Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Chauvinist - A Gender-Unspecified Pig

A chauvinistic Kelleg's ad suggesting that women thrive the more they cook, clean, wash, etc.
Vintage ads - so delightfully chauvinistic

CHAUVINIST

Noun & adjective. In sense A1 also capitalised as Chauvinist. Late 19th century.
[from Nicolas Chauvin, a Napoleonic veteran popularized as a character in La cocarde tricolore by the brothers Cogniard.]

A1 noun. A bellicose patriot; a fervent supporter of a cause. L19

A2 noun. A person who is prejudiced against or inconsiderate of those of a different sex, class, nationality, culture, etc.;
especially = male chauvinist adj. & noun. M20

B adj. Of or pertaining to chauvinism or chauvinists; chauvinistic. L19

Also:
chauvinistic adj. L19
chauvinistically adv. L20

So, the definition is clear - not all chauvinists are men, despite it being an epithet that's "especially" applied to male chauvinists, often in the term male chauvinist pig (or MCP for short), a standard retort when a man tells a sexist joke, makes a derogatory remark about women, or otherwise acts like a contemptible ass. However, chauvinism encompasses so much more unpleasantness, such as national, class, cultural and age-based chauvinism; even the idea that it's only (or generally) men that are chauvinists is very chauvinist.

An USA flag with a cross through it
Feeling superior to Americans is bizarrely acceptable
Oddly, there's a certain level of acceptable chauvinism, in that one can feel superior to stupid fat Americans, for example, and express it through jokes and attitude without serious challenge, but should one communicate such chauvinistic prejudice against, say, a Nigerian or Romanian, it will immediately elicit cries of racism and bigotry (both attitudes are racist, bigoted and chauvinistic, just for the record).

A French cockade in the tricolour
Chauvinism originated in France which is ... umm ... interesting
The word chauvinism comes from the apocryphal Nicolas Chauvin, a French soldier and fervent supporter of Napoleon in the 1800s. Due to his unwavering loyalty to Napoleon and his dogged belief in Bonapartism, Chauvin became an object of ridicule in France when Bonapartism fell out of favour, and he became an unfortunate eponym for that type of excessive nationalistic fervour, which is fitting because chauvinism, be it male, female, national or any type of chauvinism, is really rather stupid and most definitely worthy of ridicule.

A cartoon of women saying: "Yes, we can do without men ... but we can't do much!"
As it's the women saying it, is this cartoon chauvinistic?
Are you a chauvinist?

Are all chauvinists men?

Do please leave your most superior, prejudiced and bigoted comments in the box below.
(note: superior, prejudicial and bigoted comments will be deleted)

2 comments:

  1. This woman comes home one day with a duck under her arm and says: "Here's this pig I was telling you about." "That's not a pig, it's a duck" replies her husband. "I wasn't talking to you".
    Try telling this joke with the genders swapped around. Ouch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's sexist, chauvinistic, and deeply offensive to all men.

      And it still makes me laugh every time.

      Delete