Take Action Sister: How I Got Rid Of Misogyny And Believe In Women

A life 2022

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Take Action Sister: How I Got Rid Of Misogyny And Believe In Women
Take Action Sister: How I Got Rid Of Misogyny And Believe In Women

Video: Take Action Sister: How I Got Rid Of Misogyny And Believe In Women

Video: Daddy Issues, Misogyny, and the Pinnacle of Male Privilege 2022, November
Anonim

Have a popular interview question about who you see yourself in five years. My experience tells us that we never see ourselves as who we are in five years. Or we become them in parallel with how we also become someone else. Five years ago, I worked as an editor and had no idea that it was possible to write on a site “for girls” or “about girls” without frowning in shame. Five years ago, I was sick with a serious form of misogyny with rare glimpses of recovery. I loved the girls carefully - mostly those with whom I communicated closely - to the rest I treated condescendingly and / or disdainfully.

For me, they were capricious in shopping malls, made scandals at the frontal place in "House-2", took their guys to moronic rom-coms and thought about the beauty of nails. If they achieved something, they did it a little worse than their male colleagues. If they publicly expressed opinions, they were emotional and not always consistent. I didn't joke about them, as on Comedy Radio, but I characterized many in a similar way - stereotypes are convenient because they turn into scathing opinions and poisonous speakers without much effort. Just add bile. Five years ago I had no idea that I would imperceptibly stop thinking like that. This is the story of how it all happened. And that's a pretty typical story.

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My parents never told me that girls are worse than boys, but the feeling that something was wrong with girls haunted me for most of my life

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“How could you, my friend? I don't have you closer! " - the group "Strelka" sang all my youth. BG sang: "Every woman should have a snake." And my favorite movie heroine Lyudmila Prokofievna said on a date: “But one day my best friend decided to marry … my fiancé. Since then I have eliminated all my friends. " My parents never told me that girls are worse than boys, they didn’t set me up against others, but the feeling that something was wrong with the girls and I couldn’t trust them haunted me for most of my life.

Thinking about how it turned out that trusting and respecting other girls was so difficult for me, I came to the conclusion that the most important thing is how our parents treated friendships. With rare exceptions, they survived. They constantly moved, worked several jobs and put up with humiliating living conditions. Not only time for business, fun - an hour, but also time for family, friendship - an hour, if there was this hour at all. Friendship is something from the school bench, from the happy student days that ended with the first years of plowing. Working with like-minded people, meeting with a partner with similar interests, managing free time, having children when you live for your pleasure, and not when the family looks askance - they did not have the luxury of our generation. As there was no option to establish and maintain long-term horizontal ties. Our parents often knew how to be friends to the grave, as in the pioneer oath, but they could not always spend time together in a fun and interesting way.

This fact, combined with stories about the insidiousness of female friendship, instilled in me the feeling that I am alone in the field of war, and the real battle is for the most important thing. For that very person. Of course, there are books by the Brontë sisters and songs by Alanis Morissette, Vivienne Westwood and the smiles of Hollywood actresses, but what is life worth if you live it alone? Friends come and go, but girlfriends don't count. Teenage friendships with girls were a bit of a frivolous rehearsal of a relationship that would come later - with the very person I've been waiting for and who will save me from my loneliness.

I wanted to be born a boy under 25 years old - examples from life confirmed that any boy is provided with more attention.There were about ten girls in our class with good and excellent academic results, but only the boys' abilities were spoken out loud. The girls were not praised so as not to overpraise. Criticized very selectively and almost always with the transition to personalities, but generally taken for granted. The girls got comments about their behavior and appearance, from the girls themselves - in the first place. We competed for some of the most mediocre boyish attention and wentssip very violently.

If stopping a fight seemed important to almost every teacher, then no one in ten years at school explained to us the basic things about the rules of communication, mutual respect, the boundaries of each other and that we are not in a war. I didn't want to be the queen of the beehive, but God, what was I thinking when a classmate cut a braid for the top student of our class? Laughed along with everyone. The school was too decent to end with Scarecrow, but bullying, as you know, comes in the smallest detail. No sisterhood could be imagined - and the division of the holidays into February 23 and March 8, the meaning of which then, as now, no one understood (the "defenders of the Fatherland" were not going to serve in the army, and many "mothers and wives" were not married and without families), only emphasized the division into two camps: those who are destined to take the initiative, and those who will look forward to it. I communicated with girls only because the boys did not want to communicate with me, and if they agreed, I would send all my friends of the past and future to hell to be called to some kid's birthday.

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I would like to say that I never

did not participate in the bullying of other girls, but this is not so: it happened that I saw

and did not intercede, stepped aside

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I faced bullying in a girlish environment: at the age of 12, I went to a summer camp and got into the center of attention of the local gang of gopnits. The hierarchy was the most standard, teenage: beauties that boys like and therefore do not touch them, boys who are friends with boys and therefore also have immunity, girls from good families with strong self-esteem and expensive phones, and newcomers like me. After suffering three days of gratuitous and very cruel insults and bullying, I complained to my parents, and everything sorted out pretty quickly - primarily thanks to the loud screams of a mustachioed dad, two meters tall.

