The Paradox of Misogynistic Women

Sammie Garrity, Writer

One of the most paradoxical phenomena that plague our society is internalized misogyny. According to Utah State University, internalized misogyny is made up of two main elements: “Self-objectification and passive acceptance of gender roles.” A lot of the time, internalized misogyny is subconscious, and women don’t always know they are perpetuating it. Society has created a set of traits that men and women stereotypically embody. Anyone who steps out of these traits is seen as atypical and is historically discriminated against. At times, women impose these stereotypes upon themselves and allow them to dictate how they treat themselves and other women. 

The reason internalized misogyny is becoming a much more mainstream topic of conversation is because of the U.S. political climate. In recent years, many women have come out supporting candidates that directly attack basic women’s rights. Take female Donald Trump supporters for example. Despite Trump being one of the most outspoken misogynists in modern politics, some women wholeheartedly agree with his ideals and his policies. Even when faced with hard evidence that Trump does not treat women with respect, or even believe that women should have basic rights, some women still remain steadfast in their loyalty. When Trump was caught on tape saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p*ssy,” his platform didn’t suffer. When accused of dozens of rape and sexual assault cases, his platform grew. The psychology behind Trump supporters has been studied and found to lie in practicality over morality, the desire to be entertained, and even the fear of change. Female supporters, however, are far more complicated.  

 Candance Owens was a lifelong Democrat before the 2016 election cycle. She told Local12 news that her transition into the Republican party “was largely due to the fact that the media was going around calling Donald Trump a racist. And they were really overplaying their hand on this one, for me in particular, because I grew up listening to Hip Hop music. Everybody loved Donald Trump! Everyone wanted to be like Donald Trump. Beyonce and Jay-Z were sipping poolside at Mar-a-Lago in their songs. And then suddenly he announces his bid for the White House and Black America was supposed to suddenly realize that he was a racist? I was a little too smart for that assessment.” Many women who voted for Trump share a similar sentiment. Some believe that Trump is more relatable, more transparent even. Some place a high value on his economic policies and allow themselves to look past his misogynistic ones. Whatever their reasoning may be, women supporting a candidate like Trump who so actively disregards the basic rights of women is a grave issue. If we live in a world where those who are oppressed support the people actively oppressing them, change for the better is impossible. The only way for society to progress is if everyone is working towards the same goal, and if people are working against themselves, nothing will ever change. All we will do is move backward.  

In order to combat this backward movement, there are concrete steps that women—and everyone—can take. Through education and self-acceptance, people can begin to lift themselves and other women up. In order to unlearn misogyny, the acceptance of femininity is crucial. There is not one way to be a woman. There is not one way to act, one way to dress, or one way to present. All women accepting and celebrating themselves and all other women is the way to achieve complete equity.