatives or colleagues; in environments where the man could not stand remaining in the background.

Examples include: remarks reminding the woman of unperformed “female tasks,” unexpected berating remarks about women’s success in the public sphere, and remarks that treat the woman as an object, especially when the woman appears as a person. (Coria, 1992)

♀ I was visiting my friend’s as she was giving a children’s party. As usual, my friend was busy taking care of all the guests, serving the food in addition to her own three children. The grandmother, as she is hard of hearing, could not really take part in the conversation, so she busied herself with knitting. My friend’s husband, as he was passing by the grandmother, remarked so that everyone could hear: “I would like a wife who is as diligent as her.”
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3.3.5 Self-praise and arbitrary monopolising

The man undermines the woman’s authority by over-valuating his characteristics or actions, and/or by arbitrary monopolising of the areas, objects or time denied to the woman. Thus for instance he will not accept that he would have a lot to learn from the woman (especially in the area of housework: “I know it by myself,” “You don’t know how to teach,” “I’ll do it in a different way”), excludes the woman from some kind of activity (“Leave it for me, I’m better at that”), and/or arbitrarily monopolises joint objects (for instance the bigger of the family’s two cars because “You won’t take care of it and it’s too complicated for you,” or the more comfortable of the chairs in living-room).
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3.4 Paternalism

The man treats the woman as a child, does things for her sake and not together with her. In this form of everyday male chauvinism, the intention of owning and dominating the woman appears in an undisguised form as soon as the woman revolts against being treated as a child and the man cannot stand the fact that he is unable to keep her under control.
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3.5 Emotional manipulation

The man induces negative feelings and doubts in the woman about herself with messages that rely on her trust and love, and thus makes her even more dependent.

Out of its many possible modes, the following are highlighted here:

3.5.1 Double messages (love/aggression)

As a result, the woman feels she has been trapped: if she reacts to what she has heard she will not avoid the manipulation, if she does not react (because she can sense the manipulation) she will be accused of not accepting the man’s love or senses bad intentions and malice where (according to the man) nothing of the kind exists.

Examples of double messages are: manipulative allurement (a loving approach out of interest; sex when the woman does not want it), the tactic of “let’s clear the slate” (“You would make me so glad if you did not mention anymore that argument the other day, I was upset that is why I raised my voice”), forced choice (“If you don’t do this for me, you don’t even love me”) or getting hurt (“How can you assume that about me?”).
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3.5.2 Sulking

Non-verbal guilt-tripping accusation. The man uses this when the woman does something he does not like which he has no rational reasons to bring up against.

♂ Never mind how I feel that you want to go out without me.
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3.5.3 Abuse of attachment

The man uses the trust vested in him on the basis of the relationship to his own ends.

For instance a woman dentist leaves the management of her finances to her accountant husband, and it only turns out after years that the man has been using her money to his own purposes.

It often goes together with manifestations of everyday male chauvinism listed under other categories, for example with financial control or misleading, or can supplement those.
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3.5.4 Making the woman’s demands or criticism appear as fads

… or exaggeration or silliness…
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3.5.5 Denial of the obvious

The man induces doubts in the other party about her own soundness of judgement through denying obvious things. This tactic is also known as “crazymaking” in psychological literature. An almost caricature-like example is when the woman catches the husband in a sexual act with another person, and he denies the obvious situation.
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3.5.6 “It is the woman who wears the hat”

The man diverts responsibility from himself by emphasising circumstances that do not affect the real power situation or division of labour criticised by the woman.

♂ You will tell me what we’ll have for dinner and I’ll just obediently have it.
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3.6 Shifting responsibility

The man shifts the responsibility to the woman in various areas of everyday life.

The basis of this behaviour is the belief that no one should hold the man accountable for his actions, but he may require others, and that no one can oblige him to do anything that he considers as being far from his position.

3.6.1 Shifting of responsibility with guilt-tripping

The man makes the woman feel in varied ways how “unskilful,” “improper,” she is in performing her spousal or motherly duties, and how “stupid” or “bad” she is. The man bases his remarks on the idea that it is him who defines what the woman “should do,” who has always been the source of all evil (since Eve).

The manoeuvre also serves to put the man in the position of the prosecutor or judge who evaluates others’ faults in the relationship, and so he never has to feel either at fault or responsible for anything.

