The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

Manifestation of internalized misogyny

May 25, 2022

Holmberg said patriarchal oppression is the root of internalized misogyny. She said since anti-women sentiments are ingrained in society, they also often infiltrate women’s perspectives.

“If misogyny wasn’t so prevalent in society, then there would be less internalized misogyny as a result,” she said.

Further, Piloto said society views women as “second-class citizens” and instead should be considered equal.

Alternatively, Ziad Ben-Gacem (’25) said internalized misogyny is the enforcement of social norms and stereotypes surrounding identity – namely gender – as opposed to the result of systemic misogyny.

“There is always that kind of need to be normal or to fit in or you can often end up thinking things are weird before you actually introduce them,” he said. “It kind of plays into that same thing with social norms …, the need to be normal and fit into a box.”

Margot Crawford (’24) said these stereotypes play a significant role perpetuating internalized misogyny because women feel pressure from a young age to identify with a specific label.

“I see so many stereotypes that get pinned on to girls and women,” she said. “I always grew up with the tomboy versus girly-girl thing, like, ‘Which one are you?’”

Ben-Gacem said internalized sexism is widespread in Grades 7 and 8 as young teenagers tend to feel insecure about their identity and appearance.

“It becomes that sort of polarized, ‘You’re either in or you’re out’ kind of thing,” he said. “You can either be a part of what’s accepted or you can be a rebel.”

Similarly, Piloto said this internal bigotry becomes prevalent during middle school, where young girls start to compare their abilities to those of boys.

“You start seeing ‘oh, those boys can do this, but I can’t, and it might be that you want to be them,” she said. “But instead they should be like, ‘I’m a girl and I can do that too.’”

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