Misogyny is all around us. But as writer Nina Renata Aron pointed out in The New York Times, the word, which conventionally means hatred of women and was once a radical accusation has become like a synonym to the gentler "sexism" and "chauvinism" in popular use, and with the term's popularity comes a better understanding of what it encompasses.
And one Reddit user found a way to illustrate it. On Friday, u/horridhollowhead made a post on the subreddit r/AskWomen saying, "What is some internalized misogyny you have to continuously remind yourself to unlearn?" And many ladies came through with their experiences and realizations. From the language they use to the way they look at themselves, here are some of the things that stood out in the comments.
#1That my worth and existence as a woman isn't entirely decided by my appearance. That I don't need to achieve a standard of prettiness before I'm worthy of respect, love and self-confidence
That my value as a human being won't suddenly disappear the second I turn 30. Even though on average women spend 65 years of our lives as an adult, we're only considered "young enough" for 12 of them. For the remaining 53 years, or 82% of our adult lives, we're made to feel like old hags by society. It sucks
Image credits: flareon79
#2That other women aren't my competition.
Image credits: natkolbi
#3Sayin « son of a bitch » to insult a guy. Like seriously if i want to hurt him why I’m insulting his mother
If i say « bastard » well it means that his mom cheated on his father
Crazy how so much slurs are related to women
Have to stop sayin that
Image credits: ChipsCreamOnion
#4The not like the other girls trope. I'm just like other women, and I like most of them.
Image credits: n1b1c000
#5My knowledge isn’t less valuable or accurate than a man’s knowledge.
#6That women who do make up, nails, or pay attention to the way they look are not shallow or self-conceited. “Girly” should not be an insult.
#7Referring to women in their 20’s and 30’s (including myself) as “girls”
#8The hatred of hairy armpits in pictures. Idk if I’ll ever unlearn this one. I just hate how it looks (particularly on me).
Image credits: Zahnaynee
#9That sex is not something women give to men, but something BOTH parties (should) enjoy.
#10That I don't need to be "sweet" all the time. I was always so scared of being perceived as rough or mean. I felt that I needed to be nice all the time like a Disney princess, and never be bothered by anything ever. And never cuss cause ladies don't do that.
I don't go out of my way to be mean. It's good to be good. But that doesn't mean I pretend to be okay when I'm bothered or watch how I'm perceived all the time to be attractive to men.
#11It's okay if she isn't wearing something of conventional/"weird" clothing but something which she loves.
#12I don't see the men in my life putting the time energy or give-a-damn into: getting rid of body hair, or keeping their skin perfect, or being the perfect body 110% of the time. I'm allowed to just be me and be comfortable in that.... But sometimes it digs into my subconscious that I SHOULD want these things. Trying my best.
#13That I don't have to listen to men. I can't count how many times random men I barely knew started telling me deeply personal crap like it's my job to listen/care about their problems.
#14Assuming prestigious positions (judge, CEO, etc) are men before I know their gender. Caught myself doing it when my attorney referred to the judge who would be at our hearing as "her" and I was surprised.
It's scary how subtle it can be, and how it can pop up without you even realizing those things were internalized.
#15Women who post sexy stuff on the internet are not necessarily doing it for attention or validation. I'm so judgmental of that sometimes and I really hate myself for it
#16That my worth is NOT directly related to my appearance.
#17It's okay to piss someone off by speaking up.
#18I don't have to dye my greying hair if I don't want to. On the flip side, I can have it rainbow coloured if I feel like it.
#19I don’t owe my partner sex. For my whole life I’ve operated off this notion that my role as girlfriend is to give my boyfriend sex and if I say no too many times it’s legitimate cause for him to want out of the relationship.
#20I can not like another woman for whatever dumb reason I care to name, but if I go after her looks instead of the real issue between us I am the one in the wrong.
#21That I don't have to have a husband or kids to live a fulfilling existence. (Totally cool that some women do though!)
#22It's okay to age
As a 90s kid, this was the theme and in order to not suck, you had to be "not like other girls."
And as soon as you realize they don't suck, you're pitted against each other and aren't able to enjoy how awesome they are.
Turns out, girls are the shit and their virtues don't detract from yours!