Some examples of the countless forms of shifting responsibility with guilt-tripping are: the man blamest he woman for any problem occurring in the family (and consequently proclaims his own innocence); accuses the woman when she likes the company of others or situations where the man was not present; accuses the woman for what happens to him and even when she becomes reserved or irritated when he forces his will on her.

♂ Don’t you complain that I’m not attentive to you when you are only repeating yourself. I don’t believe that is what an understanding wife is like.
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3.6.2 Self-acquitting and self-justification

The aim of the manoeuvres belonging here is on the one hand to help the man avoid tasks, and to enable him on the other hand to refute the woman’s justified complaints.

3.6.2.1 Fudging

This is perhaps the most universal reaction when a man is called to account.

♂ You could have told me.
♂ It’s your fault.
♂ Yes, but…

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3.6.2.2 “I was making the effort but…”

The man refers to circumstances which are immutable according to him.

Lack of awareness: “I didn’t realise,” (meaning: “I wasn’t taking you into consideration.”)

The difficulties of men: “I don’t know how to express myself,” “I’d like to change but it’s so difficult,” “We, men are like that.”

Work obligations: “I have no time for the kids.”

Clumsiness, paralysis of will or other personal disability: “I’m not an expert at it,” “I couldn’t stop myself,” “I can’t.”
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3.6.2.3 Selective inexperience and forgetfulness

The man proclaims himself to be inexperienced in tasks around the house: “It is so difficult to keep the kitchen clean” (meaning: “I don’t like to do it.”) “I would love to cook, dear, but you do it so well.”

This way, the man refuses certain responsibilities (and so forces them on the woman). Only by seeing through the manoeuvre at its aim is it possible to realise why so many men can easily handle a complicated device like a computer but still “can’t” start a washing machine.

The reason for selective forgetfulness is not that the man suffers from amnesia (he usually remembers everything he is interested in) but because he does not regard certain activities as his and only undertakes them out of necessity.

♂ I forget everything. There’s no use making a list, I will leave it at home. You could do the shopping instead.
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3.6.2.4 Minimising own omission

The man makes his own omission appear as banal and easily pardonable while he is not inclined to overlook the woman’s mistakes and he often portrays her care of things, relationships and persons as unfit or exaggerated.
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3.6.2.5 Advantageous comparison

“There are men who are worse than I am.” (Interestingly, the man never compares himself to better men…)
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3.6.2.6 Disproportionate magnifying of own deeds


♂ You can be happy to have me for a husband; I always take down the dog in the evening.
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3.6.2.7 Shifting responsibility for omissions to others

Its most classic form is the sentence that starts with “Where did you put…” (meaning: the man does not know where his things are but it is easier to say that the woman is responsible for this, too.)

♂ It’s your fault if you don’t tell me what to buy, how should I know?
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Utilitarian everyday male chauvinism
According to social norms, men not only have the right to being loved, taken care of and having their needs met by women but also to hold this to be valid for themselves only and to deny the same from the woman. Thus, the man can exploit the life energy that the woman brings into the relationship, he gains social power through it, and can continue to dominate the woman thanks to the fact that he accumulates, for his own purposes, and abuses the energy snatched from the woman for which he gives nothing in exchange. [
A. Jonnasdöttir (1993) The Power of Love: Thoughts about the Theory of Modern Patriarchal Society.]

This is the form of everyday male chauvinism that is the most difficult to recognise as it is such a “natural” part of the relationships between women and men. Exactly because of this, it provides the largest contribution to maintaining the unfair distribution of power in relationships, even in developed countries, where women have achieved greater autonomy in many fields.

The manoeuvres that belong here, whether they are occasional or part of a comprehensive strategy, have two main characteristics. One is utilitarianism itself, that is the man should have, if possible, an immediate profit out of it. The other is that they are usually based on omission and the shifting of responsibility, that is on the man’s withdrawing from something. Their effectiveness lies not in what the man does but in what he fails to perform and what is left for the woman to perform, who will have less energy for herself as a result.

Utilitarian everyday male chauvinism exerts its influence in tight unison with two patriarchal beliefs. According to one, taking care of the household, persons and relationships is a female province while the man has a calling to fulfil the “important” duties of the public sphere, regardless of whether he performs the tasks of making money and protecting the family. According to the second, men have an unlimited right to exploit women. As a result of both, women have to be available all the time to perform a wide variety of services and helping tasks without men feeling any motivation to recompense them.

