Empowered Women Are Sharing 68 Examples Of Internalized Misogyny


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.


That 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


That other women aren't my competition.

Image credits: natkolbi


Sayin « 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


The not like the other girls trope. I'm just like other women, and I like most of them.

Image credits: n1b1c000


My knowledge isn’t less valuable or accurate than a man’s knowledge.


That 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.


Referring to women in their 20’s and 30’s (including myself) as “girls”


The 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


That sex is not something women give to men, but something BOTH parties (should) enjoy.


That 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.


It's okay if she isn't wearing something of conventional/"weird" clothing but something which she loves.


I 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.


That 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.


Assuming 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.


Women 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


That my worth is NOT directly related to my appearance.


It's okay to piss someone off by speaking up.


I 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.


I 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.


I 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.


That I don't have to have a husband or kids to live a fulfilling existence. (Totally cool that some women do though!)


It's okay to age


"Girls suck."

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.


Formerly 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.


Rest 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.


I can wear whatever length skirt or pants I want. I’m not a whore for wearing ones that end anywhere above my knee.


Apologizing when it’s unnecessary.


ThAt I need to have a steady boyfriend or husband for my Survival and fulfillment. I. Do. NOT.


I don't have to wait around for my husband or need my husband's permission to do things that I enjoy


That it's not my job to monitor everyone's emotional status, and take care of their feelings and mental health.


Okay 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


It's OK to be outside with unshaven legs. It's hair. It's just hair


That women who sleep around a lot aren't bad


That 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!


I 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.


I'm no less attractive just because my legs are not as smooth as a baby seal


If they are over 18 they are not a girl. Over 18 is no longer a child stop addressing people as such.


That I have to look a certain way to be pretty


That the only thing I have to offer a man is my body.


When someone talks about a doctor, i shouldn't immediately picture a man


That 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.


That 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.


That 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’.”


That saying no and having an opinion doesn't make me mean/unattractive


Being "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".


I'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.


Pink did not do anything wrong. It's a colour.


The 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.


That I don’t need a man to feel like a woman.


I look at women and sexualize them automatically —judging and assessing I’m a straight woman


When 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


That most women are the same when it comes to being unfaithful. There is many women out there who are faithful.


Honestly all of it. I was a nightmare as a teen. I actually argued against abortion in health class. Obviously I've learned better since, but I hate old me so much.


Saying sorry for everything when you haven't actually done anything wrong. At least in the states this is a very common for women to basically apologize for existing or making someone else's life slightly inconvenient with their incredibly reasonable actions. "I'm sorry to bother you" when reaching out, someone holds the door "sorry, thank you", speaking up about something "sorry, but". We don't need to apologize for any of these things. Men rarely if ever do this.


Calling ppl pussies as a sign of weakness. Pussies are actually very resilient and strong.


Girly things are great. I don't have to prove shit.


I can say no to men


I don't have to obey every man and every order he gives me. (Yeah... a rather nasty internal belief I'm unlearning with difficulty.)


Referring to all animals as "he." Male is not the default.


I might be a girl and I might be the oldest but it is not my job to manage my parents' feelings and expectations. It took nearly 50 years to learn that lesson but at least I did it - and hopefully I managed to pass it on to my kid, so that she won't waste nearly the time on it I did.


That beauty isn’t synonymous with my worth. And people who treat me badly based off it are just bad people, it doesn’t have anything to do w me


That I don't get along better with men, they get along better with me because they have incentive to do so.


That my worth isn’t based on my weight.


I've been bullied by boys and girls in school but I remember the girl's bullying as much more painful because I desperately wanted to be part of their groups. I'm still working on that mindset of "I get along better with guys" to justify having more male friends than female friends. Really, men just have a different agenda when talking to women and it's therefore a little easier to get along with them. I don't actually have to show up 100%, I just have to look cute.


Judging my appearance


Armpit hair on women makes me really uncomfortable. I‘m not an ass about it to anyone obviously and I know it’s unreasonable, but it still does.


Starbucks isn’t lame (I’ve have better coffee, but I can always enjoy a good dirty chai from starbees)


That I should wash his underwear. We have been dating a month. He showers at my place sometimes and brought a change of clothes once so now he leaves some clothes when he changes Misogyny tells me I should wash and fold his underwear. But until he puts a ring on my finger I fight myself not to and to just give him them back dirty

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