I'm aware of the word 'sexism' (or for that sake 'genderism' as it directed me to 'sexism').

Sexism, genderism (mass noun) - prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.

I'm searching for the particular word that defines discrimination against men (yeah, it happens, at least in India!).

Though it does not sound that correct but is favoritism a correct word?

  • 4
    You can always use sex discrimination – it doesn't have to mean discrimation against women.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 11:20
  • It seems to me that common terms such as anti-men or anti-male (sometimes anti-male sexism), or even male bashing is becoming more and more common. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:47
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    @DamkerngT. Are you saying the terms are or the phenomenon is becoming more common?
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:05
  • @oerkelens Both, I think. :-) Evidently, I wrote only that anti-male at first, then added the other two (and anti-male sexism) later. Thank you for your correction. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:22
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    Not really an answer, but favoritism is a valid word. It's a very general term for giving one option preference over other, equally or better qualified, options, on the basis of your positive history or relationship with the favored option. It's usually a negative applied when you're supposed to be a neutral judge and the favoritism is a bias.
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 16:07

4 Answers 4


I think you're looking for Misandry:

[mass noun] dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e. the male sex).

It is the counterpart of Misogyny.

  • +1 Ah! That one is good. Let others come though!
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 10:52
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    I upvoted this, but I'd add that there is a difference between prejudice, disliking or looking down on someone because of some group they belong to; and discrimination, taking action against someone based on a group membership. You could hate someone and do nothing about it, perhaps because you are not in a position to do so; and you could do things to harm a group even though you have nothing in particular against them, perhaps because of social pressure from people who do hate them. I believe "misandry" is a type of prejudice as opposed to a type of discrimination. Similarly "misogyny".
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:50
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    Linguistically speaking, this is the best counterpart, and it actually has a surprisingly long history. But you should be aware that it hasn't ever been in very common use. This is its main disadvantage: many people have never heard it, so you may find yourself having to explain it a lot. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:51
  • @TheSpooniest: calling that a disadvantage is like saying it's an advantage that misogyny is used a lot, but I could apply the same to "mass murder" - I honestly regret there is much use for the word, so I would not call it advantageous that it is used a lot.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 15:07
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    While this answer is technically accurate, you may want to reconsider before using it. Because men are generally granted more privilege than women by society (as illustrated by pay differences, political positions, and many other things), it is not generally useful to point out "misandry". Widespread sexism, both deliberate and accidental, make life harder across the board for women. Generally, claiming misandry will only serve to point out ignorance of this imbalance.
    – Ivy
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 22:29

Sexism is I think the correct term, for the simple reason that it refers to discrimination based on sex.

Yes, it has in the past been predominantly used when referring to discrimination against women, which is not very strange, as this has been, and still is, world wide, the predominating occurrence of this kind of discrimination.

As the position of women is changing and they are no longer deemed (as) inferior to men in (some) places where they used to be seen as such, it is understandable that now men are more often finding themselves in positions were (they feel) women are favored over them. And yes, that can be called sexism.

I see absolutely no reason to indicate it as reverse though. That would imply that "non-reverse" sexism can only affect female victims, which is not, and has never been true.


Sometimes the term reverse discrimination is used when discrimination goes in the opposite direction of what is often first supposed.

For example, in the workplace, ageism is generally thought of as discriminating against older workers; however:

It's not just gray-haired employees complaining about discrimination anymore. In this tepid economy, some workers in their 20s and 30s say their age is being unfairly held against them, and new legal developments mean more reverse age discrimination claims may soon be ending up in court. (USA Today, 2003)

A U.S. law firm has an interesting post about reverse discrimination. From a legal perspective, that firm finds it an unfortunate (that is, an unnecessary), because discrimination is discrimination, no matter which direction it goes in. Nevertheless, for better or worse, the term appears to be part of our vernacular.

The basic premise of discrimination statutes is that an employer cannot make employment decisions on account of race, sex, or any other identified characteristic. While this typically refers to making decisions against a member of a protected class, what happens if the employer makes a decision for a member of a protected class and in so doing rejects an equally or better qualified candidate who is not in the class (typically, a white male)? That white, male candidate could make a claim of "reverse discrimination."

Actually, "reverse discrimination" is a poor choice of terminology, because what discrimination laws make unlawful is any sort of discrimination based upon a characteristic like sex or race. Therefore, when a white applicant is denied a job so that a lesser qualified minority applicant can be hired, or when a male employee is denied a promotion so that a lesser qualified female employee can be promoted, it is arguable that there has been "discrimination" because of sex or race, and there is no need to label it "reverse" discrimination. It just happens that the employment discrimination has occurred against a member of the majority class, rather than against a minority class. Still, the term "reverse discrimination" has achieved a popular understanding and continues to be used by many courts.

Wikipedia mentions:

Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group. Groups may be defined in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, or other factors.

So, you could simply call it reverse discrimination. Or, if you need to make the context more specific, reverse sex (or gender) discrimination. Both terms are used.

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    I found a Wikipedia page for Reverse discrimination. It seems to an umbrella term for discrimination of race, gender, ethnicity, or any other factors. Perhaps, "reverse sexism" could be a more specific term for this question. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:45
  • @DamkerngT. - The link to that page is already in my answer, along with an excerpt from that page. :^) "Reverse sexism" is indeed a viable option, though. Good suggestion.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:47
  • Argh, I'm sorry! I didn't see your Wikipedia link. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:51

I've heard of "hembrism" as the opposite of machismo. It's not very much in use(I haven't been able to find it in any dictionary), but google returns a few references to it.

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