The function of utilitarian everyday male chauvinism is to ensure this situation.

In this way, this kind of everyday male chauvinism exploits the skills assigned to women in the social division of labour, primarily those which Jonasdöttir named the power of love. It also serves to keep alive and reinforce women’s own patriarchal ideas about their role to be fulfilled in the home, and consequently to make them continue to regard their role of a “housewife” as “natural.” Through this, it greatly contributes to making women available even when this requires a disproportionate psychic or physical effort at the expense of women’s own freedom and emotional and energy reserves they should use for themselves.

This is how utilitarian everyday male chauvinism becomes an abuse of women’s caring abilities, since men’s quality of life increases at the expense of women’s without men (or patriarchal culture) providing any acknowledgement to women in exchange. Numerous studies on how health is related to gender roles or relationships have highlighted this inequality. According to these, men not only have more free time (Álvaro, 1996 [The sociological studies conducted in Hungary from the 1970s to the 1990s also point to this fact. (Zafír Mihály (szerk.) Életszínvonal 1988–1997. Budapest, KSH, 1998. Idézi: TÁRKI N i Adattár, http://www.tarki.hu/adatbank-h/nok/pdf/fuggelek1-7.pdf.: 2006.04.07.)]) but their psychic and physical health also increases during the marriage while women’s deteriorates (Doyal, 1996).

The specific behaviours that constitute utilitarian everyday male chauvinism are divisible into two groups. Both are related to household chores.


4.1 Missing out on household responsibilities

With the use of a series of covert or overt manipulations, the man exempts himself from tasks that would be shared in a relationship based on respect, mutuality and equality. Such are tasks related to the home, which have a fundamental role in creating the material circumstances necessary for the self-realisation of those living there.

Various forms of manoeuvres here include:

4.1.1 Zero cooperation

Housework does not exist for the man. He sometimes justifies this with the claim that he “supports the family” and his shoulders cannot take any more burdens than the ones he already carries at his workplace. (Paradoxically, men who live together with women who work come up with this argument, with which they force the woman to work in “second shift.”)
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4.1.2 Fake cooperation

The man “helps” the woman. This way, the woman is forced to take on the function of “dispatcher,” to organise, distribute and assign tasks for the other “helpers,” through which she her overburdening increases again. This kind of everyday male chauvinism is extremely common among progressive men, who avoid real joint responsibility for household chores in this way.
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4.1.3 Self-advantageous cooperation

A version of fake cooperation in which the man juggles until he gets those tasks which are less difficult or are the most appealing for the outsider (maintenance around the house, making the grill at the weekend barbecue).
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4.1.4 Emergency cooperation

The man only cooperates in housework or any task related to care when that is required by an emergency. (For instance, the woman works in the night shift.) After the emergency has passed, the man returns to the “original” division of labour.
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4.1.5 Disappearance from cooperation

A large number of men will have something urgent to settle or a phone call to make exactly when a task related to the house or the child would require his cooperation the most.
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4.2. Abuse of women’s caring

The man adapts to the traditional roles (he maintains the family, the woman takes care) this way he exploits and abuses the fact that the woman is an “expert” at taking care of others. The following manifestations of everyday male chauvinism force or, what is worse, (by reinforcing her already socialised calling “to live for others”) “lead” the woman into the roles that are hers “by nature”: mother, wife, assistant, secretary, dispatcher, psychologist, social worker, telephonist, receptionist, cleaner and cloakroom attendant.
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4.2.1 Taking the caregiver role for granted, and exploiting it

4.2.1.1 The woman as mother

The man’s way of being is infiltrated by the expectation towards the woman that she meets the expectations of the traditional mother ideal: she should be caring and unconditionally understanding.

Through this form of everyday male chauvinism, the man requests, motivates and, among certain circumstances, forces the woman to prioritise “motherly” caring behaviours and to neglect her own personal and professional development.
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4.2.1.2 The father as friend

A complement to the above expectation in the field of childcare. The man employing this modern form of everyday male chauvinism is far from the dated way of behaving as a distant and authoritarian father. Instead, the father becomes a friend to the small or adolescent child to play or party with and leaves the more unrewarding work of setting limits and enforcing obligations to the mother. Thus for the child, and indeed for himself, it will seem that the woman is incapable of being relaxed and enjoying relationships, especially with her children.
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4.2.1.3 Shifting the responsibility of taking care of persons and relationships to the woman

The man forces the woman with a variety of manoeuvres to remain with the patriarchal belief that it is her responsibility to take care of the vitality of the relationship, the health and studies of the children, keeping in touch with them and the man’s family, even his friends; and to perform these duties that consume a lot of work and time despite the fact that her autonomy is harmed.

