What is misogyny?

Prevent and tackle hate online against girls

Misogyny is form of online hate that targets women and girls. It’s promoted in different communities online where influencers promote a narrative that women should be treated as less than men.

Explore where misogyny is introduced to young people online and the effective actions you can take to challenge these ideas with this guide.

Display video transcript
`{`Text on screen`}` How to tackle misogyny : Quick tips for parents & carers

What is misogyny ?

Misogyny is the hate of girls and women.

It spreads online in different communities and on social media.

But there are things you can do to tackle this online hate...

Talk about it

Keep talking about misogyny and online hate even when the news isn't .

Tackle the tough topics before they find out somewhere else ,

Ask them to tell you what they know ,

Make these conversations a normal part of everyday life.

Understand the pressure

Pressures from social media, friends and society could impact their thoughts and actions.

Discuss how their friends might impact their actions ,

Work together to set boundaries ,

Show them how and when to seek support .

Challenge the narrative .

People who promote misogyny prepare their followers for rejection. Challenge this.

Instead of telling a child these ideas are wrong, ask them to talk about their beliefs.

Ask critical thinking questions in a calm and positive way.

Get more advice to tackle misogyny and other online issues at

What’s on this page?

What is misogyny?

Misogyny is, in simple words, the hate against women and girls. It also includes prejudice and promotes harmful gender stereotypes. Online, it is found in different communities through social media, video games and other spaces.

What misogyny looks like offline

Catcalling, physical abuse and exclusion by men from certain spaces are all examples of misogyny offline. It can cause women and girls to feel powerless, afraid and angry.

What misogyny looks like online

Online, misogyny is largely found in videos, images and forums or comment sections. It includes name-calling or slurs, language suggesting women are lesser than men, vulgar images or photos and content that puts down women.

Display video transcript
An echo chamber is in effect a place where you hear the same opinion or view echoed over and over again and through that, your belief in that view or opinion is reinforced and there in lies the problem.

Because if we're not challenging our views, if we're not challenging our opinions, then we're not really having a balanced idea.

We're not able to have a balanced idea of what's going on.

And I think when it comes to young people online who are very impressionable, it's very easy to kind of get, get drawn in to people that sort of preach ideas that kind of explain away why they feel upset or sad and it's this person's fault.

So if you're a man, it's a woman's fault.

If you're a woman, it's a man's fault.

It's this identity group's fault.

It's that group's fault.

And what tends to happen is that there's little critical thinking going on, but much more of this emotional thinking where you just feel energized in the most sort of negative sense of the word to kind of seek out this information.

Words and terms to know

This dictionary of misogyny terms can help you understand the different definitions around misogyny that might come up. Explore them below to build your confidence around the topic.


What are incels?

Incels, or INvoluntary CELibates, are men or boys who believe they are entitled to a relationship but struggle to form one. This group has early connections to communities like Reddit and 4chan. They tend to blame women for their trouble with finding a partner.

Internalised misogyny

What is internalised misogyny?

Internalised misogyny is when women and girls believe stereotypes and myths about their sex is true. Some examples include thinking they’re weaker than men, that they must stay in the home and cannot work or that they must conform to ideals of beauty.


What is misandry?

Misandry is the opposite of misogyny. It is the hate or prejudice of men and boys. Just like misogyny, it can lead to the harmful treatment of others. Additionally, it can contribute to misogyny, especially when it comes to groups like MGTOW and those that associate feminism with misandry.


What does misogyny mean?

Misogyny is hate and prejudice for women and girls. It includes systems or environments that make women and girls feel scared or unwelcome. Misogyny is a form of online hate.


What is the patriarchy?

Patriarchy refers to societies or communities led by men. Historically, women have had fewer rights than men due to societies and governments largely being patriarchal. In many cases, this has led to misogyny and mistreatment of women and girls.

Toxic masculinity

What is toxic masculinity?

Toxic masculinity is a term that refers to gender stereotypes associated with how a man should act. Some of these stereotypes say that men can’t cry or that they’re expected to provide for their family. These kinds of stereotypes are harmful to men and boys’ mental health. This is because they might feel like they have to keep their feelings to themselves, struggle to talk about their struggles or like they can’t ask for help.

Where might children see it online?

Misogyny is not new but developments in technology and the internet have created more widespread exposure to it. Children and young people may come across it in both subtle and obvious ways. Below are a few ways children might see it online.

Online pornography

By the age of 9, 10% of children have already seen pornography, increasing to 27% by 11.

The abuse of women across pornography online exposes children and young people to misogyny. It normalises harmful behaviour and causes confusion in young people who are exposed about what is healthy.

