On Internalized Misogyny And How To Recognize It
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

On Internalized Misogyny And How To Recognize It

Just because you are a woman does not mean you are not sexist.

On Internalized Misogyny And How To Recognize It

Internalized sexism, also known as internalized misogyny, is "the involuntary belief by girls and women that the lies, stereotypes, and myths about girls and women that are delivered to everyone in a sexist society are true."

When women support negative stereotypes about women, they are clear examples of internalized misogyny. When reading the news during the 2016 election, I saw that a number of women — not just men — were quick to claim that a woman could not be president because women are too emotional. I had always regarded this statement to be sexist, and seeing women claim that women are not fit to be president of the U.S. confused me at first. In truth, those women are sexist. Whether or not they recognize their misogyny, they inherently believe that women can not do everything men can, or, in other words, see women as inferior to men.

When women make excuses for men who hurt or violate women, they are a part of the problem. I personally know a lot of women who were quick to defend President Trump's "grab her by the pussy" statement. It is important to understand that when a woman dismisses the sexist remarks of our own president as "locker room talk," they contribute to the oppression of women in the United States. When women refuse to believe survivors of sexual assault, they are a part of the problem.

Now, I understand that many articles like this can come across as accusatory, and that is not my intention. Internalized misogyny continues to be a large, overlooked problem in the United States, and it happens to the majority of women, including me. It took me a long time to recognize and understand my own internalized sexism before I was able to change it. When I was younger, especially in high school, I often defined myself by the phrase "I'm not like other girls." As most people know, this phrase is very common among women and has a lot of different interpretations.

At the time, I meant something along the lines of "Other girls are so much drama — I'm not like them." The problem with this phrase is that it perpetuates negative stereotypes about females. Instead of trying to explain that I was more than the stereotypes about women I had heard growing up, I stereotyped all other females and then tried to claim that I was different than them. This, in a way I never intended but clearly participated in, reinforced the idea that women were inferior and that I did not want to associate with them.

In order to fight internalized misogyny, you must first recognize it within yourself and understand how you have internalized negative stereotypes about women and how they reflect your worldview.

Are you quick to doubt survivors of sexual assault?

Do you believe women are "too emotional" to have the same responsibilities as men or are simply unfit for male-dominated fields?

Do you believe that women should not have the right to control their own bodies?

Do you distance yourself from other women by saying that "you are not like most women," as I have many times in the past?

Do you believe that a woman's place is in the home or judge women based on their decision to have children or not?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you are contributing to sexism in the U.S. If you are a woman, you most likely have internalized the sexist stereotypes and myths of our society and have unintentionally acted in sexist ways.

Before you doubt yourself and your own capabilities or doubt other women simply because of their gender again, I urge you to take a look at your beliefs and see where societal sexism has clouded your judgment.

Report this Content
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments