“Misogyny” is defined as “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women” according to Oxford Languages. Society has tried to mold women into what they believe women should be like since the beginning of time. How they should be ‘proper’ and ‘reserved.’ They have also ensured that they engraved these ideas into children, women, and men. This had led to women themselves making remarks about other females and sometimes themselves that contribute to gender stereotypes.
Imagine this: you’re at school or work walking down the hall when all of a sudden you hear whispering. Other girls are glancing and pointing at you. You listen closely and hear that they are making cruel remarks about your appearance. This is a perfect example of internal misogyny. These women who are supposed to uplift other women are just bringing an innocent girl down. Even though you may not realize at first, this girl is being made fun of because she doesn’t fit in. She doesn’t fit into societal standards. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls. She doesn’t fit in with what a man wants her to be.
Another example of internal misogyny may be a woman making remarks about herself that contribute to the stereotypical ideas of women such as, “I’m a girl, I’m so weak!” This leads to others beginning to believe that idea if they didn’t already. This type of internal misogyny has been made by society and especially men who continue to try to mold women into their idea of how women should act or think due to their ideas of how they (men) are still better than women.
Misogyny has especially led to men and others blaming women when they are sexually assaulted or raped, claiming that “it was their fault”.Those who are misogynistic will always believe the rapist first than the victim herself with questions such as “Well, what was she wearing?” It shouldn’t matter what she was wearing because society needs to get rid of the idea that a woman was asking for it if she was wearing certain clothing. Women start to believe those ideas and question themselves, when they really should be understanding that it was and will never be their fault. The idea that women should dress “appropriately” in order to decrease their chances of rape adds to women believing that any woman who dresses otherwise is a “slut.” This builds upon the internal misogyny that society has placed in women to turn them against one another.
Ridding the world of misogyny starts with women believing that they are equal to men and have the power to be better. It also starts with women uplifting and supporting each other instead of creating competition between themselves. Even though it will be harder for them to succeed in multiple ways due to gender inequalities in society, they will come out 10 times stronger with those experiences.
By Sonali Bhana