Sometimes when I'm out and about I still feel this vibe coming at me from other women and I understand that where they're coming from has nothing to do with me. Now, I just give them a nice, big smile. 9 times out of 10 they break into the sweetest smile you can imagine and I love that moment. We friends, y'all.
#24Formerly raised Christian woman here: slut shaming. I'm much better about it now but basically do not judge women's character who are promiscuous.
Also women who are hyper feminine. As long as they don't tell me I need to be the same I can respect their lifestyle as long as it's for them not to solely please men when they don't even like wearing all that stuff.
That my first sexual experience was my choice and that virginity is a concept. That nothing was taken from me. I chose to do it and we did an action together. Period.
#25Rest isn’t just for men. My husband doesn’t do the dishes when he visits his parents and I feel bad for not always doing the dishes when I visit my parents.
#26I can wear whatever length skirt or pants I want. I’m not a whore for wearing ones that end anywhere above my knee.
#27Apologizing when it’s unnecessary.
#28ThAt I need to have a steady boyfriend or husband for my Survival and fulfillment. I. Do. NOT.
#29I don't have to wait around for my husband or need my husband's permission to do things that I enjoy
#30That it's not my job to monitor everyone's emotional status, and take care of their feelings and mental health.
#31Okay so pink and purple are neat colours, but mainly that there’s no need to feel guilty about not wanting kids. I know the person I am and I know I wouldn’t be a kind mother. Sometimes it’s good to know your limits
#32It's OK to be outside with unshaven legs. It's hair. It's just hair
#33That women who sleep around a lot aren't bad
#34That women can be experts on things - often I’ll be watching the news and catch myself believing a woman specialist less than if she were a man. It’s the one misogynistic thing that’s really stuck in my brain and I catch myself out and correct myself every time but still it persists - so weird and annoying and against all of my values!
#35I was downtown one day and saw this woman in leggings, boots, and a jacket. She had a pony tail and Starbucks. I thought "Ha, look at this basic bi-" and had to stop myself. I then thought "No, she looks comfy and caffeinated, and that pony tail looks great!"
I often catch myself judging stereotypes for no damn reason.
#36I'm no less attractive just because my legs are not as smooth as a baby seal
#37If they are over 18 they are not a girl. Over 18 is no longer a child stop addressing people as such.
#38That I have to look a certain way to be pretty
#39That the only thing I have to offer a man is my body.
#40When someone talks about a doctor, i shouldn't immediately picture a man
#41That when the house is dirty/messy it is not because I am a failure. Chores are not divided by gender and self worth doesn’t come from the outward appearance of perfection.
#42That being able to cook, clean, and even take care of kids/babies does not automatically give me a leg up in the dating pool.
I do this all the time thinking that it’s of more value than other things that women have to offer. In reality I’m just trying to justify the fact that I was forcibly raised to be a proper housewife in a generation where it doesn’t really apply. These are important life skills that ALL genders should have some basic knowledge of to take care of themselves.
#43That i dont owe prettiness to anyone
here’s a qoute by Erin Mckean about it:
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.”
#44That saying no and having an opinion doesn't make me mean/unattractive
#45Being "girly" is not wrong. The disrespect shown towards "typical" female interests, i.e. pumpkin spice, yoga, makeup, etc. is because it is considered female. Even though women are more than half the population, their interests are considered "silly".
#46I'm not special or different from other women. I am like other women, we all have significant similarities and differences and that's great.
Liking common things (certain clothes, bands, iced coffee) that are popular isn't basic or bad. They're so popular because they have great qualities.
#47Pink did not do anything wrong. It's a colour.
#48The only time I would be called strong or tough was when I didn't look too "girly" or behaved in a tom boyish manner. I grew up believing this, but I finally put an end to it.
#49That I don’t need a man to feel like a woman.
#50I look at women and sexualize them automatically —judging and assessing I’m a straight woman
#51When I get angry at a man I’ll be precise, “he’s lazy/rude/annoying” etc.
But when I’m mad at a woman I have to stop myself from using the slurs that were always used against me.. she’s not a bitch, she’s being lazy/rude/annoying. My disappointment with another women shouldn’t result in dehumanizing her with gendered slurs. I don’t use the word bitch/hoe etc out loud anymore. I’m working on getting them out of my mind too