7 Signs You Might Be A Misogynist (And Not Even Know It)

A lot of men think they love women until that love gets under the microscope.

Man may be a Misogynist and not even know it Prostock-studio | Canva

As a writer who interacts with their fanbase, I notice a lot of things about how people react to me. Among my male readers, I tend to notice two trends: men who are genuinely fascinated by me and men who are confused or irate over my beliefs. The second group of guys is the one I want to focus on today. The most common remarks I hear run along these lines:

  • “I’m not a misogynist. It’s just that women seem to…”
  • “The author has a bone to pick with men. She has a bad experience.”
  • “Why do women keep calling me a misogynist?”

Truth be told, a lot of the guys in this category don’t realize they’re being misogynistic. When you have a culture that raises you to hate people, it’s not surprising that you end up hating them on a subconscious level. Such is the case with our modern society. Men are constantly given messages like:

  • Women are not your equals. Sometimes this is phrased as “women are weaker” or “women are emotional,” but the truth is it boils down to this. Our society turns women into the treacherous “other” and ensures men don’t feel connected to them.
  • Women are supposed to do X, Y, and Z. Rather than let women define what they want to do, our society tells men that women are supposed to do things. Believe it or not, this can make you feel like women aren’t people, but rather appliances. You might not even realize it when it’s happening.
  • Women are golddiggers. Oof. This is a common trope that is often matched with “wife bad” jokes.

If you keep being told you’re a misogynist, don’t assume women are wrong off the bat. We often don’t realize how much society’s messages can make us internalize hate. It's the same with racism as it is with misogyny. You often have to detach yourself from the situation to recognize what’s up. So, how can you figure out if you have misogyny in your mind when you might not mean harm to women? 


RELATED: Misandry And The Modern Woman: How Hatred Can Heal A Lifetime Of Misogyny

Here are 7 signs you might be a misogynist and not even know it:

1. You get resentful about paying for dates and are deeply fearful of your partner being a gold-digger

I get it. Dating is expensive and so is marriage. And if it doesn’t work out, your ex might leave with half your stuff. To men, that seems like a major risk — and it can be, especially if you’re not well off to begin with. You have to remember that women risk a lot more by even going on a date. Too often, women get assaulted, raped, or even killed by their dates. Paying for a date is your way of saying, “Hey, I care about your experience and want to show I’m serious.”

Most women are not gold diggers. Rather, they are just looking for a person who can have a sustainable future with them. Unfortunately, we live in a world where money matters. In most parts of the country, you need to have a minimum wage of $50,000 to sustain yourself alone. If you want to have kids with a woman, she will likely be expected to do the majority of childcare. Wanting a partner who earns an income and is OK with sharing that with you is not gold-digging. It’s realism. You need a two-income household if you want to have kids or even a basic existence today.

If you are afraid of women leaving with half of your goods or get angry about paying for a date, hit the pause button. Try to figure out what about this issue makes you so upset, and be honest with yourself. Ask why you feel so resentful. Ask why something so simple — a gesture you might’ve done for friends without thinking — is such a big deal to you. Chances are that you internalized the idea that women are the enemy or entirely money-motivated.


2. Hearing women say they don’t want children upsets you

Do you get angry at women who are pro-choice? Do you get upset hearing about abortions or hearing about women who are not interested in kids? Do you believe you can “change her mind” about it? 

This is a sign you likely internalized the misogynistic message that women are natural mothers and all want babies. Not all women will be good moms, nor will they always be interested in kids. Ask yourself why you’re offended by a woman’s personal choices or why you don’t believe women when they say they don’t want kids. Those choices don’t impact you. Imagine how you would feel if everyone kept telling you you were wrong for wanting what you wanted. It’s not a nice feeling. Ask yourself why a woman’s reproductive choices matter — and why you’re not as angry with the men who knock women up and leave.

RELATED: 10 Women Reveal The Surprising Reason They Never Want Kids


3. You’re relying on gender stereotypes to tell you how to act

Are you the type of guy who believes “boys don’t cry,” or insists on women being “meek and submissive?” If so, you probably listened to a little bit too much Fresh & Fit.

Gender stereotypes don’t help women or men. They act as cages for people and often shove us into boxes that don’t fit. Relying on strict gender roles and believing pseudoscience about gender roles being “biological” is a sign you internalized misogynistic messages. The truth is that there’s nothing dysfunctional about women who don’t want to be homemakers. There's also nothing dysfunctional about men who cry, women who want to be construction workers, and people who want to stay single.