Some authors mention one of these manoeuvres, managing the husband as the “third female shift.” It can go as extreme as the woman choosing the man’s clothes, who acts out the role of the helpless little child (of course, only for similar purposes because otherwise he is the head of the family). (Doyal 1996)

A similar and common manoeuvre is the one that leaves the care of the father or mother in law in need of chronic care to the woman. In some cultures, this is the most common reason for the psychic and physical disintegration of women.
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4.2.1.4 Hidden unjustified expectations

The man comes up with demanding, almost order-like requests without clearly stating what the subject of the request is. He hides his “silent” requests in gestures or comments made in passing, which automatically start the “caring self” attached to the traditional female role.

Thus, the woman fulfils these requests that she is not aware that she has been acting not out of her own need but under invisible pressure. Because these are unsaid requests, the man need not be grateful for them because according to him, “they never existed.”

In reality, this kind of everyday male chauvinism and not female nature forces women to pick up the phone, answer the door, stand up from the table when the salt is missing, or to see the man to the doctor or to buy clothes.

The most eloquent example of this kind of manoeuvres is the often asked question of “where is?” (meaning: “Find and fetch it!”), which the man asks without looking for the missing object first. This category includes behaving like a child-dictator when the man is ill; the unsaid demand that the woman should take care of the man’s family, friends or pets that the children get as presents usually at the initiative of the man; “male moodiness” about food, time schedule or silence; or the martyrdom related to the role of supporter of the family with which the man prevents any requests as he already does enough and is very exhausted as a result. The silent and unfounded demand that the woman should take or of the children from the man’s earlier relationship is also common.
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4.2.1.5 Avoidance of the mutuality of care

The man does not take care of the woman in an efficient way when she is in need of that. This way, he denies her right to care that is he enforces the belief deeply rooted in the traditional male role that only the man is entitled to be taken care of. Although this manoeuvre repeats day after day, it becomes most recognisable when the woman falls ill, she has to deal with her parents’ family or her work has overburdened her. At these times, men often deny that the woman is in need of help at all, undervalue the woman’s symptoms or degree of tiredness, what is more, they criticise the woman for the way and how unprofessionally she does what she does. All of this makes the woman feel alone and overburdened, which undermines her life energy even more.
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4.2.2 Taking “helping out with the man’s work” for granted and exploiting it

Men who have an individual enterprise often use the woman’s professional contribution to support and/or extend their own work. In this way, men who have a smaller individual business can have a free manager, secretary, nurse, business consultant, accountant, administrator, sales representative, sowing-machine driver etc. They count on the woman’s “help,” sometimes employing her, sometimes not, but never appreciating it personally, professionally or financially.

The damaging effect of this form of everyday male chauvinism is most often revealed when the couple get a divorce. (The other side of the coin is the naturalness with which men give voice to what they think is their righteous indignation when the woman does not appreciate their help to the woman.)
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4.2.3 Monopolising the right to signature

The man is the signatory to the banking, utilities or sale contracts, he is listed in the phone book, etc.
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What to do with everyday male chauvinism?
Those women who are capable of recognising the manipulations of everyday male chauvinism are in a more advantageous situation in as much as:

They become aware of the hidden traps that men set to prevent women from changing their situation and in order to maintain their power over women, their monopolies acquired in the field of exercising everyday rights, through which they use things to their own advantage.

They recognise the not always verbal language of actions and manipulations that is so characteristic of men. This way, they can get rid of the deeply rooted belief according to which manipulation is fundamentally female weapons.

They give credibility to their own realisations about what manipulations men use against them despite the fact that men rarely acknowledge that they use these.

They learn to unveil these manipulations. Instead of being confused and relying on complaint, they can neutralise, avoid and oppose these manipulations directly.

The guilt caused by male manipulations decreases in them. As a result of all this, they re-conquer the space of independent thinking and action in the everyday events of the relationship.

The experience shows that it is a real challenge for men to acknowledge the existence and widespread nature of everyday male chauvinism. This usually results in two reactions. One is
defence, “it is not so terrible,” “I’m not like that,” the other is to change in the direction of greater equality. A precondition for the latter is that they could recognise their own manipulations without misleading themselves, and to try to stop and neutralise these perhaps seemingly automatic behaviours.

