A room of ones own

I want to talk about women supporting women.

What kind of women do we want in the world?
Insecure?  Bitchy?  Competitive?
Strong, Supportive and Vibrant?
I have a dear friend, who I love to bits; she’s a fashion model and an entertainer.
The amount of times I have had to defend her to others because she is pretty and successful is insulting to her.
It’s easy to say ‘Oh they’re just jealous’
However it’s a dismissal of something much bigger.
Internalised mysogony.
Internalized misogyny is the “involuntary internalisation by women of the sexist messages that are present in their societies and culture.”

We are taught from a young age that we need male attention to be valuable, so we have been conditioned to do stuff to get this validation.
From young teens taking selfies in their underwear attempting to be alluring, to women sharing secrets on how to lose weight, to sitting in gaggles bitching about other women.
Look I’m not saying I have never done this, but once I recognised it as part of my own fear of rejection, I was able to start stepping away from the game.
Plus, I’ve also been at the other end of this and it’s not nice.
Women and men have shared what they have heard about me and although it’s funny, it’s also sad.
I now simply cut people off when they attempt to repeat what someone has said about me.
To quote the late great Ian Miller
‘What you think of me is none of my business’
While I realise that what was said, wasn’t really true and mostly just a reflection of their own insecurities, all that understanding takes energy and I’ve got so many creative projects that need my energy that to have a distraction like this is bloody frustrating.

To quote the late great Nina Simone
‘I gotta lotta living to do before I die and I ain’t got no time to waste.’
Yet..... I’m part of a community and I need support and love to feel safe and nurtured and that I belong.
We ALL do.

So why do woman take part in internalised misogyny?

Basically, we hold misogynistic ideas ourselves, even though we are women. It’s involuntary because the sexism that is present in our culture is taught to us through socialization (the process of learning culture through social interaction), a process we don’t have much say in.
So is Sinead O’Connor calling Kim Kardashian a cunt internalised misogyny?

I'd say yes and even the use of the word cunt is part of that.
Why use a word that puts vaginas down?

It’s just so bloody unhelpful.

Sure Kim is not a musician but how about we call Rolling Stone a sausage centric entertainment magazine that doesn’t support women musicians as much? Just google image the covers.
(In their defense, our whole entertainment culture is sexist)
Is it helpful to keep shaming sex positive females?
Is it helpful to say to young women, 'Well all men are the same'?
Is it helpful to always say how pretty a little girl looks?
Is it helpful to tell a little boy to man up?

I want a world where the young girls I teach music to feel that their relationships are as valuable to each other as their relationships with men are.
I want a world where the young men I teach music to feel that their relationships with women are as valuable as their relationships with their male friends are.
Imagine that support.
So I ask people, especially women, that we think about what we say of other women and why.

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