Have you ever really thought why women have to shave their legs and men don’t?
What is internalised misogyny?
With the definition of misogyny being the dislike/hatred of women, you’d think no woman would have to worry whether she’s misogynistic or not. However, internalised misogyny is when our patriarchal society has taught women to subconsciously believe and project sexest ideas onto themselves and other women around them. No matter how much of a hardcore feminist you are, your everyday life is 100% affected by your internalised misogyny…
1) Thinking feminism is against men
This lie has been created by men who want to continue to oppress the opposite gender. Feminism doesn’t mean the fall of men, despite how many will tell you the feminists are out to get them. The ideology is there to help both men and women. High male suicide rates boil down to the patriarchy forcing men to deal with their emotions in private – emotions are seen as something that makes you weak and not strong and manly. Father’s quite often miss parts of the early lives of their children because they are told they have to work whilst the mother stays at home. Then you also get men who are terrified of ‘losing’ their masculinity. I work in a pub and I’ve served a number of men who have asked for their G&Ts in a straight glass because the standard balloon glass is too girly for them. It’s a glass! The fact some men are scared of a glass proves it does more damage than good to expect men to be macho at all costs.
2) Your desire to remove all body hair
Girls, as soon as they begin puberty, are taught their body hair is disgusting and they must shave/wax etc to be attractive. Boys, however, are told their hairy bodies make them manly. There’s been a lot of discussion around hair removal on social media lately, pointing out the pressure for women to continue to be hairless after puberty seems slightly paedophilic. Only young children are hairless – children still hold their virginity and are pure. Society’s desire for shaven women is indirectly asking them to keep their childlike innocence even after turning 18.
3) Saying “I’m not like other girls”
Priding yourself on your traits that make you less like your female peers doesn’t make you quirky. When you say statements to the affect of “I’m not like other girls,” you’re actually buying into the concept women/femininity equals weak. When you really think about it, it makes no real sense to be proud you don’t wear make-up or you don’t watch chick flicks. You’re not gaining anything from shaming girlier-girls other than enforcing more sexism into your life. Being vocal you’re not like other girls is just a way the patriarchal society has taught you to compete with other women to seem more attractive to men.
4) You hide your pads/tampons up your sleeve when going to the toilet to change them
We’ve all done it. I vividly remember at school I’d try to get my pad and myself to the toilet as discreetly as possible. Picking up your whole bag when excusing yourself to the toilet is always questioned and very obvious so tucking it up your sleeve felt easiest. We are more accepting of the fact men masturbate (something they have a choice whether they do or not) than we are of the fact that women have periods. As soon as a girl gets her first period, she is instinctively taught by society she should hide it away. On the other hand, it’s so normal for people to make the tissue joke about boys when they hit puberty.
5) Obsessing over your appearance
Women are often judged by their appearance – anything from hairstyle, weight, fashion sense. One example is: women are so terrified of facial spots and blemishes whereas men have never been told to care. I have a full skincare routine, washing my face morning and night and I also moisturise every time I come out of the shower. My boyfriend, however, sees his daily shower as the only facial skincare he really needs to do. Men can wear the same suit to work days in a row, only putting on a fresh shirt each day and nobody ever bats an eye. If a woman was to wear the same trouser suit each day, she’d be severely judged for her lack of fashion sense.
Can you think of any other ways you’re internally misogynistic? Comment them down below.