It is no news that we live in a patriarchal society that fed us lies, stereotypes and myths about women for centuries.
But this also means that there are sexist mechanisms so deeply embedded in our ways of life that we, as women, might fall into them as well.
It sounds crazy to think that sometimes, yes, we are part of the problem.
Because as we are bombarded with messages of inferiority, we are taught as much as men that we have a role to fulfil.
This most times translates in what we call ‘internalised sexism,’ meaning that we as women end up believing those messages too, acting out the stereotypes and doubting ourselves and other women.
Does this mean that you are a bad person? No. It just means that you might want to focus on your mindset to avoid perpetuating sexism.
You have to be willing to call yourself out when you are being the problematic person and you have to be willing to change your thought process.
Because it is time to break the chain and reduce the number of sexist messages the next generation might come in contact with. Because we can start with us to smash the patriarchal expectations that oppress us.
How? Glad you asked.
1. Don’t differentiate yourself by bringing other women down. Sentences such as “I’m not like other women” have the underlying meaning that other women are not as good and their choices are not as valid as yours.
2. Accept femininity without perceiving it as weakness. You might love combat boots and black leather pants (same!) but to like pink, pastel floral dresses is not synonymous with weakness or vulnerability.
3. Don’t shame other women for the way they live their sexuality. We are all allowed to express ourselves sexually or not without the added pressure of other women judging us for it.
4. Support women’s decisions over their bodies. You don’t have to agree with it to support the fact that a woman is free to choose what is best for her and her body. Be that shaving, waxing or not, putting on makeup every day or never, choosing to be a mother or not.
5. Actually, support women’s choices, period. There are many ways in which society teaches us to doubt ourselves and our fellow women. But it is time to call ourselves out to get rid of this problem and build a community, a sisterhood, of which we can be proud and in which we can be comfortable to be ourselves.
It starts now, ladies, it starts with us.
And if this just blow your mind, you might want to check out Buzzfeed list of 23 Ways You May Have Internalised Misogyny Without Even Realising