Even though I consider myself a feminist, I know that I have accidentally perpetuated internalized sexism my whole life. In some ways, we all have! And that’s why, from here on out, I’ve decided that I am going stop the pattern and externalize it instead.
That’s right – I have decided to become a female misogynist. It’s much easier this way!
Take my daily commute to work: I used to spend most of my time on the train judging my fellow passengers, especially the women. A guy could be jacking off next to me, and I would still be focused on the lady across the aisle who didn’t shave her legs. I now realize it was sexist to be silently judging her. Now when I’m in that situation, I get up and publicly shame her by loudly asking if there’s a full moon tonight. Take that, patriarchy!
I think I most often operated on internalized misogyny in the workplace. I am a graphic designer who works under two artistic directors, a man and a woman. I always made sure to use proper spelling and grammar when I replied to an email from Benny. But when Caroline had a critique, I used to reply back ‘k cool ill think about it’. Now I’m much more direct and close my emails to her with, “I value your opinion less because u remind me of my stepmom ;)”. Now she knows that it’s not internalized sexism that’s making her life worse—it’s the unadulterated, externalized kind. I think she appreciates it!
I’ve even begun to see signs of unintentional sexism in my work. In the past, when I was asked to photoshop a woman in a bikini eating a hamburger, I would make her breasts larger and her hips smaller because that’s what the client wanted. I didn’t realize I was contributing to a harmful standard of beauty. Now I do the exact same thing, but add captions that say, “If you don’t look like this, you’re worthless!” That way, when a young woman sees the billboard on her way home, she’ll know that sexism is alive and proud, instead of alive but festering deep within me.
I am so glad that I was able to remove myself from the harmful cycle of internalized misogyny. With this new outlook, women no longer have to wonder if misogyny still exists. Because every time they run into me on the train, or have a meeting with me, or see an ad I designed, they’ll know that yes, it certainly does. And if they don’t think this is the right way to go about things, it’s probably because they’re a bitch.