Thank you for taking the time to look into this. I’m a college student, hopeless romantic, and intersectional feminist from Atlanta. I needed somewhere to think out loud, so to speak.
Please do not hesitate to give feedback or contact me.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
Internalized sexism is a term used quite sparingly. With groups seeking to radicalize what they deem “feminism” in order to skew the perception of feminists as a whole, terminology of buzz words tend to become muddled. Women are constantly scrutinized, often feeling stuck in a perpetual state of no-win situations. When combined with being part of any other minority, the weight carried on the shoulders of phenomenal women holds the potential to extinguish their flame. Some women have become accustomed to this tendency towards constant inspection, but the same cannot be said for women as a whole. Though internalized sexism can rear its head and pose a credible risk with anyone, young girls are the target demographic for concern. Teaching an old dog new tricks is not nearly as time sensitive as the cyclic nature of injustice that threatens this next generation of strong women. In the generation of collectively hating things deemed “too girly,” how do we possess the power to break the chain of internalized sexism?
Internalized sexism is defined as “the involuntary belief by girls and women that the lies, stereotypes and myths about girls and women that are delivered to everyone in a sexist society are true.” (http://www.culturalbridgestojustice.org/programs/sexism/internalized-sexism/) This term is typically used in relation to an individual who subconsciously contributes to the stereotypes, and therein lies the frightening notion which makes internalized sexism such a pressing but ignored issue.
I’m not entirely sure of the feelings of others, but I am aware of my constant yearning to make change happen. I’m starting here, however jarring the backlash can be. However, we can start now. Girls are being influenced every minute. On campus, students are being fed rhetoric almost constantly. We must find it in ourselves to define this subconscious tendency, and help our sisters to grow apart from theirs before it is too late. We must stick together, and we must unite. While some hate cannot be stopped, battles against learned behaviors such as internalized sexism can be won. I implore you to first start with self-reflection and the reflection of others. This is not a fight we can win alone.