“If no one’s ever despised you for your sex, it is difficult to care about sexism because it is necessarily foreign to you.
Remembering this helps me have mercy on men who don’t think feminism is needed or that women have enough rights already. Most likely, these men have never had anyone oppress them because they were male; the very notion is unfathomable to them. No one has ever told them that, merely because they were born male, they are less intelligent, incapable of leadership, intended to be subservient, or a sex object open to public derision and comment. It is therefore difficult for many men to be empathetic with women on this front.”
Sounds very familiar, and I’ve heard a version of this kind of statement countless times, but as regards to race, not gender ( so I know what being maligned for some senseless or stupid reason or other is like).
But I’m republishing this post here primarily because Malawi is a deeply religious society, and not because I’m a minority living in Britain.
The other day, I glimpsed the profile of a young man who was the spitting image of a freckled fundamentalist boy from my childhood. I blanched and suddenly felt a spasm of terror. It wasn’t this boy, grown up (ostensibly because this boy still lives in the basement of his parents’ house), but I was still shaken. On the whole, I had a very happy childhood, and my parents are these lovely, fun human beings, but I dislike being reminded of the community I was raised in: the fundamentalist homeschooling enclave.
Primarily, when I remember that time, I recall the crushing sensation of misogyny. Of existing in a network of people in which you have no agency on account of your gender.
To list all of the overt and subtle misogyny I faced as a homeschooled girl would be exhausting. The anecdotes and comments still rise to the surface, however…
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