Article by: Plabita Chakraborty, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Visual by: Abiskar Banikya
What is misogyny? It is basically hatred or prejudice against women or girls. Statements like I’m not like other girls, don’t believe in feminism, but in equality, girls are too much drama, some girls are so obsessed with their looks!
Chances are if you have such statements, you have taken part in internalized misogyny. Feminity is seen as something negative that women want to disassociate from and girls often emulate ‘masculine’ behaviors to feel accepted.
But the problem with internalized misogyny is that it is the cause of all the toxic behaviors such as slut shaming, fat shaming, homophobia and the list goes on.
Internalized misogyny in Indian culture!
We are born into a patriarchal society where women are constantly objectified and they began to internalize the hatred and objectification that they see around them.
The misogyny affects how they treat the women around them. It has been a vicious cycle that lasts throughout generations and oppression against women. Some Indian modern women also say it is a burden to be a female! Why so?
Women hating other women or themselves too?
We have seen that women have been on both sides of the spectrum. In one place where they are worshipped as goddess of power, wealth, in the other hand they are also like been the victims of domestic violence.
In the goddess spectrum they are taught to be so perfect that they can’t commit any mistakes and they have to be the perfect person who serves you, who takes care for you, who solves all your problems, and overall who is beautiful and does not have any flaws. In the other spectrum, even after they are providing so much, their dignity is questioned!
The statement that women are meant to do only household chores, is been put into their heads for in such a deep rooted manner that it is becoming suddenly difficult to change it.
So internalized misogyny is not just about a women hating other women, it is also about a women hating and blaming herself for everything. Most women in our society portray themselves as judgmental!
Society, its norms and how it affects women
At some point women tends to believe that their gender is inferior, due to our sexist society and so they try to distance themselves from other women which sometimes helps them to feel superior.
We as women at the very young age are made to teach certain things, which can be very hard to unlearn in the long run.
Internalized misogyny can also create unhealthy competition among women which produces toxic behaviors like constantly putting them down or shaming them for some expect of their appearance.
We often fall into the trap of judging women for their sexual choices, and their decisions.
But if the same things men does its completely okay! But we need to understand that women can make their choice and needs according to their will. While some also starts and tends to believe the negative stereotypes that is being told about them.
So, in many studies that are conducted, it is shown that, women often dislike one another for no logical reasons. Females are quick to make negative assumptions and less likely to become friends with someone.
Is it because is only because of internalized misogyny? Why are girls so mean to each other sometimes? Why do we all just blindly accept everything to be normal? So many questions arise when we think about everything!
But where is the exact answer? Everything will be under control when we will have faith and believe in each other and stop hating on anyone or everyone without any grudge.