Lately, I’ve noticed that the words “sexist” and “misogynist” seem to be used interchangeably quite a bit, and it got me thinking about how the two terms are different and why that might matter. Now, the pedantic thing to do would be to post definitions of the two words and go from there, but can we all just accept that language changes with usage and dictionaries are imperfect? We can? Excellent.
The specific inspiration for this train of thought came from a serious of recent tweets deriding the anime Sword Art Online as misogynistic, among many other bad things (but mostly misogynistic.) Now, I’ve defended SAO more than once, not because I don’t think the show has flaws — hells yeah, it does — but because I feel like the criticisms directed at it are often loaded and unfair. But this isn’t really about SAO; I’ve made my feelings on the show clear, for better or for worse. It’s about what misogynist is supposed to mean in this context. Do they think that the show was written by people who hate women, or actually promotes a hatred of women? Should that even matter?