Misogyny (noun): hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women.The closest word I could find in urdu for it was “زن بیزاری”.
This International Women’s Day I invite you to start paying attention to this prejudice in your everyday life and how you feel about women, irrespective of their role as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, leaders, teachers etc.
Often Women’s Day is used to pay tribute to women in the roles above. Women deserve love, respect and acceptance as a woman and a human, regardless of their role in your or someone else’s life.
Misogyny (and internalised misogyny), is so invisible and deep-rooted now that it’s easy to label any quality of a woman negative, whereas it’s a positive for a man. If she is emotional, she is not dependable. If she is assertive, she is being selfish. If she is successful, she used some short cut.
You’re influenced by misogyny if you jump to conclusions about a woman (even yourself), label her or use a sample of one as true for all women.
“Aurtein to hoti he aisi hain”, “aurat he aurat ke dushman hai”, “Kam aqal aurat” etc.
It’s time to revisit these phrases and who they target. My mother would often repeat an urdu phrase for double trouble which goes “naystee mein barkhudari”, meaning “a daughter born when you’re already in poverty”. When I discussed the meaning with her in my adult years, she said it had always been repeated by elders. Imagine generations of women passing on a phrase, which is not only untrue but also extremely hurtful to their own gender.
I have identified internalized misogyny in a lot of my own actions and words and continue to be on a journey to improve myself.
I invite you to join me.
If you like, do share an example of misogyny you identified only in retrospect.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Sharing below some videos from my YouTube channel and “Sadaf and Tamania Show” that relate to Women’s Day: