Gynocentrism refers to a dominant or exclusive focus on women in theory or practice; or to the advocacy of this. Anything can be considered gynocentric when it is concerned exclusively with a female (or feminist) point of view.
Elements of gynocentric culture existing today are derived from practices originating in medieval society such as feudalism, chivalry and courtly love that continue to inform contemporary society in subtle ways. Peter Wright refers to such gynocentric patterns as constituting a "sexual feudalism", as attested by female writers like Lucrezia Marinella or Modesta Pozzo. Marinella recounted that, in 1600 AD, women of lower socioeconomic classes were treated as superiors by men who acted as servants or beasts born to serve them. In 1590, Pozzo wrote,
"don’t we see that men’s rightful task is to go out to work and wear themselves out trying to accumulate wealth, as though they were our factors or stewards, so that we can remain at home like the lady of the house directing their work and enjoying the profit of their labors? That, if you like, is the reason why men are naturally stronger and more robust than us—they need to be, so they can put up with the hard labor they must endure in our service."
The actual term gynocentrism has been in use since at least 1897 when it appeared in The Open Court stating that Continental Europeans view Americans "as suffering rather from gynocentrism than anthropocentrism." In 1914, author George A. Birmingham stated that "American social life seems to me gynocentric. It is arranged with a view to the convenience and delight of women. Men come in where and how they can."
- Staff writer (2009), "Gynocentrism", in OED (ed.). Oxford English Dictionary - Vers.4.0. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199563838.
- Staff writer (2010), "Gynocentric", in OED (ed.). Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198614241.
- Wright, Peter (2014), "Introduction to gynocentrism", in Template:Cite book
- Wright, Peter, ed. (2014). Gynocentrism: From Feudalism to Modern Disney Princesses. Amazon Digital. p. 7. ISBN 9781520327327.
- The Open Court, Volume 11 (Open Court Publishing Company, 1897)
- George A. Birmingham, From Dublin to Chicago: Some Notes on a Tour in America (George H. Doran Company, 1914)