Do Women Contribute to their own Misogyny? By Nouf Ajaji

Misogyny is defined as dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women, regardless of whether this kind of prejudice is from a man or a woman.

A few days ago, as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a video by a famous influencer on Instagram who is known for his funny video skits. One of his videos was titled “If a woman worked in a man’s job.” My first reaction was, is this seriously happening? The Instagram video goes to portray women as incompetent in different jobs such as mechanics or firefighters. I became more enraged by the video as I scrolled through the comments thinking that people or even my fellow women would be as outraged as I was. But to my surprise and to my horror many were laughing at the influencer’s video therefore supporting this sexist video against women like myself who was against it.

Many women who supported the content of this video thought that women who were outraged by it were overreacting and it was meant to be funny. But in my head I am thinking what is funny about such an offensive, undermining and sexist video that portrays women as weak, irresponsible and unable to perform such jobs that are labeled as a “man’s job”. How can these women not see it?

Then it hit me, growing up as a @KhaleejiGirl we were taught that to be a good girl you need to fit into a certain mold set by our ancestors, culture and society. Growing up we have heard many comments from many women and even our families of what a good girl is supposed to be for us to be accepted by society and to reach to the end goal that is to get married. And it all has to do with either what we look like and how we dress. And if we don’t fit this mold then we are harshly judged not only by men but also by women. And I hated it, I hated that we were taught to think this way.

This topic was intriguing to me and so I researched it. Here I found some studies done by the LCSW and founder of the “Critical Therapy Center” in New York – USA, Silvia M. Dutchevici who said that the answer may lie in their “internalized” misogyny” which is the “subconscious internalization of all the sexist and negative views and hatred of women that exist within our culture and ideology. She continues to talk about these subconscious beliefs that, “are passed down through cultural norms, messages and socialization… and requires a strict adherence to gender norms.” And, it’s also nothing new.

These messages and beliefs as I mentioned earlier despite their illegitimacy continue to be passed down from generation to generation. “Girls and women, boys and men, hear the sexist messages about women over their entire lifetimes. They hear women are stupid, weak, passive, manipulative, with no capacity for intellectual pursuits or leadership.

Another study conducted by a social intelligence company called Brandwatch, analyzed millions of tweets written in the English language, found that 52 percent of misogynistic hate speech tweets came from women, versus 48 percent from men.

We know the misogyny of select men, but what now, with women acting as misogynists, too? No matter the intent of the feminist agenda, the idea will never succeed so long as women hate women and contributing to such misogynistic behavior.

Let us raise this generation of girls and boys to look at women with respect and equality. Let us raise our girls to look at women in leadership positions or who are inspirational as role models instead of being judgmental and hateful.

To all women, I say this – I love you, all of you. I admire you all, I admire your strength and bravery. I can identify with each of you, despite of differences and our million contradictions, because as women we are all strong, emotionally abundant, thoughtful, and intelligent. Remember – We are always equal to men- never better, never worse.

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