A journalist I follow on Facebook recently posted a video from National Geographic showing a ritual that the men of a certain tribe in Papua New Guinea perform. The ritual is meant to drive out the corruption of women and purify the men.
Most of the comments were about how cool it was that National Geographic had been able to get footage of the ritual, but a few were from people offended by the description of the corrupting influence of women. They said it was offensive, misogynistic, and that the video was an example of why all these native cultures and religions needed to be replaced with civilized belief systems.
Having read a bit about various tribes of Papua New Guinea, I was aware of the rationale behind the ritual. Because women raise the children, the difference between a man and a boy is how influenced he is by a woman. A boy is someone who is still under the control of the women in the tribe, while a man has been freed of this influence. If there's something misogynistic about the ritual, it can't be separated from the most basic foundations of their culture.
This got me thinking about other cultures and sexism in general. Does everything that we'd label misogyny ultimately come down to this division of labor? If women are the primary caregivers of children, must a negative viewpoint of women and their place in society result? Can you have societies with a gendered division of labor without misogyny (or perhaps misandry)?