Nearly all the jargon of feminism ought to go in the cliché can. Individual words such as “misogyny”, “patriarchy” and “equality” are used in a mystificationary way, with creative latitude. I find that people who bandy these expressions are either mentally unclear about what they are saying, or attempting for underhanded reasons to conflate something with something else.
The word “misogyny” will serve as a prime example. It is almost
never honestly used any more, and is typically a way of smearing or
silencing whoever is deemed to have wrong opinions
on certain topics. More often than otherwise, the speaker will use this word as
something to hide behind.
As an exercise in semantic hygiene and intellectual probity,
people ought to rethink their use of this word and even do a bit of
soul-searching if that proves necessary. Every time they feel the urge
to slip “misogyny” or “misogynist” into their communication, they should
stop and think carefully about what they are actually trying to
communicate. Then they should pick from the smorgasbord of possible
meanings the one item which maps precisely to their actual thought, and
use either an exact term or a short descriptive phrase to convey this.
Such exercise might force people to think outside the box, but at least it will keep them on the straight and narrow.
Taking this to a still higher level, why not place a moratorium on
ALL use of “misogyny” or its derivatives. Ditto for nearly every keyword in the feminist lexicon. After all, these are clichés, so why not give them a rest?