For the ladies out there, here’s a topic: sexism and mental health. A weird thing happens when you identify as a woman. That is society believes you are less than those that identify as a man!
Women get treated differently and are expected to accept it. But what about what happens inside when we are the direct recipient of a sexist remark? It’s nice to imagine that in our empowered fury we would smother the flame of oppression. We would tell off the perpetrator in a who-do-you-think-you-are speech. In the best of times this can happen! Other times we pause. This happens because we can begin to believe things about the roles we are assigned. This happens as a result of our socialization into the system that holds these beliefs.
We think: They probably didn’t mean that. I’m being too sensitive. I’m being a bitch. I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I’m making too much noise. I’m being difficult.
If this is you in those moments, do not be ashamed. You are experiencing the internalization of a system more ancient than you.
What I want you to be aware of though is that this is a system that is wrong.
I was recently referred to as “some girl” while I was in a professional setting by a vendor and it pissed me off immediately. But then, my internalized sexism told me to simmer down “he didn’t mean it” and so on. But ladies, no. In these moments we are within our right and duty to speak up and say: That’s not okay.
In these moments of doubt when we question if our voices should be heard, let us take note from our future Madame Vice President Kamala Harris….”I am speaking.”