Internalized misogyny is everywhere, and it’s a big deal

Internalized+misogyny+is+everywhere%2C+and+it%27s+a+big+deal

Samantha Powers, audio engineer

In the latest episode of Real Talk, junior Samantha Powers, freshman Alice Scott, sophomore Malia Walewski, sophomore Leah Gordon, junior Keely McNab, junior Kendall Smith, senior Erin Toliver, and host and senior Emily Arndt discuss internalized misogyny and the way it has pervaded their lives as they have grown up.

I am very much a leader, and growing up that was considered just straight-up bossy.”

— Emily Arndt

These members of the Student Leadership Team began the conversation by sharing experiences with internalized misogyny in their younger years, including dealing with gender stereotypes, confronting societal expectations, and being subjected to restrictive rules like school dress codes.

“I am very much a leader, and growing up that was considered just straight-up bossy, when my male counterparts were not considered bossy,” Arndt said. “I think that growing up, it’s important to start having conversations early so that you understand that it’s not your fault.”

The group detailed many experiences with the unfairness of school dress codes. For private school students, uniforms can often make young girls feel confined to their gender role rather than their identity as an individual. Others in the group brought up the unfairness in the enforcement of school dress codes from girl to girl, which often leads to stricter enforcement for girls with more mature body types.

The conversation even moved to the idea that strict dress code rules for girls will lead to the reinforcement of gender roles in school and give boys the idea that their learning is prioritized over that of their female counterparts.

Society kind of tells girls that what you wear determines who respects you… and I think that’s super objectifying.”

— Keely McNab

“Society kind of tells girls that what you wear determines who respects you… and I think that’s super objectifying,” McNab said. “It’s like we’re not humans to them. We’re just objects that are being ‘distracting’ or ‘unprofessional’ by what we wear, whereas boys can stroll in wearing whatever they want and they’ll get all ears. I think that removing clothing restrictions and teaching boys that what a girl wears does not define whether you should respect her or not is a huge part of dissolving rape culture.”

The group also mentioned that the reinforcement of gender roles by the school system can be harmful to boys as well when it endorses societal norms like toxic masculinity.

“I think that the way that the school system treats kids at large kind of boxes people in,” Powers said. “I think the fact that boys’ bad behavior is so excused and so compensated for makes them feel like it’s okay… In addition, there are also a lot of nice boys who really aren’t like that, but they feel like they have to act macho and fit into this idea of masculinity that is very restricting, just as the idea of femininity is restricting to women.”

This conversation will continue in part 2 of this episode of Real Talk, so stay tuned.