Tackling internalized misogyny
May 25, 2022
Holmberg said while topics that fall under misogyny and gender roles are discussed at the school, internalized misogyny is one of various subcategories that often go unspoken.
“We do talk about the patriarchy and we have talked about like toxic masculinity in some of my classes,” she said. “But there are many other byproducts of patriarchy and a lot of other like topics within sexism that just aren’t talked about.”
Ben-Gacem said internalized misogyny falls under the category of the influence of social norms, and the phenomenon “should be discussed under the broader topic, so that it can be more understood through many lenses.”
Ben-Gacem said internalized misogyny, like other topics that fall under gender norms, should be tackled by dismantling the notion that there is one way to act as a certain gender and instead promote being unique and different.
“It’s similar to other breaking other gender norms, just kind of the cultivation of a community that accepts everything that understands it’s okay to be one thing, it’s okay to be another,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just who we are.”
Moreover, Piloto said she tackles internalized misogyny by facilitating discussion with the faculty’s Women’s Affinity Group, in her “girl chat” with friends and with her own daughters. She said she encourages her 3-year-old daughter to self-express through clothing in a way that is comfortable and true to herself.
“My oldest already thinks that she needs to wear dresses all the time,” she said. “I want to empower her, but I also want to empower her in the fact that she can be who she is… She doesn’t need to just wear dresses unless she wants to.”
Ultimately, Erinc said internalized misogyny should be torn down by talking about it and reaffirming that people should be whoever they want to be.
“We need to talk about it,” he said. “It sounds super corny, but I think we need to enforce the idea that you are okay just the way you are. I think that is the cure to a lot of these things.”