To all misogynists around me: Don’t make me regret being born to this world as a “WOMAN”
We live in a world where misogynists always view women as those who deserve to be oppressed and exploited. Sexism and misogyny are both subordinate to women compared to men. But, misogyny is more impactful and truly hurtful because there is an element of hatred in it. The Misogynists would like to hurt and spread hatred against women by carrying out labelling (widow status, trash, prostitutes, and other slut shaming against women), demeaning women abilities for being a housewife, body shaming, supporting gender based-violences such as sexual harassment through physical abuse to verbal abuse like catcalling, attacking our appearances as a way to limit our activities like how to dress, do makeup, and so on. Internalizing Misogyny unconsciously becomes a habit that can be categorized as “toxic” within oneself because this behaviour has a bad impact on themselves and others.
Rape Culture: Victim Blaming at Its Finest
The rape culture that has long been entrenched in society, is no more than the inhumane culture in which acts of sexual violence are normalized and the victim is blamed for the violence she experiences. Especially if the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is a man. Women will be more humiliated just because of their genders. Meanwhile, men will be justified and get away with minimum punishment for their disgraceful acts. In the end, the victims get hurt physically and mentally because every single day, they will be judged by society and even by so-called law enforcement agencies who attack them when they report the abuse they have experienced (this still happened somehow in my country, Indonesia). “What kind of clothes do you wear?”, “Why do you walk alone in the night?”, “Why were you still hanging around in the middle of the night?”, “You must’ve been in a relationship with him and asked for it, so why does this matter to us?”, and many judgemental statements against the rape victims.
Boys will be boys: The toxic and fragile masculinity
The argument that “boys will be boys”, justifies the misogynistic belief which concludes that all men have been raised to act childishly. So it seems natural for men to act naughty or appear irresponsible for their behaviour and choices. Because according to misogynists, therein lies the charisma of men. Finally, a feeling of pride arises after justifying the behaviour of men who commit violence. In my country, Indonesia, there’s a popular heretical term, like “No Sugar, No Ants”, analogizing women as sugar which is always hunted and beaten up by men as the ants. The other misguided and hurtful rape joke in my country is: “It’s impossible for a crocodile to refuse if given a duck”, said by men who identify themselves as the animals that literally do not have the sense to act properly and responsibly.
Double Standards: The Hurtful Stereotype leading to Misogyny
Have you ever been judged by your appearances in a public place? Someone who dressed up like a crazy rich will be served politely, with the brightest smile by the waiters in a restaurant or the Sales personnel in the mall. But how about someone who looks like an ordinary person who wears t-shirts and cheap slippers? They will actually give you the intimidating look and often follow your every move because they suspect you intend to steal their products.
As women in society, we’re required to have flawless skin without body hair, because if we let our body hair unshaved, people will see how dirty and nasty we’re, but not with the men who have full freedom to have and show their body hair! Other examples of double standards that lead to misogyny: When a man is married, it is considered that he does not need to spend a long time in the kitchen or help his wife taking care of children, on the grounds of pursuing his career and will hinder his “discipline” at work. Meanwhile, women who are married and have careers are demanded not to be more successful than their husbands and are urged to stay at home and only focus on serving the needs of their husbands and children. So, it becomes a heavy burden for a career woman because she has to bear the brunt of work at office and at home. In another case, when a group of boys is having an intense conversation, people tend to think they are talking about politics, or discussing theoretical topics. Meanwhile, when women gather, people immediately assume they are gossiping or talking about things that are limited to make-up and beauty.
Could these double standards become more hurtful? Yes!
When a woman herself internalizes misogyny, trust me that’s another level of pain. The “Pick me girl” phenomenon is getting more massive in today’s society often demeans the tastes of other women who are considered mainstream, indirectly degrading other girls and women. “I’m not like other girls”, “Girls are drama, much more fun making friend with boys”, “Is it only me who still looks natural and don’t do makeup?”, “Romance Movie is just too dramatic and unmatches my vibe, I prefer watching horror or action movie”, “I hate wearing pink, too girly for me”. It’s heartening to see how our fellows, girls, dislike and underestimate our taste, our appearances, and our personalities.
As women, until now we are still very vulnerable to all these things, all the inequalities, violence, and harassment as the results of internalizing misogyny which interferes with our rights as human beings. So, you can imagine how traumatising it is to know that many people still think that “feminist movements” are a joke because they think that “we’ve been equal” or “women have rights already”. Misogynists may laugh and mock harder cause as for them feminism is a ridiculous and miserable movement. They often think it is our (women) faults, since the beginning: sexual harassment, domestic violence, and many more inequalities. For the misogynist, there’s no such thing as “gender based-violences” because it’s our fault as women who don’t dress up, according to “societal norms”. In order to fulfil society’s expectations which rule what women should or shouldn’t wear, we almost lose our authority over our own bodies. They yell, “For your good!” “Don’t show your breast, so you’ll be fine!” But, really? Do you really think that dressing up to cover our whole bodies can save us from such heinous acts? Then how do you explain the tragic incident of Sarah Everard? She just wanted to go home.
Dear society, did she deserve it? What did she wear? A bikini in the night? Then, could you explain the increasing sexual harassment rate year after year in India, Indonesia, and any Asian countries which mostly still uphold the patriarchy system? Open your eyes, misogynist! This world is too small for your extreme hatred upon us, women. How dare you pretend to regulate and prohibit for our good, cause the fact is you have contributed to support the normalization of gender-based violence!
Every single day, I feel so exhausted to figure out there are more and more girls and women in my country who must feel the pain and bitterness of the impact of the violence and abuse they have experienced. The year 2021 was a year of sorrow for women in Indonesia when we had to witness the news of victims who were powerless to defend their dignity; Some let themselves be raped, another young girl who couldn’t stand the situation and had to drink poison in her father’s vortex. In my daily life, at least once a week every time I go out and walk to buy food, I frequently get catcalled by foreign men, even by the pharmacist man near my house. Does my safety as “someone” not matter? Is it such a disgrace for me, cause being born as a girl? Is it already my fates as a woman to be harassed, humiliated, hated, and stereotyped by society! where do I stand? Sorry, but not sorry to say that I can’t stand here anymore. Those hates are way too much for me. No more, misogynists. NO MORE.
Lastly, to my fellow tribe, girls and women, stop degrading and dragging other women down. Doing make-up or not, Using skin care or not, making friends with many men or not, these all our free and conscious choices as long as we feel comfortable with them. We still deserve to feel worthy without demeaning and hating other women. Let’s support and empower each other! Women’s rights are Human Rights.
We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back–Malala Yousafzai-
For God’s Sake, Please! Stop internalizing misogyny, dear society. Don’t make us regret being born to this world as “women”.
Cause we’re just too tired of the unceasing hatred we don’t deserve…
She is an ordinary woman who loves to radiate the happiness and strength around her. She’s a second-year student in college, majoring in international relations specialized in low politic issues, who feel interested a lot in feminism and fully believe in gender equality supremacy.
The views expressed are the author’s own.