This post is for women (and non-women too) who’ve been conditioned to center the male perspective, even though it keeps them small and in the shadows, instead of in the spotlight of their lives. If you’ve ever felt, “that’s not for me” then this post will remind you that you deserve everything a mediocre white male gets and more! You’ll discover how to unmask internalized misogyny so that you free yourself from self-doubt and reclaim the full potential of your innate power.
Internalized misogyny is like that annoying ex you just can’t shake. But instead of sliding into your DM’s with a “hey stranger,” text, the call is coming from inside your own head! Internalized misogyny can creep into your everyday life and career if you don’t kick it to the cub fast. It’s time to question your assumptions and prioritize self-expression so that you can put yourself and your pleasure first. With these steps, you can make your life and career more fulfilling and empowering. Plus, you’ll be one step closer to telling the patriarchy to suck it.
Maybe it’s insecurity or maybe it’s your internalized misogyny?
Here’s how my internalized misogyny showed up:
Males won’t take you seriously if you’re sexy, so tone it down. No cleavage.
Males won’t think you’re smart if they know you were a model and an actress. Only talk business.
Males will assume you’re available / for sale if you post bikini pics. Don’t post them.
And why did I care what males thought? Because I grew up in a world where they were the bosses who hired people. Their money gave them power. So even though I wasn’t selling my body, I was selling my brain, and it felt the same. And I was still treated like a prostitute. I hated it.
Today I know I’m not “asking for it” when I post whatever I like. Because I know that despite patriarchal opinion, I don’t exist for males viewing pleasure. I exist for my own pleasure. I love beauty and glamour and indulgence. Self-expression is the life of an artist. And LIVING is an art form. Choosing pleasure is a gift I get to celebrate and share. For me, self-expression is the highest form of freedom.
I got to de-centralize males from my life’s narrative and instead, I got to center myself.
Live life on your own terms
I hope everyone gets to feel life’s sensual pleasures without fear of attack. To get naked and eat pizza without fear of judgment – least of all your own.
Sometimes it feels like everything has been co-opted by the patriarch, so it’s tricky to figure out who something is for. Here’s a shortcut – if you assume it’s for males – that’s internalized misogyny. Make your own money and you’ll realize – it isn’t.
The moment you no longer need a male to provide for you is the moment you’re free, romantically, and in business.
[Side note] Ever wondered if being called a female is derogatory? The word “female” refers to you by your anatomy which means that you could have a female lizard or female dog whereas the word woman is for humans only. We are not our anatomy. Just try referring to men as males and see how odd it is.
How do you overcome internalized misogyny in life?
Question everything. Ask yourself where your ideas come from. Instead of assuming “that’s how it goes”, allow yourself to imagine alternative possibilities. And then re-imagine. Ask yourself, “If that’s just one man’s answer, and he wasn’t 100% right, what could alternatives be? What’s my hot take?”
This can bring up a lot of feelings because you start realizing that maybe you’ve accepted things that aren’t actually acceptable. So before you allow yourself to imagine, you’ll need to stop beating yourself up with shame and being hard on yourself.
When I beat myself with a shame stick for something I’m feeling, the pain is worse, and I’m paralyzed to move forward.
As a person who’s struggled with feeling safe enough to express my emotions, I often felt like having feelings was a luxury I can’t afford. It can be difficult for me to allow myself to feel, and it becomes even harder when I start to feel ashamed of my emotions. I may feel lonely, disappointed, or devastated, and then shame myself for feeling that way. When I start to feel bad about feeling, I know that I’m being too hard on myself and need to seek support.
Shame can be a powerful force that holds me back and prevents me from growing and thriving. And the patriarchy feeds on shame! That’s why it’s so toxic for men too. They’re also introduced to it early on with terrible ideas like “big boys don’t cry.”
I know I’m reacting from a place of internalized misogyny when I’m in survival mode and don’t want to face my emotions. But I know that in order to heal and move forward, I need to allow myself to feel and work through my emotions, even when it’s difficult. Sometimes what’s happened isn’t my fault but it’s still my responsibility to process and heal.
How do you overcome internalized misogyny in business?
If a business practice or decision isn’t feeling light-hearted, it’s a sign that it’s time to reassess and find a better way. Pushing ourselves through when we’re feeling anxious or depressed is not always sustainable. Instead, we need to prioritize our well-being.
At the heart of reimagining business is the idea of interdependence. This means recognizing that our well-being and success are interconnected and that by prioritizing our own pleasure and well-being, we can create a better, more sustainable business.
You don’t have to be perfect, stoic and all put together to succeed. You don’t even need all the answers. The questions are what you need to guide you to imagine your dream outcome.
Our world is a technicolor wonderland, full of endless possibilities. You’re a complex individual, with multiple facets to your being. So don’t limit yourself by sticking to one answer – let your creative juices flow and come up with something truly unique and multifaceted.
Imagination is your key to creative living. And creativity is the answer to every question you have.
Overcoming internalized misogyny can lead to greater freedom and fulfillment in life and career.
- Internalized misogyny is when we’re conditioned to prioritize the male perspective and doubt our own abilities.
- To overcome internalized misogyny, we should question their assumptions, prioritize self-expression, and de-centralize men from our life narratives.
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