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What is hembrismo and how is it different from feminism?

What is hembrismo and how is it different from feminism?

June 21, 2024

In the world of social sciences and cognitive psychology, the biases related to sexist attitudes generate a lot of interest. However, around this issue there are many terms that generate confusion in a large part of the people who do not have training in this area.

The terms "feminism" and "hembrism", for example, are two labels that are often confused , as if they were synonyms.

However, the meaning of what has been historically feminism and the one that has recently been given to the word hembrismo is very different. Let's see where the confusion comes from.

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The definitions

First, we will give an approximate definition of each of these words and then we will go on to see in detail how they differ.


Feminism is a set of social movements whose objectives are based on the visibility and empowerment of women and the questioning of gender roles in which it is considered that the feminine is eclipsed by the masculine . Therefore, feminism is a social phenomenon linked to a specific historical context, and it is transformed over the years as the story progresses. It focuses on claims related both to the legislation and to the customs and habits of a society that still drags male chaps due to centuries of domination over women.

The hembrismo

In theory, hembrismo is a neologism that is used to refer to an attitude that legitimizes contempt and attacks on men because they are so. Usually equated to the concept of misandry , which means "hatred towards men", although this last term has more to do with an attitude that can be externalized in a more direct way or not, while the former is something observable. Therefore, the idea of ​​hembrism has to do with sexism.

The differences between feminism and hembrism

Now let's see the differences between both concepts

Social phenomenon vs attitude

As we have seen, feminism is, fundamentally, a product of history, and its raison d'être has to do with an inequality that historically has harmed women. That means that feminism is not simply the propensity of a person to think and act in a certain way.

Feminism is not something that is found in individuals, but in groups of people; It has to do with a collective phenomenon: the social movements that shape feminism. There is an answer to an element that can not be defined as individual , but it is conceived as something systemic: patriarchy.

On the other hand, hembrism would be an individual attitude, because it does not derive from a cultural or legal system of inequality in which the people who have had more power have historically been women.

Somehow, the hembrismo is more a psychological phenomenon that social , whereas with feminism the opposite happens. This, however, is half true, because everything social affects the psychological and vice versa. However, this distinction between these two spheres (social and individual) serves to better understand them, since in practice they coexist and depend on each other.

Product of history vs. psychological bias

Feminism can be given a date of birth, which normally coincides with the time of the Enlightenment , because it is a social and intellectual movement. That means that the idea that there may be feminists, for example, in Ancient Greece, is technically incorrect.

On the other hand, hembrism can theoretically be found at any time in the past, because it only depends on a person who, for one reason or another, rejects or hates men. Its existence does not depend on a dynamic of events that have been generating a chain effect throughout history, but it appears in a more spontaneous way.

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Unilateral rejection vs. integration

Feminism does not propose measures to reduce well-being and power indefinitely to men by the simple fact of being, something that does sexism through justifications based on "the natural order of things", tradition, etc. Even the measures of positive discrimination that a part of feminism defends are conceived as an interim arrangement , to allow, for example, that women can access management positions under the same conditions as men.

On the other hand, hembrism would be the hatred towards men for the simple fact of being, that is, indefinitely and independently of the context. It is, therefore, an essentialist bias , because it does not depend on what a person does or the conditions in which they relate to others, but it is their condition as men that produces rejection because of sexism.

The controversies surrounding the idea of ​​hembrism

The very use of the word "hembrismo" has been very criticized, since it is understood that it is a word born to harm the social movement. In some way, it is assumed that its use can only have negative consequences for egalitarian and positive movements for conservative and traditionalist positions.

However, this does not have to be the case and, in fact, the fear that some feminist circles have of the possibility of addressing the meaning of the word "hembrismo" may cause this identify with feminism to be considered a taboo , something that is not talked about and that is invisible because it effectively attacks the fundamentals of the movement.

For example, the position of assuming hembrism as a taboo leads to absurdities such as that of "hembrism does not exist", something that is obviously false. The hembrismo does not stop existing because it is not comparable to the machismo, in the same way in which the contempt to the followers of a football team exists even though there is no evidence of a political and cultural system that discriminates against them.

Machismo en la Red: "Me llaman feminazi" | España (June 2024).

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