Difference between Machismo and Feminism

Machismo vs. Feminism

What is Difference between Machismo and Feminism? Within each society, human beings are formed ideas, mental schemes and stereotypes of different things, in many cases due to ignorance and in others to simple adversity. Since ancient times, people (or at least many of them) have ruled their life and sometimes that of others; based on misconceptions about the position that each has within the social system.

Undoubtedly, among the ideas that many cultures have had and continue to have large numbers of people, is the role that each person should play depending on their sex; but although it is clear that men and women have certain differences (especially biological), in most cases, this idea has been taken to the social level; provoking that sometimes people are discriminated against and abused just because they are of a particular sex.

One of the most dangerous attitudes is machismo, which can have many causes; but often has some relation with some religious beliefs; although it is important to clarify that it is not only the source of religion, because it could also be thought that machismo has influenced the latter.

With the passage of time and the incursion of women in the labor field, feminist movements that propose and claim the rights of women and their social equality towards men begin to emerge. This is a way of combating many abuses committed against women by individuals with macho attitudes.

Difference between Machismo and Feminism

Below we will see what some of the differences between machismo and feminism are and what is proposed by each one.


Machismo is the belief that man is superior to woman and that man should always occupy a place below that of male individuals. On some occasions it can be so extreme that it leads to total contempt towards women and everything related to the female sex (misogyny). However, machismo should not be confused with misogyny, because in the former it is only considered that the woman is inferior to the man, but she is not hated; while in the case of misogyny it is an extreme adversity towards women.

Machismo often is not only reduced to discrimination against the female sex, but also against homosexuals, transsexuals and metro sexual.

Throughout history, machismo has been reflected directly or subtly by various means; from certain comments within the family environment, to various advertisements where women, homosexuals … are treated as inferior or stupid beings.

In many societies, even today it is still seen as very important that women come to the virgin marriage and that it takes care of the children and the husband within the home. Women are also still seen as the property of men and in some cultures it is even possible to kill and mutilate many women because they are not even considered human beings.

In short, there are many signs of machismo and some of them are so accustomed that already seem normal, for example, when we say “Rosa is the wife of So-and-so”; on the other hand, it is very rare to say “So-and-so is the man of Rosa.” This is a sign of machismo because it is assumed that the woman belongs to her male partner.


Contrary to what a large number of people believe feminism does not claim that women are above men or have more rights than men. What feminists seek is equality in rights between men and women; which is why they oppose the consideration of women as being disabled with man.

Although feminism is considered a modern doctrine, throughout history there have been cases of women and even men who have advocated for equality between the sexes.

In more recent times feminism led to women being granted the right to seek divorce, suffrage and employment; in addition to being able to receive education and go to university.

Something interesting to note is that not all women are feminists; just as not all men are macho. There are women who agree to assume the role men have given them within the family and in society; Likewise, there are differences within feminist groups regarding some rather delicate issues such as abortion, where opinions are divided between those who believe that it is a right of every woman and those who claim that it cannot be in that way, because the creature is another being and not a part of the woman.

Nowadays, thanks to feminist struggles, greater education has been achieved in the use of contraceptives and in medical procedures to achieve pregnancy. Finally, just as machismo can be carried to an extreme level, so in feminism there have been cases that are somewhat radical; but they constitute a minority.

Key Differences between Machismo and Feminism

  • Machismo proclaims the superiority of man above women, while feminism seeks equality between both genders.
  • Generally, feminist groups do not commit abuses or discriminate against men, but people with macho attitudes (there may be macho women) minimize the figure of women vis-a-vis men, and in many cases abuse and maltreatment towards women.
  • Today, machismo in general is considered an outdated attitude, whereas only radical feminism is viewed with evil eyes.