Difference between machismo and feminism

Today, machismo and feminism can be considered ideologies that reach a set of behaviors, attitudes and beliefs aimed at establishing notable differences between the rights of men and women, as the case may be.

However, talking about machismo is not the same as talking about feminism, the primary difference lies not only in the sex it deals with but also in the objectives pursued by these ideologies. Before proceeding to the establishment of these differences, we are going to briefly define both tendencies in order to clarify terms that facilitate their understanding.

Definition of Machismo

It can be found that according to the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) machismo is defined as the attitude of -arrogance- of men towards women. In short, it is a set of attitudes and behaviors that consider the female gender as an inferior being with respect to men, which are discriminatory for women.

Machismo, in other words, considers the man as a superior being, owner of all reason and right above the woman and to her detriment. As a social practice, machismo can occur in various areas, in the family, economic, intellectual, sexual, among others.

To exemplify, we can say that machismo occurs in the family when the husband considers that the only role of the woman is to stay home to cook, cover the housework and take care of the children. Another example of machismo, in the labor sector, occurs when a woman climbs job positions and it is considered that she does so through sexual favors to her superiors.

Definition of Feminism

We can say that feminism is considered a social doctrine whose purpose is the -claiming- of women’s social, economic, legal and even reproductive rights. Some of these rights, for the most part, were reserved only for men. The origin of the word feminism comes from the Latin fémina, which means woman and the suffix -ism- which involves doctrine or movement.

The feminist movement emerged at the end of the 18th century and its purpose was to achieve gender equality, equalizing rights that were previously enjoyed only by men, such as the right to vote, the right to education, among others.

As has already been noted, machismo is an attitude that supposes the superiority of men with respect to women and feminism is a doctrine or ideology that seeks equal rights for women with respect to men. Therefore, therein lies the main difference between these two trends. However, the following can also be stated:

Sexism Feminism
Machismo presumes the superiority of men and undermines the rights of women. Feminism values ​​the right and equality of women, without detriment to men.
Machismo is a current of thought of superiority before women. Feminism is a current of thought of equality between women and men
Machismo is a discriminatory attitude or behavior of men towards women. Feminism is a social movement of women.
Machismo conceives of women as inferior beings, incapable of making decisions, dependent and of little importance. Feminism conceives of women as being exactly equal to men in rights, duties and obligations. 


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