4 Kinds of Micro-Chauvinisms

· September 5, 2017

Unfortunately, our society is still far from abolishing chauvinism once and for all. In that sense, a useful way of fighting against this bad habit is to be well-informed. Hence, knowing about some types of micro-chauvinism is useful in order to be able to identify and avoid them.

Nevertheless, nowadays we still have a long way to go. The situation is so serious, that The United States even voted in Donald Trump. This president said “You know, it doesn’t matter what the media writes or says about you as long as you have a young, pretty piece of ass standing next to you”.

What are micro-chauvinisms?

Before getting to know the common types of micro-chauvinisms, do you know exactly what we’re talking about? In that case, let’s refer to an author like Luis Bonino, who was already using the term in question back in 2004.

For Bonino, a micro-chauvinism is an everyday and subtle behavior. It actually constitutes a control strategy, threatening the personal autonomy of one or many women. However, it can even manage to be unnoticeable and even be legitimized by society.

woman with mouth taped up

Bonino considers that micro-chauvinism is used in our modern times with a dominant purpose. They hide a varying degree of violence in interpersonal behaviors in order to maintain the supposed dominance and superiority of men.

Thus, many men think the reaffirmation of their dominance is necessary, especially towards women they consider are rebellious. This way, they seek to gain power over a woman they maintain some kind of relationship with, or at least situate themselves in an advantage position.

 “The prolonged slavery of women is the darkest page in the history of humanity.”
-Elisabeth Cady Stanton-


Types of micro-chauvinisms

With this affirmation, Bonino establishes a scale in which we can find 4 kinds of micro-chauvinisms. In fact, some are as common as the waiter who hands the bill over directly to the man. Or even the woman who says to another woman, “behave like a lady”. Remember that these behaviors aren’t exclusive to the male gender.

We’re talking about frequent gestures, and many of them are performed in a subconscious manner. These conducts still dominate in the current social order. Unfortunately, the background that entices them tends to go by unnoticed. This turns them into a well of ideas which fiercely prevail in our society and which we still haven’t left in the past.

Utilitarian Micro-chauvinisms

Among the types of micro-chauvinisms, Bonino identified four types, starting with the utilitarian one. It tends to have a domestic purpose, which is associated to traditional feminine behaviors.

In truth, this type is easy to identify. The man takes advantage, abuses or demands an alleged ability, innate to women simply because they’re women, to serve and take care of them. Thus, he automatically delegates certain tasks to the woman, such as taking care of others, house cleaning, and cooking.

Furthermore, he does so in a subtle manner, with a simulated implication which attempts to keep up with appearances. It also serves to obtain “reciprocity”. I wash the car, so you have to clean the house, for example.

Covert Micro-chauvinisms

Bonino also identified covert micro-chauvinisms. In this case, they imply the abuse of a woman’s trust in order to hide a hidden objective. They are very subtle, which produces confusion, guilt and even the lowering of a woman’s self-esteem.

This type of micro-chauvinism is identified in paternalistic behaviors, for example. It is a form of emotional manipulation based on messages with double meanings, the abuse of trust, limitations, deceit, de-authorization, justification, etc.

Crisis micro-chauvinisms

In third place, Bonino talks about crisis micro-chauvinisms. In this case, we’re referring to when a woman increases her quota of power. The man, therefore, tries to be more controlling. Sometimes he shows attitudes such as deceitful support, emotional distancing, denial, victimizing and even passive resistance.

When a man exerts this kind of micro-chauvinism, he controls money, sabotages their communication, abuses of their space and time, etc. Likewise, this micro-chauvinism directly attacks the woman’s perception of autonomy.