We need to dump internalised misogyny

Charlotte Airey writes on the importance to combatting internalised misogyny in relationships.

Charlotte Airey
13th December 2020

Is it just a passing comment? Or is it bigger than that? Have the conversation and tackle misogyny head on.

Internalised misogyny is everywhere you turn. If you sit down and take a look at yourself in the mirror, you will find that there are elements of misogynistic thoughts in yourself, which you may not even be conscious of!

Society seems to be intent on tearing women down and one way of that is within relationships. It could be your friend slut shaming you, having to take the ‘caring’ role in your romantic relationship, or your parents discouraging you from choosing your profession based on traditional gender norms. All of these examples fall under the remit of misogyny and it can be tricky to combat it – especially without conflict rising.

“Stop raising him, he’s not your son!”

Florence Given

Florence Given, a strong believer in not needing men for a ‘complete life’ is a true believer in not accepting misogyny in relationships. She points out, which is something that should be noted, that this misogynistic behaviour does not always display as traditional abuse or gaslighting – as it is more minor day to day instances.

Washing their clothes for them, cooking, not wearing what you want because of snide comments and letting them take the ‘lead’ in relationships. I think I myself am so guilty of this, and it can be hard not to be – sometimes I can’t be bothered to put IKEA furniture together, and if my boyfriend’s masculinity is boosted by me saying “you’re the boy, you do it” then I’m okay with that – I don’t really care! But I should! The way to combat stuff like this is to simply… stop it. If your s/o isn’t okay with sharing jobs and you doing what you want with your own body, then you need to have an open conversation about these situations and how it makes you feel and if they don’t change or at least make the effort then I hate to be that person but dump them – you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t value you as a person.

Image: @emmycoletti (Instagram)

In friendships, I think it is more difficult. Everyone is aware of girls especially talking about others behind their backs and it just seems to be a ‘norm’ about girl friendships. You find the others however, that are ‘I’m not like other girls’ (which is misogyny too by the way). However how can you combat it? We seem to be all for female empowerment and doing what someone wants, until they make an ‘Only Fans’. There’re consistent comments not only about our own bodies, but about other women’s, comments when watching a film, tearing other women down – look at Megan Fox and Taylor Swift! Two women that are literally just doing their job and frequently get torn down and are hated by women for no reason. The best way to combat this and to challenge your friends over this is to have the conversation and just check yourself. It may raise a few eyebrows but who cares? Internalised misogyny is something that does need to be recognised and needs to be called out. 

It is difficult as there are so many different situations where women are treated as second class and there are remarks made about women’s bodies, or the way they are acting, or playing sport, or eating or anything! There are always comments.

“The chubby girl? I think there’s a pretty sizable ass there, yes, sir. Huge thighs.”

Love Actually

Combatting these issues can be so difficult – because guess what? You’ll most likely be branded as over-reacting or emotional. Unfortunately, this rhetoric won’t cease until conversations are had and apologies are made. So, start the conversation!

Featured image: Lindsey Lamont (unsplash)

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