The first step of this change is that man can regard the prerogatives based on their gender in a self-critical way however natural their exercise seems. Self-critical behaviour does not hide behind such excuses that everyday male chauvinism is not a conscious behaviour, that it is difficult to change, or an automatically conditioned heritage, or that women also show dominating behaviours.

Self-criticism may stem from various personal motivations but one motivation is indispensable: the conviction that everyday male chauvinism is unfair and harmful. If self-criticism is real, and we do not want it to remain at the level of good will, the next step is making the effort, despite the difficulties and the losses that go with it. It is a kind of training with the aim of hierarchy-free democracy between the sexes in their everyday relations, giving up even small but still harmful manipulations  — not because the man wants to gain some profit from it but because it is not ethical and fair to exploit women. The man must consciously watch out in his everyday life how he can dismantle the notion of inequality acquired in his childhood that entitles him to be the centre of the world, to exercise power over women and even to think that he has the right to all this. These elements are all indispensable however one deals with men in order to create equality. This dealing with men can have many forms. For example, men’s groups are important laboratories of consciousness raising and joint action. [For information on participation in already existing men’s groups or creating new men’s groups see: www.stop-ferfieroszak.hu]

Finally a little trick for men to recognise their own everyday male chauvinism within their relationship. In any common life situation that concerns space, time persons or material goods ask the question: “what is valid for me, is it valid for my partner, too?” If your answer is no, it is an obvious inequality. And if we add the question “why not, and what do I do to get what I want,” you are sure to uncover the everyday male chauvinistic behaviour and its objective.

Annex 1: Men’s Rights
Or all the prerogatives that men have because they are men.

// He has the right to have more rights than the woman and he has the right to take this for granted.

// He has the right to expect various things from the woman just be cause she is a woman. (She should always be available, cope with everything.)

// He has the right to be held accountable only by himself and to decide himself when he wishes to be available.

// He has the right to think that certain rights only pertain to him.

// He has the right to consider himself “objective.”

// He has the right to consider his own things superior.

// He has the right to be right even when he cannot provide arguments for his opinion and to take it for granted that he sees everything in the right way and to act accordingly.

// He has the right to define the rules of the relationship.

// He has the right to remain silent, to confuse, not to give explanation, but to require total openness from others.

// He has the right to make a parade and to be important and not to bear to be in the background with a woman.

// He has the right to reap acknowledgement for everything he does and that none of his results remain unnoticed.

// He also has the right to deserve what he did not do anything for. The fact that he is a man makes him worthy of this.

// He has the right to be listened to until the end, to be taken care of.

// He has the right to withhold information saying he “has no time.”

// He has the right to refuse everything he thinks would put him in a subservient position, and not to have to discuss this.

// He has the right to protect himself and to say no.

// He has the right not to apologise.

//He has the right to be impatient and to act on his emotions.

// He has the right to put down the other.

// He has the right to enforce his will on others in order to achieve his goals.

// He has the right to monopolise and have others’ time at his disposal.

// He has the right to control the woman’s actions, emotions and everyday life.

// He has the right to question the credibility of the other person.

// He has the right to judge the other person, and to say how she or he should act, to discredit and humiliate him or her.

// He has the right to be angry, to attack and to humiliate.

// He has the right to this day not to do what is not a “man’s job.”

Annex 2: Recommendations for Helpers
Dealing with male violence must not be restricted to its extreme forms. Everyday male chauvinism, as has been pointed out above, is an everyday and hidden form of violence and abuse of power, which, too, leads to a great deal of suffering, defensive-attacking relationships and unequal power relations, and hinders personal growth.

While the more brutal forms of violence require a specific therapeutic context, it is possible to uncover, name, neutralise and eliminate everyday male chauvinism in any helping context that deals with relationships.

In couple or family therapy, everyday male chauvinism and its effects appear directly before the therapist. In therapies dealing expressly with men, the therapist must introduce this element, as the woman suffering the manoeuvres is not present and men usually do not want to and/or are unable to recognise or take the responsibility for their own everyday male chauvinism. (To assess the latter, it is a useful information to know to what extent the man thinks he is innocent in his partner’s discontentment, and/or to what extent he portrays himself as a victim.)

