I get a variety of reactions when people find out I’m a feminist, which lets be real, everyone knows. I’m all for people just naturally being a feminist but it not being something they are actively talking about or fighting for. For some people, the extent of their feminism is answering “yes” when someone asks them if they’re a feminist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We can’t all fight against all the injustices in the world. There’s just too many. We have to find the select few that mean a lot to us, the few we feel we have a voice for, the few that hit us hard. Ending sexism is just one of the things that I happen to spend my time fighting for, and it’s not that for everyone. That’s okay.
But it is for me. So people KNOW I’m a feminist.
And one of the big things I get from people is the statement “but sexism is ended.” Or the question, “what are you fighting for, now?”
There’s some big answers for this. Some laws that could be passed. But for the most part, it’s systematic oppression. Societal things. Non-physical things. Things that can’t be fixed with a law. The things we fight against are engrained into us from childhood. And one of the best ways to fight this is through conversation and knowledge.
Today, people, mainly women, involuntarily believe some of the lies, stereotypes and myths that society feeds them from when we are kids. This is called internalized misogyny, something I really have struggled with.
Internalized misogyny is a real thing, as comedic as it sounds. And here’s some everyday examples.
- “I’m not like other girls.”
Why not? Girls are awesome. This is just showing us that being a girl is something we should be ashamed about.
- Making fun of girls (or guys) for “feminine” things. Ex- caring about makeup, posting selfies, liking romance movies, the color pink ect.
Again, feminine things are seen as less than in our society. I could really go into detail about this, pulling out examples some people might find extreme, but I won’t right now.
- Victim blaming
I honestly don’t understand why this is still a thing. How about instead of teaching girls how to not be sexually assaulted, we teach boys to not sexually assault.
- Slut shaming
A guy sleeps with five girls and he’s suddenly the alpha. A girl sleeps with five guys and she’s a slut, a whore, too easy and should close her legs. I don’t get the addition here. If guys are cool for sleeping around and girls should be virgins, who are the guys sleeping with?
- “I like hanging out with boys because it’s less drama.”
This is why I hang out with my cat.
- Criticism and quiet judgment.
Almost not a sexist thing and more a… being a mean person thing. Stop judging that girl for her skirt being too long and prudish and then turning around to judge the other girl for her skirt being too short.
- Stay-at-home moms or people who prefer a more traditional lifestyle being “bad feminists.”
We all have the right to choose. If Stacy chooses to have three kids, take her husband’s last name, clean the house, cook the dinner and wear her hair in a bun while drinking a class of red wine, more power to her. How about instead we tell her she’s doing it wrong and setting the movement back fifty years, we say “Good for you, not for me.”
- Being emotional is bad.
This is similar to the second thing on this list. One of the biggest things guys have to deal with in today’s society is the fact that they must be manly. To do that, though, they can’t cry or really express emotions because that’s seen as feminine. And a girl who happens to be more emotional is annoying and not girlfriend material.
- Compliments at the expense of other women
“Most women are terrible at (task) but you’re really good!”, “Wow, attractive and a feminist, I didn’t think that was possible.”
- “Real women have curves.”
I get that you’re just trying to stop fat shaming, but by saying this, you’re skinny shaming. Stop telling girls their bodies are not beautiful. Stop insulting one group of women to compliment another. How about instead you just tell curvy women they are beautiful, because they are, without telling skinny women they are not? Women are women and they are beautiful.
- Shaming girls for their interests.
Examples include: “I like reading and staying home more than partying.” “Unlike those girls, I would prefer to be on the team instead of cheering for the team.”
- Women feeing the need to apologize for things that are a man’s obvious right.
I once watched this video about a girl who did an experiment for a week. While walking down the sidewalk, she would not move when in the colliding path with a male. Guess how many men she ran into that week and how many expected her to be the one to apologize. Too many.
We do this one to ourselves. This is absolutely toxic in more ways than just being misogynistic. Comparing ourselves to the women in the magazines or even the women in our classes or at our workplaces is extremely dangerous. Every woman is there own person. We have got to stop comparing females to each other. I don’t want another article about Nikki Minaj and Taylor Swift and why one is better than the other for whatever reason. How about instead I see an article about the great things both of those amazing and talented woman are doing?
Okay, story time.
A friend of mine was in class one day, outfit on point like always. She was wearing a black leather baseball cap, blue lipstick and a black jacket. Her computer has a sticker on it that says “b*tch” and her eyebrows are always on point.
Anyways! The next week she sees a tweet where another girl in the class had taken a picture of her (first of all, can we stop taking creeper pictures of random strangers in public?) and posted it with the caption, ‘oh, yeah, this is just what I look forward to every Wednesday night.’
So this girl is judging my friend based on her looks and then complaining about it on social media. This is an example of internalized misogyny, something that just needs to stop.