is "the fear of or contempt for women." THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 562 (4th Edition, 2000).
This definition, along with the various other conceptions of the Maenad (the mother as its other half and the feminization of men) embodies Carlyle's gynophobia in its comprehensiveness.
In his allusion to the Amazon, he is also subscribing to classical gynophobia, since this group of female warriors threatened patriarchy.
In addition, the entire perception of the angel held so many disturbing implications for the males that gynophobia existed in Victorian England, which Carlyle manifests in his terminology.
In his "Outlaws: Gay Men in Feminism," Craig Owens argues that "the myth of homosexual gynophobia remains perhaps the most powerful obstacle to a political alliance of feminists and gay men" (219).
Given the role of male narcissism in the contemporary cultural construction of gay sexuality, and the efforts by some gay men to banish "effeminacy" from the construction of gay identity, as well as the way Strictly Ballroom and Muriel's Wedding both feature men with a narcissistic interest in their athletic bodies, there is an increased likelihood that some gay spectators will over-identify with these men, both of whom express a certain gynophobia in their initial responses to the lead female characters.
One strategy for accomplishing this is to renounce sexuality entirely, a project facilitated by a carefully cultivated gynophobia
with its negative obsessive focus on the female body and its reproductive functions.
And the projection of the violation of those cherished boundaries onto those subjects who, according to a biological iconism, are subject to it speaks of the conceptual and emotional confusion underlying gynophobia
. The confusion of subject and object, only too well known, which underlies this phobia happens to be a powerful ideologeme, or even an ideological code, serving many purposes, and we will encounter it once more in the present inquiry.(19) This is one reason why a subject-oriented narratology can be helpful.((20)
. Exercising the license given ekphrasis to do what it will
Iconophobia and gynophobia
converge in Stuart love tragedies that undergo analysis in terms of a chiasmic interchange between the figuring of beautiful idols as women and beautiful women as idols.
When women are treated in these ways we call it gynophobia
and we resist it.