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Chauvinism, (pronounced /ˈʃoʊvɨnɪzəm/), in its original and primary meaning, is an exaggerated, bellicose patriotism and a belief in national superiority and glory.[1] By extension it has come to include an extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of any group to which one belongs, especially when the partisanship includes malice and hatred towards rival groups. Jingoism is the British parallel form of this French word.[1] A contemporary use of the term in English is in the phrase male chauvinism.[2] Because "chauvinism" is most often heard in this context, it is often mistakenly believed to refer exclusively to "male chauvinism" such as anti-feminism and sexism. It is an eponym of a possibly fictional French soldier Nicolas Chauvin who was credited with many superhuman feats in the late 18th century.


Chauvinism as nationalism

In "Imperialism, Nationalism, Chauvinism", in The Review of Politics 7.4, (October 1945), p. 457, Hannah Arendt describes the concept:

Chauvinism as sexism

Male chauvinism is a term used to describe the belief that men are superior to women. The term was widely used by the feminist movement in the 1960s to describe that "all men" believe or display an attitude that women are inferior to men, speak to women as inferiors, or treat women negatively based solely upon their gender.[3] Female chauvinism is a less commonly used term used to describe the symmetrical attitude that women are superior to men.

The term female chauvinism has been adopted by critics of some types or aspects of feminism; leading second-wave feminist Betty Friedan being a notable example.[4]

Ariel Levy used the term in similar, but opposite sense in her book, Female Chauvinist Pigs, in which she argues that many young women in the United States and beyond are replicating male chauvinism and older misogynist stereotypes.[5]

See also

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