Smash the Patriarchy: Ways Internalized Misogyny Manifests In Our Lives
The unfortunate reality is patriarchal values and expectations exist in all aspects of our society – from our laws down to our culture. But while these values are rooted in the patriarchy, women also play an integral role in the preservation of these misogynistic social practices. There are so many ways that internalized misogyny shows up in our lives that it's difficult not to show it.
But wait, what even is ‘internalized misogyny’? Do note, it does not outright refer to a belief in the inferiority of women. Internalized misogyny is when women subconsciously project sexist ideas onto other women and even onto themselves.
That said, here are some sneaky ways in which internalized misogyny manifests in our lives. As you go through these tendencies, remember that It's not your fault if you've been influenced by these beliefs, but you can still challenge them.
Questioning Your Qualifications
In a world where there are fields that are considered male-dominated, women tend to feel less confident in striving for more than men. In fact, Harvard Business School found that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. This hinders women from reaching their full potential instead, it paves the way for self-doubt to steal opportunities that can allow women to get their dream job, salaries, and everything they truly want. Now is the time for us to break this norm and strive to reach the best of our capabilities!
Looking Down On Other Women
When we consider ourselves a rare exception to our gender due to being more focused on inner qualities than appearance, we insult all women and therefore ourselves. As long as we view ourselves or a select few women as the exception, we will not change the rule. Let us rise together, not drag each other down. It is time for women to not see one another as competition instead, let us support one another to reach our best selves!
Discomfort Being Assertive
Women are quick to feel they are overstepping boundaries when asking for something: be it a raise, a date, or at times, even a request for information. The discomfort associated with trespassing these perceived social boundaries results from the ways in which women are silenced for straying from social norms of timidity. Women may be labeled desperate, bossy, or unladylike in circumstances that men are considered driven and self-assured. The hesitation women feel in being assertive is a result of societal restrictions placed on what women are entitled to and how we are expected to behave. We must put an end to this societal pressure placed on women and start being assertive when needed.
It is important to be conscious of this, and to be conscious of your thoughts and ideas not only about other women but also in regards to yourself. Always keep in mind – empowered women empower women!
Transforming internalized misogyny won’t be an easy task but self-awareness of what you’ve internalized is a starting point. Empathy towards other women is another. Try to catch yourself when you feel inferior or when you find yourself judging other women. Step back and evaluate the situation. Most importantly of all, be kind. Both to yourself and to those around you.