Hembrism – Concept, debate and differences with feminism

We explain what hembrism is, its differences with feminism and its relationship with machismo. In addition, the debate that it provokes.

Hembrismo would be the inverse equivalent of machismo.

What is hembrism?

By feminism is understood sexual discrimination against men by women. It is a neologism that is proposed as the inverse and opposite concept of machismo, and whose existence or even real possibility is currently debated.

In no case should it be confused with feminism, which is a critical school of thought that pursues equality between men and women, dismantling patriarchal thought.

The use of this term has become popular in many contemporary discussions of gender equality and feminist claims, especially intense and made visible during the second decade of the 21st century. It has been proposed as a radical correlate of machismo, that is, an exclusive way of thinking exercised by women towards men.

It is understood as a response or retaliation for the traditional machismo of most human cultures. However, not all institutions of language and culture have admitted its use, nor have they incorporated it into formal or official discourses.

To cite two cases, in the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy it is not mentioned, but Professor Manuel Alvar Ezquerra, from the Complutense University of Madrid, defines hembrism as “sexual discrimination, of a dominant nature, adopted by women”.

However, the term feminism was used in the 1960s by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, in his book Male domination. Paradoxically, the theorist used it to refer to the excessively servile attitude that the traditional macho culture assigns and imposes on women.

In other words, for Bourdieu, it consisted of a complementary concept of machismo: if the latter is the male domination of society, hembrism would be female submission in it. Seen this way, machismo would produce hembrismo.

Debate on feminism

The authorities of feminist criticism allege that feminism does not existRather, it is a neologism created by certain conservative sectors that, refused to give up their sexist privileges. In other words, it is used to discredit the fight for feminism, wanting to sell it as a supposed hatred of the entire male gender.

Nevertheless, in other cases the term is used to refer to the existence of a radical feminism, as a way of separating it from less violent currents, more reformist, if you will.

The resurgence of feminism at the beginning of the 21st century has generated in some communities the idea that masculinity is under attack and that feminism would pursue an agenda to symbolically castrate men. The use of the term hembrist as “radical feminist” seems to come from these sectors.

For example, it is frequently used in movements neocon (neoconservatives) or alt-right or alternative right, who accuse society of suffering from an agenda of “cultural Marxism” that would threaten traditional Western values. One of the most famous voices in this type of community is the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson.

For the majority of traditional academics, on the other hand, these types of claims are not based on anything other than the defense of the privileges of the conservative class and should not be taken seriously. The debate, in any way, is ongoing.