The links between porn and misogyny

A lot of online pornography highlights a man’s dominance of a woman in graphic ways. It encourages a dynamic where the woman enjoys being abused.

With earlier access to devices, many children see this content at younger ages. Research from the Children’s Commissioner found that 27% of children reported seeing online porn by age 11. 79% of young adults reported seeing sexually violent pornography before they were 18. So, even without labelling it as misogyny, children are already introduced to the idea before they reach adulthood.

Furthermore, because porn is a tricky topic to talk about, both parents and children avoid important conversations about it. If a child comes across porn online, they might feel embarrassed or scared they will get in trouble.

Tackling the topic head-on in an age-appropriate way helps children understand what healthy relationships look like and how porn is unrealistic. Additionally, it opens the door for them to speak to you if they come across something upsetting online.

Influencers and content creators

Influencers and content creators who spread misogynist ideas can appear on anyone’s social media feeds or channels. Algorithms and engagement with this content can create an echo chamber, making it difficult for children to see other points of view.

Followers of these influencers or content creators may create communities that then continue to spread online hate against women and girls.

How some influencers spread misogyny

In 2021, nearly 95% of 3-17-year-olds used video-sharing platforms (VSPs) like YouTube and TikTok. Many of these children also had their own social media accounts even if they were under the minimum required age.

Because of their access to a wide range of content, children might come across influencers that they admire. They could be gamers, streamers, artists, personal trainers, crypto bankers or any other person. If your child has an interest, they can find an influencer.

Many children and young people may aspire to the wealth or status of influencers they follow. They may do this without questioning how the celebrity gained their status or whether what they say is accurate.

If a child admires something about an influencer who then starts sharing misinformation or misogynistic ideas, they fall victim to believing the same things. So, if someone has a lot of money, has expensive cars, is charismatic and shares hateful and outdated ideas about women, an impressionable person might latch onto those same ideas.

An important way to challenge this is by talking about your child’s interests. Who is the influencer they’re watching? What do they like about them? Are there other influencers like them?

The conversation can help show your child that you’re interested in their hobbies. Also, it can help you keep on top of anything that might suggest harm.

Social media content algorithms

Algorithms are responsible for the content suggested to users. On social media or video-sharing platforms (VSPs), algorithms are influenced by how you engage with this suggested content. If someone watches misogynistic content, they will see more suggestions of similar content, creating echo chambers.

Sometimes, a child might not realise that the content is hateful. Instead, they will engage in something else they like about the video or creator. This may introduce them to an idealised lifestyle they want to achieve. So, when the influencer shares misogynistic ideas, the child might want to also believe the same so they can mimic the celebrity.

Click here to learn more about algorithms and echo chambers.

How algorithms can spread misogyny online

The algorithms on social media and video-sharing platforms can create echo chambers.

This happens when a child watches a certain type of video and maybe interacts with it – likes, comments, shares. This leads to the algorithm suggesting similar content, which a child may also engage with. Soon, their entire feed is filled with the same kind of content. If this content features someone with misogynistic ideals, that could lead to a child only interacting with others who share those same ideals, thereby creating the echo chamber.

Work with your child to set boundaries around content. You might set age or screen time limits to reduce their exposure. Or, you could show them how to curate their feed with positive and varied content. Showing them how to hide content can ensure they know how to take action when they recognise something as harmful.

Tips to tackle misogyny

For many children, following influencers like Andrew Tate might be a phase brought on by his popularity. However, others might latch onto ideas of misogyny in different and more long-term ways. Regardless of how they come across the content, here are some actions you can take.

Top 3 tips summary

We spoke with Michael Conroy from Men at Work, a not-for-profit organisation that “trains professionals who work with boys and young men to facilitate constructive dialogues with them about being safe . . . for their male peers and for women and girls.”

Below is a summary of some of the tips he shared for parents to help tackle misogyny in an effective way.

1. Talk about it

Keep talking about misogyny and online hate even when the news isn’t​.

  • Tackle the tough topics before they find out somewhere else​
  • Ask them to tell you what they know​
  • Make these conversations a normal part of everyday life.​

2. Understand the pressures

Pressures from social media, friends and society could impact their thoughts and actions.​

  • Discuss how their friends might impact their actions​
  • ​Work together to set boundaries​
  • Show them how and when to seek support

3. Challenge the narrative

People who promote misogyny prepare their followers for rejection. Challenge this.​

  • Instead of telling a child these ideas are wrong, ask them to talk about their beliefs.​
  • Ask critical thinking questions in a calm and positive way.​

Related resources

Was this useful?
Tell us how we can improve it