Feminism 101: coded misogyny and institutional prejudice


Coded Misogyny refers to the hatred or marginalization of something on the basis that it is construed to be feminine, though not explicitly so. If we think of “Women are too emotional” as overt misogyny used to demean both individual and all women, coded misogyny builds on that sort of basic bias to demean and undervalue people, pursuits, fashions, habits, vocations, institutions, etc. that are coded as feminine, e.g. teaching, nursing, paid childcare and eldercare are fields disproportionately staffed by women and are thus endemically underpaid or undervalued careers.

Institutional Prejudice refers to the debasement of an entire career, organization, pastime, or some other collective on the basis that it is coded as feminine.

So: What this is about is the insidiousness of coded misogyny and how some of the most familiar institutional prejudice is attributable to coded misogyny.

Sometimes, coded misogyny is not merely about someone/something being “too feminine,” but about someone/something being “not feminine enough.” Much of the institutional prejudice regarding gender and sexuality that deviates from the Patriarchy-approved binary is coded misogyny: Gay and trans* men are too feminine; lesbian and trans* women are not feminine enough.