A lot of Nigerian men are misogynists but they pretend not to know that. They have this deep-seated hatred for women but they try to mask their true feelings for women with having mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. They claim that because they love the women in their lives and treat them well, it means they automatically love all women. This is not true based on the reality of how men treat women in this society.
You may have heard of them but what you may not realize is that they can be anywhere around you. They are hard to spot. They do not come with a label attached, and they may even come across as pro-woman. Some of these men even claim to be feminists but once there’s a misunderstanding between them and a woman, they take off their cloak and engage in slut shaming.
In most cases, misogynists do not even know that they hate women. Misogyny is typically an unconscious hatred that men form early in life, often as a result of a trauma involving a female figure they trusted. An abusive or negligent mother, sister, teacher or girlfriend can plant a seed deep down in their brains and they automatically lash out at all women. Once planted, this seed will germinate and begin to grow. It will start affecting emotion and rational decision making.
The first signs of misogyny are barely noticeable, but with additional exposure to neglect, abuse, or lack of treatment, this seed will grow larger and become more prominent. But even when the misogyny reaches maturity and the tendency toward acting with hatred toward women can no longer be controlled, the misogynist and the women around him will often fail to notice the condition until it’s too late. One thing that is evident is that these men’s words and actions give them away.
There are traits that typical misogynists possess that reveal who they really are and it is left for the women dating these men or married to them to know what they have gotten into. These women are the ones who will decide what they want to do. They can decide if they want to continue their relationships with these men who hate women or quit. One of the hardest things to do is advising a Nigerian woman in love. She will make you an enemy. These days, I tell them to decide what they want for themselves and take their own decisions so as to be on a safe side.
A misogynist will zero in on a woman and choose her as his target. He goes for a perceived strong woman, one who is independent and outspoken. He doesn’t do this because he loves her, he woos her because he has a plan. He proceeds to break her natural defences with his flirtatious, exciting, and charismatic personality. Then he strikes.
As time goes on, he begins to reveal his true self while making it look as if it’s her fault that he treats her badly. He may change quickly from irresistible to rude, and from rude back to irresistible. He confuses this woman so much that she begins to doubt herself. She begins to accept his toxic behaviour even though she knows deep down that it’s not right. She starts to make excuses for him because of his charm.
Another thing a misogynist does is making promises to women and often failing to keep them. With men, on the other hand, he always keeps his word. He will be late for appointments and dates with women, but be quite punctual with men. His behaviour toward women in general is grandiose, cocky, controlling, and self-centred.
A misogynist is extremely competitive, especially with women. If a woman does better than him socially or professionally, he feels terrible. If a man does better, he may have mixed feelings about it but he is able to look at the situation objectively. He will unknowingly treat women differently from men in workplace and social settings, allowing men various liberties for which he will criticise female colleagues or friends. He can’t stand successful women especially if he has to work with these women and report to them. It makes him angry.
He is the one who gets married to a successful career woman and gets jealous of her success. He becomes insecure when his girlfriend or wife is making more money than him and the only way he can stop her is giving her an ultimatum to choose between him and the job. He just doesn’t want to come second place to a woman. It kills him. He tells his girlfriend he won’t marry her unless she resigns from her job. It’s not about the job, it’s about him maintaining control over her. He wants to see her depend on him financially.
A misogynist will be prepared to use anything within his power to make women feel miserable. He may demand sex or withhold sex in his relationships, make jokes about women or put them down in public, borrow their ideas in professional contexts without giving them credit, or borrow money from them without paying back. He will tell his wife to resign from her job even though the money she’s making benefits the whole family just to maintain that feeling of superiority over her. He wants to be in control all the time. Marriage with a woman hater is hell on earth.
While out on a date, a misogynist will treat a woman the opposite of how she prefers. If she prefers a gentleman who holds the door for her, orders for both and pays for the meal, he will treat her like one of his friends, order for himself, and let her pay for the whole meal if she offers because he claims to believe in gender equality. If she is a more independent type who prefers to order her own meal and pay for herself, he will rudely order for both and pay so that he can rile her up and show her who is in control. Dealing with such men is hard because you don’t know what to expect from them.
