When anyone discusses sexism, it usually seems that most of the blame is put on men, which, all things considering, is perfectly fair. But the truth is that girls can be sexist too. I know it might seem weird – how can women be sexist towards other women? – but there are a lot of things many girls say all the time that are actually pretty sexist. It’s not all our fault. We’re groomed to believe certain things in order to survive in a patriarchal society. In a world where white men are seen as aspirational, if you are not a white man, you sometimes feel like you have to play their game. So, as a reaction to wanting to get ahead in life or be seen as socially acceptable and not a feminist killjoy, you probably engage in some sexist thought patterns and behaviors, even if you know they’re awful. You might not realize it or you could fully be aware of it – either way – you’re actually doing more harm than good.
The technical word for it is internalized misogyny, which is the involuntary belief, based on societal conditioning, that the lies, misinformation, or stereotypes about women are factually true. It’s become such a part of your default psyche you forgot it’s even there. I made violently sexist jokes through high school and freshman year of college! We all do it! So, we all can learn our way out of it. Life is better on the other side of internalized sexism and misogyny and the first step is calling out your own bullshit. These eight sexist thoughts we all have are pretty terrible, but once you can name it, you can tame it.
Lifting Weight Will Make You Look Like A ManFirst off, no it won't. Second, what's wrong with looking like that? Female athletes and body builers get flack all the time for the "mannishness" of their appearance and it's kind of sexist (and low key transphobic). So, to be clear, women should work out so we don't get fat but we shouldn't work out TOO much or else we'll bulk up and look too masculine for any guy to see us as desirable? Did it ever occur to you that girls might do things outside of the male gaze in order to celebrate their bodies or pursue a sport? Just a thought! Source: iStock
That Female Celebrity Is A Total BitchBased on clothing, a rumor, mob mentality, a piece of gossip, whatever sort of inconsequential piece of nothing, we've all seen female celebrities get thrown under the bus for the smallest things. Remember that time we all decided to hate Anne Hathaway? or Kristen Stewart? Or Kim Kardashian? Why? Can you remember exactly why and was it for a good reason at all? Because celebrities are so in the public eye, it's very easy to use them as the measuring stick off which all else will be metered, including you and your life. So, if you thought Anna Kendrick was annoying during that one interview, you have to hate her. LOUDLY. And show the world you aren't annoying like Anna Kendrick! You see how weird and ridiculous that is? I like gossip just as much as anyone else, but hating a female celebrity you don't personally know is weird and full on sexist. Source: iStock
She's Just Doing It For The AttentionAh yes, nothing is quite as dismissive as saying a girl is only doing or saying something in order to get male attention. You see it all the time when you call someone a "fake geek girl" or a "fake sports fan" and even when girls come out about their sexuality or get a dramatic haircut. Really. Someone doesn't like something, blame it on that person just wanting attention! Saying that a girl is only doing something for the attention devalues her point of view and personal agency to do what she wants and say what she wants. Not everything happens because of or in reaction to male attention and their relative approval. Source: iStock
She Can't Pull That OffIs she wearing it? Great, then she can pull it off! Even when it comes to hair and makeup choices, when guys criticize how women look, it's completely unacceptable - because what do they know anyway - but when it's girls, it's totally reasonable to form a small council of your peers, poll your friends, and reach a consensus about whether or not the girl in question is pulling a look off in the right way? No! F-ck that! Other girls aren't meant to be reflections of your personal taste and putting everyone under the same umbrella as you takes away their autonomy. It's none of your business whether or not someone likes the same stuff as you do or expresses their gender in the same way. Let everyone just be themselves!Source: iStock
She Left Her Drink Alone, What Was She ExpectingI don't know, maybe to not get drugged? Is it reasonable to expect that everyone's looking out for each other's safety in a social setting, because if we're being real, most victims of sexual assault know their attackers. I think you all know where I'm going with this. When sexual assault happens, it's easy to frame your well meaning intentions helping girls form defensive strategies in order to prevent this from happening to them instead of focusing on getting attackers to stop attacking. Victim blaming puts the girl in the position where she's responsible for taking care of herself, including taking part of the fall for her rapist, because what? We're women and supposed to be the universal caregiver? Protect victims of sexual assault at all cost, believe them, and forthe love of Beyonce, don't blame them for something that is not their fault.Source: iStock
I'm A Cool GirlLOL NO ONE CARES. This is the more insidious, shady version of being Not Like Other Girls. Cool girls value their masculine qualities over their feminine ones while still retaining full femininity and straight passing privilege. They never get their feelings hurt because they're so cool with it. They're down for whatever to the point of maybe never having an opinion or voice of their own. Cool girls are so different than other girls who are so much drama and you know what, it's not worth it. We're all guilty of playing into being the cool girl from time to time and it honestly means nothing. You just wind up alienating yoruself and maybe getting hurt in the process. No one is cool, for sure, but what's really not cool is pretending to be better than every other girl. Source: iStock
She Stole My BoyfriendNo, she didn't steal your toy or throw your ice cream on the ground, your boyfriend just sucks. Blaming other girls for infidelity or not respecting some sort of unspoken Girl Code when this girl means nothing to you and you've never even had a conversation with her is kind of ridiculous. Feminism doesn't mean that we all operate under the same sisterhood and that we all need to be besties with each other. Also, it's easier to find fault with another girl for the shitty behavior or others rather than just make the hard decision and blame the person actually at fault, especially if that person is someone you care about. Also, no one can steal a person because people aren't property, so relax. Source: iStock
That Guy Is Such A Pussy, He Needs To Man UpPussies are weak. You need to be a man and grow a pair. These aren't just phrases targeted towards men, thought when they do, they're meant to directly compare them to a woman because as a man, the absolute worst thing you can be as a woman. Women are actually told to suck it up and grow a pair, too... even though some of us aren't born with testes. Sexist language used in addition to the belief that women should behave a certain way and men should behave in a certain way is the most casual form of sexism that's keeping us all down. What word would you use to mean spineless and weak if you didn't use pussy? Really, think about it. Get out your Thesaurus and make better choices. Source: iStock
Do you sometimes have sexist thoughts? What are they? How do you fix it? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.