Ask yourself why you take stereotypes at face value and why you get so upset when women don’t act the way they are “supposed to.” Do you feel like they’re defunct if they don’t measure up to the gender standards you have? This is one habit you need to shake if you want to be happy. Life becomes a lot nicer when you stop assuming things about the people around you. Trust me on that.

4. You don't even bother trying to befriend women unless sex or money is on the table

I’ve heard a lot of men who insisted that they “loved women,” and were therefore not misogynistic. When I’d ask them if they would befriend a heavyset woman they weren’t attracted to, most of them would get quiet. Heck, I’ve even seen guys patently ignore women they were not interested in for the mere fact that they didn’t view her as hot enough to sleep with. If you are only interested in sex from women, then you don’t like women.


On a similar note, I’ve noticed a lot of guys who only seem to like what women do for them. They will say they “love their wives,” but only mention her laundry skills, or how she provides money for them, or how she gave them kids. That isn’t love. That’s loving what a person provides. Love is when you love their smile, their jokes, and the way they always know the right thing to say. Loving a person means you’re thrilled to hang out with them even when you’re not in the bedroom.

If you are only ever platonic friends with men, that’s a sign that you are a misogynist. It means you only like women when they’re doing something for you — and that you don’t see them as people. Seriously, fellas, befriend women. You might be surprised at what it can do for your worldview.

RELATED: Why You Should Be Grateful Your Man Has Female Friends, Not Jealous

5. You have double standards when it comes to women or dating

Yes, this includes the infamous “body count” issue where women who sleep around are sluts while men are kings for sleeping with everything in sight. Remember, fellas, it takes two to tango. This is one of those moments where you might want to ask why you have double standards — and why you never took time to rethink those standards in the first place. If you are a virgin and want a virgin wife, go you.


However, if you bedded 50 women, don’t be shocked if women who value purity don't want anything to do with you. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s not fair to hold yourself to a separate standard from the people around you. At the end of the day, we’re all human.

6. Hearing women complain about dating angers you

Does it seem like women always have something bad to say about dating, men, or society? I understand that it can be a lot, but hold on for a second. Did you ever wonder why it seems like women always have something bad to say about men? Before you assume that it’s “just a bad experience,” take a look at the sheer number of women who are upset about the way they’re being treated. All those women can’t be wrong.

Rather than cast their complaints aside, take a moment to listen. And better yet, ask them what you can do as a man to make things better.


7. You feel like you should have gotten a girlfriend because you worked so hard in your career

This is one of the most common signs I’ve seen of misogyny in men, and believe it or not, it’s not men’s fault. It’s society’s fault. Society failed to teach men the art of being a partner. I often hear men say things like, “I don’t get it. I worked so hard at college, got a degree, and got a great job. I thought this would get me a wife by now.”

The truth is that careers and dating are two separate things. Everyone, male or female, needs a career. It’s a basic part of being an adult. We all need to sustain ourselves, even if we’re married. Women are not attracted to a paycheck. It’s just a sign that you’re at least somewhat stable. What women want in a man is the same thing healthy men want in a woman: personality. Charisma, charm, and a little self-care go a long, long way. Charisma and being attractive is, to a point, a skill. Even with honed charisma, not everyone will find their person.

We all want our person. It’s a shame to say this, but you can always do things perfectly and still fail. That’s life. With that said, you can’t force someone to be with you — nor should you try to force it, either. Bad as it is to hear, no one is entitled to a spouse. A spouse should be icing on the cake, a person who wants you rather than needs you. Unfortunately, our society tends to promise men that a big paycheck is all you need to get a wife. 

If you feel resentful toward women because you feel like that “promise” was broken, you’re not alone. However, it’s not women’s fault. Society lied to you. If you feel angry, you’re not wrong to feel that way. Just direct your rage at the right people. Get angry at people who taught you to boil every relationship down to a transaction, not at women you’re not compatible with.


At the end of the day, women aren’t a monolithic group of people.

If you had a bad experience with a handful of girls, that doesn’t give you a right to hate women. After all, you would expect women not to write off men because of “one bad apple,” right? Women are people with a full span of feelings, thoughts, dreams, and hobbies, just like men. Too often, our society tries to hide that little fact from men because of how much our world hates women.

It also doesn’t give you a right to try to say “not all men,” because women know it’s not all men. However, the acronym AWALT proves that many men — too many — believe All Women Are Like That. If you keep getting called a misogynist, chances are that there might be truth to that. And you know what? It’s OK to realize it as long as you commit to changing those attitudes.

As a writer and a traveler among many circles, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve rarely ever seen a misogynist who was truly happy with their lives. So, unlearn those lessons society taught you. You’ll be glad you did.


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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.