What does it mean when I say misogyny?

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You can’t play with boys, they are tougher and you are just a girl.”

“If you want to go late then you should have been born as a boy.”

Every woman once in her life has been made felt that she is below or beneath a man. Whether it is in physical strength, emotionally, or when we compete with them.

This is a man being misogynistic toward a woman. Misogyny is the hatred or prejudice against women or girls. It is unambiguous in numerous ways in our personal and professional lives, including social culture, discrimination based on sex, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, oppression of women, domestic violence against women, and sexual objectification. The existence of misogyny can be traced back to sacred texts of religions, mythologies, Western philosophy, and Eastern philosophy.


Misogyny Meaning or Definition

According to social psychologist Allan G. Johnson, “misogyny or sexism by males is a civilized demeanor of grudge or belittling of the opposite gender because they are female”.

It is embodied in multiple ways, from jokes to porn movies to brutality to the self-condescending female may be internalized to feel inferior about their bodies.

There is historical evidence that proves that misogyny is prevailing in our society since the existence of Greece Culture and Teaching. In the book, “City of Socrates: An Introduction to Classical Athens”, J.W. Roberts argues that “older than tragedy and comedy was a misogynistic tradition in Greek literature, reaching back at least as far as Hesiod”. Along with it, there are cultural and religious practice and teachings those projects misogyny and sexism toward women.

In today’s day and age, it is being projected and practiced in almost every aspect of our society and culture. In the entertainment industry, the corporate sector, education setup, politics, and daily domestic and cultural life. The public debate over gender-based attacks has increased significantly, leading to calls for policy interventions and better responses by social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

A 2016 experiment research by the think tank Demos analyzed that 50% of all misogynistic tweets on Twitter come from women themselves.

According to the study, most targets are famous or socially active women who are visible in the public sphere and women who are perceived to be linked with feminism or feminist ideologies. The writer of such tweets is usually anonymous or otherwise difficult to locate. Such bombast messages involve misogynistic labels and graphics and indecent pictures, criticize women for physical appearance, and threatened sexual violence against women as a “disciplinary” that they suppose must be done. Examples of such females who raised their voices about such attacks are Anita Sarkeesian, Laurie Penny, Caroline Criado Perez, Stella Creasy, and Lindy West.

Misogyny meaning

Internalized misogyny

In terms of psychological impact, internalized sexism and misogyny is when an individual enacts sexist actions and attitudes towards themselves and people of their sex. When we look at the greater picture, internalized sexism is extracted from the practice of internalized oppression, which “contains oppressive and demeaning practices that consistently get absorbed by women even when an individual of the attacking or oppressing party is not in contact”. Women who experience internalized misogyny may express it by minimizing the value of women, mistrusting women, and believing gender bias in favor of men.

It was not until a few years ago that women started raising their voices and speaking up about their issues and their story. Two years ago #METOO movement and #TIMESUP not just created some buzz around this prevailing and toxic issue but also uplifted awareness it gave motivation many women to talk about their stories. The help of social media, news channels, online articles, and portals; not only helped in raising the voices but also helped in getting justice for those who couldn’t do it by themselves.

When we talk about fighting with it or finding a cure for this toxic and oppressive issue that is penetrated deep into our society and even into our consciousness, battling it internally is as important as externally. The very first step of taking control is to change one’s perception from a victim mentality to a survivor mentality. Channelizing your inner strength and capabilities to look over one’s experience and gain control over it. Many times the situation is not within our control but our reaction and our fortitude are in our control, that is our “Circle Of Control”.

How to deal with misogyny

  1. Speak Out: If you witness someone being treated differently or unfairly because of their gender, speak up in the moment or afterward. You can help to challenge sexist comments, behaviors, and attitudes.
  2. Challenge Yourself: Take the time to examine your own views and beliefs, and challenge any that may be sexist.
  3. Educate Yourself: Read books, articles, and essays about gender equality and the history of misogyny.
  4. Support Women: Support the work of organizations that promote gender equality, such as Lean In, Global Fund for Women, and Women’s Media Center.
  5. Take Action: Get involved with local or national campaigns to end sexism and gender inequality in your community or country.
  6. Reach Out: If you know someone who is a victim of misogyny, reach out and offer them support. This can be anything from listening to providing resources and help.

Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”

 Paulo Coelho

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