Lets Talk About Internalised Misogyny

Have you ever found yourself using the words, 'I don't what it is about her, but I just really don't like her' when referring to a celebrity or some sort of female public figure? More often than not, that's what's called internalised misogyny. Sorry to break it to you. 

 

Defined by the contemporary intersectional feminist-icon, Florence Given, internalised misogyny is 'a state in which women turn the hatred of women and favour men, criticize themselves and believe negative gender stereotypes'. It's ingrained into our society and more often than not encouraged throughout our early socialisation periods, whether that's hating on another girl because she was better at dancing than you, or because the crush you had for 2 weeks when you were 10 spoke to her on the school playground. When you're young it's harmless, but like many things we are taught so young, it's hard to outgrow. 

Misogyny continues to be highly prevalent in all aspects of life, and therefore, has found ways to trickle down and brainwash women into hating each other; whether that's openly hating on your ex-boyfriend's new partner (who you know nothing about) or shamelessly insulting a women's appearance on the street to your friends. It's so normalized into our culture, that hating on a woman who annoys you on a reality TV show who has 'too much' plastic surgery seems like nothing, but it's always weighted and should always be challenged. 

It sounds extreme, and despite this seeming directly focused on women's ideologies, it is not a blaming game. We are told, by advertisements and the media, that we, as women are fighting to be the centre of the male gaze and that's something we all need to prioritise. We're not. That's what we need to challenge. We need to reprogramme this patriarchal brainwashing we're all so unaware of and empower each other in every way possible. 

 

Have you ever found yourself calling a woman 'bossy' and 'intimidating'? Isn't that just because she stands her ground, knows what she wants and is successful in what she's doing?

Have you ever found yourself using blatantly sexist and derogatory terms like 'slut', 'slag' and 'whore' to describe a woman? Shouldn't you be celebrating the fact that she's sexually liberated, able to do what she wants personally and not limiting herself to conservative, outdated opinions?

But then, on the other hand, have you ever found yourself questioning a women's empowerment because she chooses to remain 'too' conservative, and therefore 'prudish' and unliberated? 

Original Illustratio Designed in Canva for Her Campus Media

A woman will never do right. Where is the middle-ground for sexually liberated yet conservative, opinionated but not too loud, successful but not as successful as her male counterparts? There is no right way of being a woman. That's the beauty of being a woman. 

We're ALL different. 

We need to encourage each other to be who we are, remind each other that we do not exist to impress men and we should be fighting the fight together, not against each other. Challenge these inherently sexist and misogynistic thoughts, why do you think that woman is bossy? What is making you judge her appearance? More often than not, it's a projection of your insecurities and it's something you, and I and every other woman on the planet needs to question. Because we get nowhere on our own, and we have to stick together to challenge this.

Everyone wants to be themselves but then have so many opinions about other people living their truth. Don't be that person.