When it comes to sex, he likes to control women and gives little or no attention to their sexual pleasure. Foreplay, if it occurs at all, is only a necessary means to an end. He likes oral sex but only as a recipient. He will come up with excuses why he can’t perform oral sex on a woman but he loves to receive. He whines about it even. He is only concerned about his own sexual pleasure. He doesn’t care if his woman reaches orgasms or not. He gets what he wants and moves on. It’s all about him. He is the only one that matters.
A misogynist will cheat on the woman he is in a relationship with because monogamy is the last thing he feels he owes a woman. He may suddenly disappear from a relationship without ending it, but may come back three months later with an explanation designed to lure the woman back. He lacks respect for women and doesn’t hide it. He claims only men deserve respect and women are objects of pleasure for men.
Rarely will a misogynist possess all of the traits mentioned above, which makes it harder to identify them. Their ability to lure women in with their charm and charisma adds to the difficulty of spotting the early warning signs. These guys are specialists at stringing women along and dominating them and that’s why they become so angry when a woman sees through them and refuses to put up with their conflicting behaviour. They start slut shaming these women and call them names.
Women haters unconsciously get high while treating women badly. Every time they can put down a woman or hurt her feelings, they unconsciously feel good because deep down in their hidden brain, their bad behaviour is rewarded with a dose of pleasure which makes them want to repeat the behaviour again and again. One thing is evident, no matter how these men try to mask who they really are, their words and actions give them away. If women pay attention to the men they are dating and not get carried away by emotions, they will find it easy to spot misogynists before they commit to them.
Re: If good men stay silent, bad men will continue to hurt women
Dear Kate, a man that enjoys beating his woman won’t be able to face a fellow man in fight. There are soldiers that kill thousands in battle but can never beat a woman or induce abortion. Boxers never box their wives. This is a great lesson for these barbarians who treat women badly.
-Cletus Frenchman, Enugu.
When men know that their manhood will be chopped off if they rape women or girls or babies, then they will learn to zip up to protect their precious stone. No time for long story. Rapists should be castrated.
Reading your column last week made me shed tears. I was like, somebody finally gets it. A woman gets the point that Nigerian men cover up for one another when they rape women. I was happy too because more women are realizing that even men who claim to be good men are not saying anything about women getting raped and killed by other men.
It means these rapists and killers of women have their blessings to continue hurting women. Thank you for opening the eyes of sensible women with your article. Now, these women know where they stand. Bad men will continue hurting women when good are silent.
Uncontrollable anger makes men kill their wives or girlfriends whenever they have little misunderstanding. Many men don’t have the fear of God in them. The truth of the matter is that so many men lack good home training, weren’t raised well by their parents.
-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia
Kate, I don’t only like your headlines but also the manner and approach in which you drive home your points. This is not attributed to men alone but also boys who deliberately think a girl child has the right to nothing. I can vividly remember my school days when boys become so infuriated just because they made you angry and you expressed it.
–Mrs Ginikanwa Onwumere, Benin
I laugh whenever men talk about not all men are rapists and sexual predators but they won’t allow their friends date their sisters, they won’t leave their daughters with their male relatives or nannies, they won’t allow their fellow men come to their houses in their absence. Yet, they claim they are still good men. Why are these supposed good men quiet in the light of recent happenings? What are these good men doing to redeem the image of the male gender? The answer is nothing. Who are they fooling?
– Uduak, Abuja
Dear Kate, It’s just so sad and disheartening hearing, seeing and reading about stuff women go through all in the name of love and finding life partners. Some men are just wolves in sheep clothing who feel the only way they can exert control is by raping women. The sad thing is that they still go about blaming these innocent women for their evil actions. These men were actually not raised right. I just pray that the good Lord keeps us away from such evil men.
Kate, thanks for your humanitarian and dogged write-ups on the verity of issues affecting relationships between men and women in Nigeria.
In our society, it is common to see good men staying aloof or taking sides whenever these devil incarnates unleash torture on women. In view of this, these supposed good men are silent supporters and promoters of unwarranted violence against God’s vehicle for procreation and preservation in the society (women).
-Pstr. Stephen, Abuja