Thursday, June 21, 2012


There is a word for what I am. It's a fancy word, maybe four bits worth because I don't think I have ever seen it used before. Its opposite I know well, because that one is a loathsome creature.

I am reading a book about a paranoid schizophrenic who killed an innocent man he thought was a would-be assassin, then spent the rest of his life in a mental institution, contributing to the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary for over twenty years. The book is called "The Professor and the Madman," by Simon Winchester. I am only a few pages into the book so far, but it has my attention.

At the back of the book are some of Winchester's personal favorite words from the OED, and this one stands out. The irony is that I found the word just casually flipping through the book, hours after finishing my latest blog.

The word is "philogynist," from "philogyny." Its opposite is misogynist, someone who dislikes, distrusts or outright hates women. Pilogynists love women; they prefer the company of women to that of men. Winchester notes that "the man who seeks out feminine company in preference to bonding with his brothers is much derided -- or much envied."

So I have a label!

I like talking to and listening to women. They like talking to and listening to me. It's a good arrangement. Everyone feels comfortable, at ease, and never threatened. I am like a brother to be confided in, and a buddy to be joked with or to do things with -- but I am not a friend with benefits. That last bit is not part of the equation: I am a happily married man an halve been for 37 and a half years, and everybody knows it.

I also like couples, but I don't know the word for that.

There are men in my life whom I respect and enjoy interacting with, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule, and they tend to be philogynists like me. Funny, that.

Montana so far is a little lonely for me. This is not to complain, even though it sounds like complaining. I love my solitude, especially for the writing, and I have not made any changes that would socialize my existence. I have opitions I have not used -- volunteer work, perhaps, at the local library, for example. This means my loneliness is curablke and up to me. There always are options, always.

But I fear change. There's a word for that, too: metathesiophobia. Now that one's worth a buck fifty, easy.

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