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Misogyny That Exists In Women For Women

Feminism highlights the oppression of women's rights in society. This rhetoric has always been about standing equally with men. There is no reservation that this movement has persuaded the system to bring men and women on an equal footing in every forum for which efforts are growing. But, unfortunately, one of its slogans "empowerment of women by women" has been lost in millions of feminine voices.

Kelly Valen’s The Twisted Sisterhood published in 2010, reveals that 90% of women who took part in the survey believe that "meanness and negativity come from other women". 85% had admitted that "they were betrayed and knocked by the hands of other women". And, more than 75% felt hurt by "the jealousy and competition of a fellow gender". This book has revealed how women feel a threat to their emotional safeguard from their own gender. This side of society where women plaguing their gender with negativity has not gotten the limelight that it needs.

Misogyny is hatred, envy, and prejudice against women, that is usually attributed to men. However, it exists in women as well and there are thousands of cases where women go against other women on merely the basis of hatred and envy. The hatred or contempt for women has always been linked with men which is not deniable as it protects their male privilege. But the fact of women being demeaned by other women cannot be layered down under the notion of gender inequality. Women’s equality with women is as significant as their equality with men. 

When women shadow their sexist beliefs on them and other women, they possess ‘Internalized Misogyny’ that makes women think inferior of being women as compared to men and it’s not just limited to inferiority. Women who experience internalized misogyny express it through degrading other women, minimizing the value of women, mistrusting women, and by going biased in favor of men. An example is women in the subcontinent, where it is considered usual for mothers-in-law to support their sons’ abusive and violent behavior towards their wives. Remember, patriarchy has not only been imposed by men but also by women, consciously or subconsciously.

Internalized misogyny has not always been possessed voluntarily but also involuntarily. Women are the most vulnerable to societal norms and customs. That’s the reason, women have always seen endeavored to resonate with the societal norms. Culture seems an invisible law for women that has somehow incorporated societal misogyny in women. And women do not even realize that actually, it is against their gender prosperity. 

“Internalized Misogyny refers to the byproducts of this societal view that cause women to shame, doubt, and undervalue themselves and others of their gender. It shows up even in the most feminist and socially conscious of us. And it's insidious”. Suzannah Weiss.

On one side, women are asking for equality with men, and at the same time demeaning their own gender. Disappointment emanates when working women believe that they need to adopt men's characteristics to be successful or when a woman justifies herself by saying "I am not like other women, I am more ambitious". What could be a more humiliating thing for women? Stereotypes and lies have made women think less worthy and doubtful of their innate characteristics. Internalized misogyny is running from one to another woman just as heritage transfers from one generation to another.

It is nothing wrong when women with internalized misogyny chant for feminism, however being unaware of their misogyny is a problematic thing that needs to be addressed and bring into consideration. There is a need for awareness about this existing dilemma in women that is harming their self and their own gender. The majority of women do not realize that they possess this type of misogyny and undermine the movement of feminism. Feminism is about empowering women which cannot be successful until women empower their gender in offices, roads, streets, and own selves.

There is a need to shift the mindset by giving awareness to women about their own sexist beliefs that are damaging to their gender. These sexist beliefs are contributing to demeaning the mental health of women. According to a study, sexist beliefs in women have contributed to developing psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, or even suicidal ideation. 

Quotes like- “There is a special place in hell for women who do not support other women” have been helping in shifting the mindset but only quotes are not enough to highlight the issue and help women realize the significant role they have in the lives of other women. However, this is unneglectable that today women are far more willing to accept this issue and understand the importance of devaluing sexist beliefs than older women. It is less challenging to make "women of today" realize the negative impacts of misogynist beliefs women possess than it was in the past.

Women empowerment is not just confined to the offices and legislation, it is not just about making men realize the worthiness of women, it is also about making women realize the worthiness of women. Women must promote a sense of self-worth in other women, support them in their choices and decisions, and influence the healthy change for themselves and others. Feminism starts by combating envy and malice toward other women. It is far broader than just seeking equality with men. 

Women must be conscious of misogynistic thoughts that can prevail in their minds. They should assess their actions towards themselves and other women, so that can play a role in empowering women in a true sense. Remember- Empowered women empower women! 


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Tags: #women #equality #gender #misogyny #internalize_misogyny #women_empowerment


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