Gynocentrism is a form of misandry that consists in the exclusionary focus on women's welfare at the expense of men and boys. For instance, domestic violence policies that deny equal protection to male victims or equal repression of the female perpetration are said to be gynocentric. During the COVID-19 epidemic media outlets such as CNN focused on the epidemic's impact on women despite the fact men were far more likely to die from the virus. Gynocentrism is pervasive in all societies across the world including in the form of state sexism. It is enabled and promoted by traditionalist-conservatives as well as by feminists.
State gynocentrism or institutional misandry persists across most of societies. The infamous Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) whose primary sponsor was Joe Biden is a blatant example of state gynocentrism. Passed in 1994 with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans, it erases the existence of the majority of the victims of domestic violence.
False trad-con narrative and real cause
The concept is widely used among men's rights activists and other advocates for men but there is significant disagreement over the causes of gynocentrism. Because of the right-wing hijacking of the men's rights movement trad-con voices that provide a biologically reductionist and defeatist explanation of the phenomenon tend to take a lot of space. They argue that gynocentrism proceeds from:
- Alleged male natural instincts that favor women. They cite the Women Are Wonderful effect to argue for the existence of such instincts.
- The female in-group bias that would tilt the balance of societal concern in favor of women.
- The empathy gap.
In fact, if women have an in-group bias and are able to keep society's focus exclusively on their welfare, it is because they are the only ones to fight for that focus. If there is an empathy gap, it is because far too few men dare to stand against misandry and in solidarity with other men. Silence and apathy are what are enabling misandry in all its forms. The empathy given to a group of people primarily depends on the ability of said group to name the abuse it receives and to stand against it. If only one tenth of men had taken an active stance for example against circumcision, that form of genital mutilation would have been banned from across the globe a long time ago. Gynocentrism, rather than a consequence of some fantastical gynocentric instincts, is caused by men's unwillingness to stand against the gender-based abuse they receive.
Male apathy and related phenomena like strong-man posturing attitudes are more likely what is to blame for gynocentrism as well as for the three aforementioned phenomena that trad-cons often cite. Biologically reductionist narratives avoid naming the problem and reinforce male apathy with regards to men's issues.
- "Coronavirus is killing more men. But the lockdown is disastrous for women and their rights". CNN. Ivana Kottasová. May 24, 2020.
- "Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in 32 nations". Children and Youth Services Review. Murray A. Strauss. March 2008.