Therapies supporting women must help them recognise which of their complaints are caused by the everyday male chauvinism suffered repeatedly. Thus, they will be able to make the difference between their own psychological problems and the problems caused by external manipulation. The therapist who wants to list the transformation of the practice of everyday male chauvinism among his duties must meet the following criteria:

At a personal level
You must make what has so far seemed natural the object of critical examination.
You must examine your sexist prejudices, must uncover your blind spots about your social gender situation, including “natural” inequalities occurring in your relationship with the other gender, your own beliefs about housework, the care of things, relationships and persons.
You should critically examine your own thoughts and behaviours with regard to mutuality, fairness and democracy between persons.
You must review your beliefs about the reasons behind the behaviours that have the aim of power, and any of their excuses. You should also review your own reactions to these (fear, numbing or confrontation).

On a theoretical-practical level
Make the ethic of mutual care and democracy in everyday life part of the theoretical framework of your work, thus the primacy of solving conflicts based on mutual respect and discussion. Only this way can you help men to take the responsibility for their own behaviour and women to take the responsibility for demanding mutuality. (Sheinberg, 1992)

Acquire practice in recognising another person’s behaviour based on the account of the person sitting face to face with you, and in not mixing up people’s own pathology with the effects of external manipulation.

Acquire knowledge and practical tools to balance off the inhibitions that socialisation into the female role causes in women, and knowledge on how these prevent them from recognising everyday male chauvinism. Major elements of this socialisation are teaching women to direct their attention inside instead of recognising the outside factors, and the resulting guilt feelings.

Acquire knowledge of how the ways and consequences of the male role and male prerogatives come about, so that you can help the couple and the man to dismantle the controlling aspects of the traditional male role.

While providing care to clients, be always alert to recognise in time and make visible men’s controlling manoeuvres. The above catalogue of everyday male chauvinism may be a useful tool in this.

Be aware that the man will most likely try to exercise controlling, everyday male chauvinistic manoeuvres against you, the helping professional as well, especially if you are a woman. If you are a man, you must take extra care to avoid the male client’s effort to try to have you as an ally in discrediting the woman. (Bogard, 1991)

You should be able to confront another person, take confrontation and exercise assertive self-reinforcement yourself.
You should be able to perform interventions that are effective in influencing the power balance between persons, and you should not accept the stereotypes of inequalities that maintain the badly working status quo. Such interventions are: reassigning responsibilities concerning the household, re-negotiating agreements, unveiling everyday male chauvinist manoeuvres, redefining female “provocations,” limiting abuses of power, supporting the growth of the woman’s personal power, promoting the man’s ability to face the challenge of losing his advantages.

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6 Responses

  1. i think this was the best article i have ever read.

    it has given me all the information i need!

    my eyes are now wide open to what my bf has been trying to do to me.

    and it will no longer happen.

    thank you, you have no idea how life changing this is for me.

    sign,
    a girl that was in pain

    • I can’t stop reading this. I cannot believe that I lived in a relationship for 4 years feeling everything described here and in the end took all I could muster to finally pull free under the shadow of still wondering how I “failed” him because as he describeds it I’ve abandoned him. How incredibly sad… I’m so glad to read this and know it wasn’t ME – IT WASN’T ME!! And I’m so fortunate to be free of him and his control, mind games and guilt trips. Always second guessing whether I was asking too much of him in our relationship.

  2. the article/study/findings are good for a person who is already aware of the why’s in the behavior of other, as it helps to put it all in perspective. BUT, if the woman is searching for the reasons she is unhappy with her relationship, this information just makes for a finger to point at someone for blame, when in fact what she should be doing is removing herself and him from a relationship that will surely be unhealthy from beginning to end.
    we have spent our whole lives becoming the person we are and to want someone to change to suit our desire for harmony, aside from the obvious resentments it causes, it is ridiculous to try and create with the wrong person.
    either it’s a good fit or it isn’t. either we can live with it or not. either it works with minimal effort or it takes too much work trying to make it work. there are so many variables and possibilities out there.
    for myself, i’m not willing to work at a relationship with someone on a daily basis. if it takes a lot of bickering and bad feelings, it seems to me that it is obviously not worth an attempt.
    we don’t make a person a best friend, they just are because of how we interact in life and situations.
    so why waste the time with someone who’s behavior consistently creates internal turmoil with our own being. it’s a big wide world out there, so there is no reason to just settle for something other than happy.

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