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Chauvinism, in its original meaning, is an exaggerated, patriotism and a belligerent belief in national superiority and glory. Its eponym is a French soldier Nicolas Chauvin, who was badly wounded in the Napoleonic wars. He received a pension for his injuries but it was not enough to live on. After Napoleon abdicated, Chauvin was a fanatical Bonapartist despite the unpopularity of this view in Bourbon Restoration France. His single-minded blind devotion to his cause, despite neglect by his faction and harassment by its enemies, started the use of the term.
By extension, it has come to include an extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of any group to which one belongs, especially when the partisanship includes malice and hatred towards rival groups. Jingoism is the British parallel form of this French word, but its meaning has not expanded beyond nationalism in the same way that the word chauvinism has.
In "Imperialism, Nationalism, Chauvinism", in The Review of Politics 7.4, (October 1945), p. 457, Hannah Arendt, the political theorist, describes the concept:
Chauvinism is an almost natural product of the national concept in so far as it springs directly from the old idea of the "national mission." ... [A] nation's mission might be interpreted precisely as bringing its light to other, less fortunate peoples that, for whatever reason, have miraculously been left by history without a national mission. As long as this concept did not develop into the ideology of chauvinism and remained in the rather vague realm of national or even nationalistic pride, it frequently resulted in a high sense of responsibility for the welfare of backward people.
Technical Chauvinism has been used for those examples where inventors of a particular nationality have been idolised, one case being that of the ship's propeller. It had no sole inventor, but claims have been made for the Swede John Ericsson and the Czech Josef Ressel. The latter even has a national monument to him.
Male chauvinism is the belief that men are superior to women. This is closely associated with sexism and misogyny, and other forms of believing that women are inferior to men, especially intellectually.
Author Michael Korda has defined male chauvinism as a "blind allegiance and simple minded devotion to one's maleness that is mixed with open or disguised belligerence toward women. It is also usually associated with an unconscious ritual to ward off anxiety engendered by these same women." 
Male chauvinism was apparent long before the feminist movement, and studies indicate that it has existed as long as racism and religious persecution. The first documented use of the phrase male chauvinism is in the 1935 Clifford Odets play Till the Day I Die.
The balance of the workforce changed during World War II through the dramatic rise of women’s participation as men left their positions to enlist in the military and fight in the war. After the war ended and men returned home to find jobs in the workplace, male chauvinism was on the rise. Previously, men had been the main source of labour, and they expected to come back to their previous employment, but women had stepped into many of their positions to fill the void.
As they integrated back into the workforce, men returned to predominantly holding positions of power, and women worked as their secretaries, usually typing dictations and answering telephone calls. This division of labor was understood and expected, and women typically felt unable to challenge their position or male superiors. There is less chauvinism seen in the general modern workplace, though it is still found in more personal relationships within businesses.
Michael Korda, author of Male Chauvinism! How It Works, compared chauvinistic husbands to the hedgehog from a well-known Russian fable, The Hedgehog and the Fox; they have one way of thinking, and it is so engrained that they cannot change it. Chauvinistic men see marriage as a particular type of relationship, with defined responsibilities for each spouse. These expectations often match culturally endorsed Gender Roles with women expected stay home to cook, clean, and raise children, and men to work outside of the home, and are permitted to have whatever job they choose.
Male chauvinism is seen in different cultures. It is a classical concept of the Jewish religious tradition, and the Christian faith has long been criticized for the general superiority complex of males. Although Hindu religion and Indian cultural practice does not strictly dictate the status of women, many conservative leaders and gurus continue to hold and espouse deeply misogynistic views publicly, leading to clashes with more liberal Indians, both verbal and otherwise.
Some women are comfortable with being subjugated and/or relieved from positions of responsibility by men, and do not feel comfortable when they or other women are in power or authority. Such attitudes may be passed on to children, including female children, and lead to self-perpetuation. In some cases, this results from centuries of historical or religious conditioning into the subservient role.
Ann Turkel believes that chauvinistic attitudes of men stem from the early mother-child relationship, and that the concept of breast envy in men is crucial to understanding the connection between envy and devaluation, and thus the root of chauvinistic attitudes in men. Devaluation is a defense mechanism for envy.
Chauvinism is also seen as an influential factor in some psychological personality tests, such as the TAT. Through cross-examinations, the TAT exhibits a tendency toward chauvinistic stimuli for its questions and has the “potential for unfavorable clinical evaluation” for women.
An often cited study done in 1976 by Sherwyn Woods, Some Dynamics of Male Chauvinism, attempts to find the underlying causes of "male chauvinism."
Female chauvinism is the symmetrical attitude that women are superior to men. The term female chauvinism has been adopted by critics of some types or aspects of feminism; second-wave feminist Betty Friedan is a notable example. Ariel Levy used the term in similar, but opposite sense in her book, Female Chauvinist Pigs, in which she argues that many young women in the United States and beyond are replicating male chauvinism and older misogynist stereotypes.
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