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chauvinism

(shō`vənĭzəm), word derived from the name of Nicolas Chauvin, a soldier of the First French Empire. Used first for a passionate admiration of Napoleon, it now expresses exaggerated and aggressive nationalism. As a social phenomenon, chauvinism is essentially modern, becoming marked in the era of acute national rivalries and imperialism beginning in the 19th cent. It has been encouraged by mass communication, originally by the cheap newspaper. Chauvinism exalts consciousness of nationality, spreads hatred of minorities and other nations, and is associated with militarism, imperialism, and racism. In the 1960s, the term "male chauvinist" appeared in the women's liberation movement; it is applied to males who refuse to regard females as equals.

Chauvinism

 

an extreme form of nationalism, involving the advocacy of national exclusivity. Chauvinists place the interests of their own nation above the interests of all others, promote national arrogance, and exacerbate national hatreds and animosities.

The term “chauvinism” first appeared in France. It derives from the name of an aggressive and bellicose recruit in the comedy The Tricolor Cockade (1831), by the brothers J.-H. and C.-T. Cogniard. The recruit, Nicolas Chauvin, was apparently based on a real Nicolas Chauvin, a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars who was known for his worship of Napoleon and his belief that the emperor had made France great.

The word “chauvinism” was eventually applied to many types of exaggerated nationalism. “Jingoism” came into use in Great Britain in the 1870’s as a synonym. Terms such as “social chauvinism” and “great power chauvinism” have been devised to identify particular types of chauvinism.

Chauvinism flourishes in imperialist countries. Its most extreme manifestation is the antihuman ideology and policies of fascist states. The struggle against chauvinist ideologies and their proponents has always been one of the most important tasks confronting Marxist-Leninist parties.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “Rabochii klass i natsional’nyi vopros.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 23.
Lenin, V. I. “Kriticheskie zametki po natsional’nomu voprosu.” Ibid., vol. 24.
Lenin, V. I. “O bor’be s sotsial-shovinizmom.” Ibid. , vol.
26. Lenin, V. I. “Prikrytie sotsial-shovinistskoi politiki internatsionalisticheskimi frazami.” Ibid., vol. 27.
Marksizm-Leninizm o proletarskom internatsionalizme. Moscow, 1969.
Leninizm i natsional’nyi vopros v sovremennykh usloviiakh, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.

Chauvinism

See also Bigotry, Patriotism.
Chauvin, Nicolas
soldier who passionately admired Napoleon; whence, ultranationalism. [Fr. Hist.: NCE, 518]
Helmer, Torvald
treats wife Nora as an inferior being. [Nor. Lit.: A Doll’s House]
Jingo
legendary second-century empress of Japan, victorious invader of Korea and hence the conjectural eponym of jingoism. [Jap. Hist.: EB (1963) XIII, 69]
Jingoes
nickname of 19th-century English pro-war party. [Br. Hist.: EB (1963) XIII, 69]
male chauvinist pig
denigrating designation for a man who treats women as inferiors. [Am. Pop. Culture: Misc.]
References in periodicals archive ?
(9) The catchphrase 'male chauvinist pig' has nowadays come into common usage, indeed it is part of colloquial language and often jocularly used.
Your stereotypical Welsh male chauvinist tendencies are a disgrace to the New Wales we are building here.
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Instead of living up to his rap star reputation, McAvoy said he is not a male chauvinist in real life as he treated her with great respect.
If you are innocent of logic, ignorant about how much of the country lives and works, inarticulate, a closet racist, a male chauvinist, and a sucker for conservative sophistry, punditry may be for you.
However, a surprising number of prominent authors are contumeliously dismissed: Robert Coover is "a closet fascist" who is "forever mincing or else obscenely chuckling about how nothing can be known," though he is elsewhere described as an "American fundamentalist Christian gone wrong"; Saul Bellow "is patently and annoyingly a male chauvinist pig"; Thomas Pynchon is "perhaps the dullest writer now living"; any writer in the Southern Gothic tradition is working in "an inherently inferior form." Other writers receive lavish praise: Joyce Carol Oates's Bellefleur is "a tour de force of imagination and intellect"; Bernard Malamud's Dubin's Lives is "a major work, comic, philosophical, and poetic"; John Cheever is "one of the few living American novelists who might qualify as true artists."
Flores said: "On the surface, the Philippines may be mistaken for a male chauvinist macho country, but it is in essence a matriarchal society with many women actually holding sway over families, businesses, and politics.
The old male chauvinist language, which treats women as victims who are incapable of defending themselves, must go.