Why Misogyny sucks
Misogyny is a common term used to describe the hatred of women and girls that happens in many places, cultures, and communities. Misogyny is not just about men against women. This toxic energy also exists in all types of relationships, whether platonic or romantic. All genders can contribute to or perpetuate misogyny. Misogyny reinforces the idea that women are inferior to men. It makes it harder for women’s voices to be heard. Misogyny can contribute to decreased self-esteem for women and girls. Misogyny can take many forms, such as derogatory words, harmful stereotypes, and sexual harassment or assault…
This is a common term used to describe the hatred of women and girls. Which happens in many places, cultures, and communities.
Misogyny is a common term used to describe the hatred of women and girls that happens in many places, cultures, and communities. It’s not just about men against women; misogyny can happen in all types of relationships whether platonic or romantic.
In feminist circles, we talk about misogyny as though it were an epidemic. Misogyny is everywhere! The news is saturated with stories about male anger towards women (and the other way around). We see misogynist behavior expressed online or on our television screens daily. Whether it’s just general disrespect towards women (such as catcalling) or more violent expressions like rape threats or even murder. In fact, according to RAINN (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network), only 5% of rapists ever serve jail time for their crimes. Compared with around 50% of all violent offenders who are convicted for other reasons besides sexual assault. So far fewer than 2% actually go to prison for committing rape against someone else!
Misogyny is not just about men against women.
“Misogyny is not just about men against women. It’s about the hatred of women and girls. Misogyny can be perpetrated by anyone, regardless of gender.”
Here’s a useful definition: “Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls.” There are a lot of people who think that misogyny is always perpetrated by straight white men against other groups, but they’re wrong! Misogyny often happens at home, within families and communities. It’s not as simple as blaming an entire group for all the problems in society.
If you’re looking to eradicate this problem from your life (or from society at large), it’s important to understand how misogyny operates in its many forms, and how this operates in opposition with other forms of oppression like racism and transphobia.
Misogyny exists in all types of relationships, whether platonic or romantic.
It’s important to remember that misogyny is not just about men against women. Misogyny can be perpetrated by anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. And it’s something that should be taken seriously, no matter who you are.
Misogynistic behavior can take many forms: name-calling, physical abuse, and assault, a lack of respect for boundaries (such as personal space), unwanted sexual advances/behavior or catcalls (from both genders), etc. A person may also exhibit misogynistic behaviors without actually saying anything outright offensive. They might act uninterested in their partner’s needs or emotions. Even might make rude comments about their partner’s body size. They might make fun of things like cooking skills or hobbies that are traditionally viewed as feminine activities. Whatever their method may be, these behaviors have one thing in common: they prevent someone from feeling happy and valued within a relationship where they’re supposed to feel safe enough to express themselves freely without fear of being judged negatively by someone else for doing so.
All genders can contribute to or perpetuate misogyny.
- Men can be victims of misogyny.
- Men can contribute to misogyny by not speaking up when they hear other men make sexist comments.
- Men can contribute to misogyny by not challenging their friends/men who make sexist jokes or comments.
If you’re a guy, I encourage you to think more about how your actions may perpetuate misogyny and how they might be contributing to the problem rather than helping it.
It also reinforces the idea that women are inferior to men.
While it may seem like a bit of a stretch to talk about gender equality in an article about misogyny, the two are actually closely related. Misogyny reinforces the idea that women are inferior to men, which leads us down a dangerous path where we don’t view each other as equals and instead see one sex as better than the other.
We’ve all heard this before: “Men and women are equal.” But how does someone know when it’s okay for them to say something sexist? For example, what if you’re talking with your friend about a video game he played recently? You might want him or her to tell you why they didn’t like it—but then again, maybe they don’t want their feelings on gameplay mechanics shared with everyone who hears their story! So what do you do?
It also makes it harder for women’s voices to be heard.
A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that men are more likely to be listened to than women. The researchers studied interruptions among participants and found that men were interrupted at least 40% more often than women. The researchers also observed that when a man interrupted a woman, that woman was less likely to speak up again. As someone who’s been in this situation before (I’ve had many), I can attest: It sucks! But it also makes me feel helpless and frustrated, which are two feelings no one should have while trying to participate in an important conversation.
