chauvinist vs male chauvinist, sexist : Common Errors in English

About chauvinist vs male chauvinist, sexist

Nicolas Chauvin of Rochefort became a laughingstock in Napoleon’s army for his exaggerated nationalism, and his name gave rise to the term “chauvinism,” which characterizes people who wildly overestimate the excellence and importance of their own countries while denigrating others. The word was then broadened to cover an exaggerated belief in the superiority of one’s own kind in other respects. Following this pattern, feminists in the 1970s invented the term “male chauvinist” to label people who considered women inferior to men. Unfortunately, this was the context in which many people first encountered “chauvinism” and not understanding that it had a broader meaning, dropped the “male,” thinking that “chauvinist” was a synonym for “sexist.” This misunderstanding is so widespread that only occasionally will you encounter someone who knows better, but in formal writing it is wise to avoid the abbreviated form in this restricted meaning. However, if you do intend the older meaning of the word, it’s also a good idea to make that clear from your context, for a great many of your readers will assume you are talking about sexism.

chauvinist Meaning(s)

  • (n) a person with a prejudiced belief in the superiority of his or her own kind
  • (n) an extreme bellicose nationalist

chauvinist in News

  • Billie Jean King film replays tennis battle for women's equality

    By Ian MacKenzie EDINBURGH (Reuters) - As Wimbledon gets under way, former U.S. tennis champion Billie Jean King is telling the tale of how she struck one of the most famous blows for female equality in a new documentary film. "The Battle of the Sexes" recounts King's journey from an amateur player to a feminist sports idol whose 1973 defeat of self-confessed "chauvinist pig" Bobby Riggs set ...
    on June 25, 2013 Source: Reuters via Yahoo! News

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