top of page

Misogyny Is Not A Birthright

LOST FAME-to not be recognized for ones accomplishments

A woman’s fame is lost so often that its become a ‘thing’ or a syndrome that has a name, its called The Matilda Effect. More on that later....

I won’t name names but one of my ex’s used to call getting bested by a woman “Getting Girled”. The first time I heard him use the phrase was when his young son told him a girl on the high school ski team had skied a race faster than he did.

Oh man, you got GIRLED!

They laughed, I winced. I've been an athlete my whole life and most of the sports I do, I do side by side with my male friends. It's true that many of those men friends are larger, heavier and stronger than I am. Sometimes those physical characteristics are to their advantage and other times they aren’t. When they get down the mountain, get up the hill or fly across the wake faster than I do, I have never thought of it as getting "BOYED". Being lighter and quicker has its advantages.

Misogyny is a sneaky thing.

It seems like misogyny is something we practice almost unconsciously. Please do not get me wrong, I don’t think it's specifically a problem with men, it's a problem with our patriarchal social structure. It's embedded in our culture and we internalize the customs and social expectations that define that culture, and that perpetuates it. Instead of seeing women as people, some men are taught as boys that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if they try hard enough and persist long enough, they will get the “girl” in the end. It's like life is a game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward men get for doing well.

Like I said, I don't think its just a guy thing. We are all implicated, even if we’re not aware of it. We women contribute to the problem when we are complicit and don't challenge things that we hear that just do not smell right.

“Women are naturals in the kitchen, women are more compassionate and caring, women are better listeners, women don't make good soldiers, women are more noble than men”

These are all things I've heard that I knew were not true. I was complicit, complacent and I let it go as “a part of life”. But I never felt good because I knew those statements were not true.

The #MeToo movement has started to topple a few titans and I hope it keeps gaining momentum but it would be worth a look at what WE say (meaning US, as in WOMEN). All those things I heard were said by women. Maybe #MeToo will help us stick by each other and call it out when we hear it-even when we hear it from one of our own.

Many of the Extraordinary Women I've included in my collections are women who’s life stories I've felt moved by. Many violated these patriarchal norms and found themselves overlooked for recognition, excluded from the fame that comes with an important creation or discovery and written out of the history that they helped to define (Rosalind Franklin). Others felt they could not, being female, bring enough credibility to their important discovery so they allowed a male to unveil what was really theirs (Jocelyn Joyce Burnell). The Extraordinary Women that stood up and demanded a voice (Victoria Woodhull, Caroline Nichols Churchill, The Grimke Sisters) were considered morally objectionable or abrasive or just too pushy. There was this sense that these women were doing something wrong. I'm thinking that it only appeared that way because society expected them to be otherwise. To be passive, to be quiet, to accept that there were jobs they could not hold and to not object to what they felt was wrong.

The more I thought about it, the more it felt like it revolved around the roles we all play in society, roles that we’re assigned at birth and rarely question, and how we punish people — especially women and girls — when they defy those roles and do the unexpected.

The good news is it’s becoming really obvious that women are not inferior to men in masculine-coded fields like math and physics and philosophy and the military and the trades and just about anything else you can think of.

The misogynist EX?....Now if he would have said “Getting Womaned” or better yet “Getting Humaned” - well, I just might still be married to him. Ya, probably not.

bottom of page