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Gynocentrism refers to a dominant or exclusive focus on women in theory or practice; or to the advocacy of this.[1] Anything can be considered gynocentric when it is concerned exclusively with a female (or feminist) point of view.[2]


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."[3] 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."[4]

Central elements of gynocentric culture are derived from practices originating in medieval society such as feudalism, chivalry and courtly love that continue to inform contemporary society in subtle ways.[5] Peter Wright refers to such gynocentric patterns as constituting a "sexual feudalism", as attested by female writers like Lucrezia Marinella or Modesta Pozzo. 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."[6]

In similar vein Lucrezia 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:

Women are honored everywhere with the use of ornaments that greatly surpass men’s, as can be observed. It is a marvelous sight in our city to see the wife of a shoemaker or butcher or even a porter all dressed up with gold chains round her neck, with pearls and valuable rings on her fingers, accompanied by a pair of women on either side to assist her and give her a hand, and then, by contrast, to see her husband cutting up meat all soiled with ox’s blood and down at heel, or loaded up like a beast of burden dressed in rough cloth, as porters are. At first it may seem an astonishing anomaly to see the wife dressed like a lady and the husband so basely that he often appears to be her servant or butler, but if we consider the matter properly, we find it reasonable because it is necessary for a woman, even if she is humble and low, to be ornamented in this way because of her natural dignity and excellence, and for the man to be less so, like a servant or beast born to serve her.[7]

Gynocentrism in contemporary society

In a 2019 study published in the Justice Policy Journal, researchers concluded that "gynocentrism pervades all aspects of the criminal justice system as well as society."[8]

External Links


  1. Staff writer (2009), "Gynocentrism", in OED (ed.). Oxford English Dictionary - Vers.4.0. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199563838.
  2. Staff writer (2010), "Gynocentric", in OED (ed.). Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198614241.
  3. The Open Court, Volume 11 (Open Court Publishing Company, 1897)
  4. George A. Birmingham, From Dublin to Chicago: Some Notes on a Tour in America (George H. Doran Company, 1914)
  5. Wright, Peter, ed. (2014). Gynocentrism: From Feudalism to Modern Disney Princesses. Amazon Digital. p. 7. ISBN 9781520327327.
  6. Wright, Peter, ed. (2014). Gynocentrism: From Feudalism to Modern Disney Princesses. Amazon Digital. p. 7. ISBN 9781520327327.
  7. Wright, Peter, ed. (2014). Gynocentrism: From Feudalism to Modern Disney Princesses. Amazon Digital. p. 7. ISBN 9781520327327.
  8. Wallace, W. C., Gibson, C., Gordon, N. A., Lakhan, R., Mahabir, J., & Seetahal, C. Domestic Violence: Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Non-Reporting to the Police in Trinidad and Tobago. (2019)