So, Misogyny can contribute to decreased self-esteem for women and girls.
Low self-esteem can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and drug abuse. It can also contribute to suicide. And it all starts with the way society treats women and girls.
How does this happen? We know that women are much more likely than men to develop low self-esteem due to their gender identity being questioned by others. For example, if a woman is made fun of for wanting to wear pink instead of blue clothes as a kid. She may start believing that wearing pink isn’t something that makes her look good or feel happy in herself (even though the color has nothing at all to do with how smart or capable you are).
As adults, we don’t need anyone telling us what colors our clothes should be. But we still have a hard time shaking off those childhood messages about what’s acceptable for girls and boys to like or dislike because they’re so ingrained into our culture as well as into our psyches!
Misogyny can take many forms, such as derogatory words, harmful stereotypes, and sexual harassment or assault.
Misogyny is not only the hatred of women. It can also be the hatred of other people who are perceived as feminine, such as LGBT+ people.
Misogyny doesn’t just mean physical violence. It includes verbal abuse, intimidation and harassment of women, but it can also include discrimination against women in employment or pay (known as “glass ceiling”) or more generally in how we treat each other on a daily basis.
It also isn’t just about sexual assault. In fact, some men are able to escape charges for committing sexual assault because they claim that the victim was asking for it by dressing provocatively or drinking alcohol at parties where no one else was around except men who were interested in having sex with her (in other words: she should have known what would happen).
There are many examples of misogyny in pop culture and media.
Misogyny is everywhere. It’s in politics, in media and pop culture, in workplaces and schools, and even our homes. Misogyny can be overt or subtle, intentional or unintentional—and it can take many forms:
- Sexism is when you assume that all women are weak…but the men are strong!
- Sexism is when you celebrate the achievements of women but don’t want them to succeed too much because they’re “not feminine” enough (though no one will admit this).
- Sexism is when society expects women to behave in a certain way because of their gender; for example, society expects us to wear makeup every day and shave our legs every morning (because what would happen if we didn’t?).
Men can be victims of misogyny, too!
Men, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute! I’ve never experienced sexism. How can I be a victim of misogyny?” If you’re a man and you’ve never experienced sexism, congratulations! You’re probably one of the lucky few who has been spared from some of the worst instances of prejudice.
But even if you don’t feel like there’s any way that you could possibly be affected by misogyny—even if it’s not something that directly affects your life—it still impacts every woman in some way or another every day. And when we look at how gender roles are written into our culture (a topic for another time), it becomes clear just how many ways there are for men to internalize this idea that women aren’t equal: from jokes made about women being bad drivers to domestic violence against female partners (and even male partners).
Sometimes these ideas take on more subtle forms as well: maybe someone makes fun of their friend for being too sensitive or emotional after something goes wrong with them. Or maybe someone tells their parents not to worry about their sister because she’ll find someone else in no time. Maybe someone doesn’t want his auntie at work because he thinks she’ll get hit on all day long (ummmmmm…..I mean….guys?) All these things contribute towards creating a culture. A culture where men think they have an inherent right over everything and everyone around them. And this is unacceptable!
We need to educate ourselves on misogyny so we know how to fight it.
If you know what misogyny is, you can identify it in your everyday life. You can help others by identifying it in theirs. When we understand how misogyny affects people, we can support them and take action against misogyny.
I’m not trying to be a buzzkill here, but I want everyone to know: We need to educate ourselves on misogyny so we know how to fight it. At the same time, though, I think this is also a great time for us all to consider why we’re even doing this work at all. And if there aren’t better ways of spending our time and energy than figuring out what’s wrong with humanity as a whole (spoiler alert: everything).
We all need to be more aware of misogyny, and we need to call out people who use it. If you see someone being sexist or misogynistic, don’t be afraid to speak up! You don’t even have to confront them directly if it makes you uncomfortable. Just let them know what they’re doing is wrong and why it’s harmful.