“We had no idea that you were normal,” my dad's growl bought me the respect of all the children who came to this camp: for the rest of the summer I shook my booty under Tarkan and Ricky Martin with the hooligans who burned my things two days earlier. As it turned out later, most of the children were from single-parent families, and dad, who was ready to bring in the suburbs in the middle of the working week and make a rustle there, was a trump card that I had no idea about. Would such an effect if only mother came? I think I know the answer. I would like to say that I have never participated in the persecution of other girls, but this is not so: it happened that I saw and did not intercede, stepped aside. She often dominated the less agile and calmer girlfriends who were "weaker" than me.

My parents, who had younger brothers and sisters in their family, will never understand this. An incident in the camp and a year and a half in the wrestling sports section with some boys strengthened me in the idea that being a guy is a happy privilege: all the boy's rules suited me, but I was confused about girls. In addition, being the only girl in the sports section and passing the same standards is another self-esteem upgrade.

It's a shame to admit this, but for almost all my teenage years I defined myself through the guys I met - it never occurred to me that it was me, and not my boyfriend, who could write songs, create a music label, write reviews or interesting lyrics. That the initiative can come from me.That is why I sharpened knives on notable girls, whatever they were doing - first of all, out of envy for their courage to do in their own way and complete self-sufficiency.

The misogyny was slightly corrected by study, and then work. In our institute, there were 60 people on the stream, and 90 percent were girls. They were not stupid idiots in anticipation of marriage or mediocre and expressionless repetitions. There I found my first real friends, falling in love with them to the point of unconsciousness, as I had never fallen in love with guys. But the "girls-girls" made us laugh condescendingly: I remember how in some stupid comedy we heard the phrase "Baba women!" and used it at every opportunity - from a fuchsia bag to another joke "about blondes."

Of course, we didn't mean anything bad. Of course, I was sure that they take on some kind of work through the bed. It became very funny when, a year later, I was accused of this, when I briefly became the editor of an important Moscow publication. At that time I did not know the phrase “inner misogyny”. The next time the bullying happened at the age of 19, but in no way did it feel different from the summer in the camp. Two dozen respected people, several years older than me, discussed my professional and personal qualities in an open mode in the Live Journal and - ulyalya! - my appearance. It was impossible to wash off the sticky sweat that covered me from head to toe for several days, and flashbacks returned over the course of several years: as is often the case in horror, rare voices "why discuss a living person like that?" drowned under dozens of comments about the face and figure. But - lo and behold! - people change. And all these speakers have grown with me into pro-feminists, sincere and consistent.

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I realized that working with friends -

it is a privilege, not a terrarium, and still

I don't know what they are laughing about, speaking condescendingly

about the "women's team"

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I began to worry about the problems of the face, figure and my own abilities with the guy I still meet: it so happened that he was a pro-feminist (we both did not know this word for a long time), and competing with girls for male attention has become an irrelevant task. Over time, the derogatory “don't be a woman!” Disappeared from my language. and "what do you have, PMS?" I focused on myself and my friends. Suddenly there were an incredible number of girlfriends. Sisterhood is a long and demanding process, but the global and important feeling of girl power with many girls around the world came to me just a few years ago. I have been working and communicating with girls for the last ten years, and I managed to notice in a thousand examples that despising my own gender was the biggest foolishness in my life.

Misogyny provides short-term social privileges, but rarely accompanies a happy life. Girls write music and perform, get to the Venice Biennale and become chief editors, in a few years they grow from promising interns to excellent professionals, run their own business and do entrepreneurship, run museums and foundations, run marathons and make films - almost all my friends are girls like that. … And while they drink vodka or Cosmopolitan, wear jeans or minis, get tattoos or love the song "Barbie Girl" - and more often than not, no "or" is needed.

I will say what everyone already knows: girls work with incredible diligence for a lower salary, where they are less likely to merge with responsible tasks, they are great at listening and work perfectly in a team. The girlish team that I worked with is now snapped up. It was while working with her that I realized that working with friends is a privilege, not a terrarium, and I still don’t know what they are laughing about, condescendingly speaking about the “women's team”.

More than a year ago I wrote a text about my own experience of depression - in the course of therapy it became obvious how many negative feelings in my life were dictated by outsiders.Many, especially at the beginning of my journey, allowed themselves comments that would never have said about a guy - from how you should behave, to how you should look, what you want and who to work with. And also that there is no female friendship (“a friend threw problems”, “hijacked you, hijacked you”), girls will never be good at business, like guys, and there is nothing worse than a woman boss (well, unless the driver is a woman: for driving a draft is not a ride).

Remember the song: “Well, what are you so terrible! You are so scary! And unpainted, scary, and painted "? And “No boom-boom in my head! Youngster, you stupid fool!”? It has been pouring down on me for years. The most significant part of the therapy was the exfoliation of misogynistic delusions and the separation of one's own desires from the imposed motivations around. “Don't listen to anyone” is good advice at 25, but the trick is that before 25 we listen to someone - and often this is what determines our life. After the publication of the text about the personal experience of depression, hundreds of people wrote to me: the girls, all as one, were afraid to talk about their problem with their loved ones, worried that they would be known as hysterics, their guys are silent or withdraw themselves in full confidence that these are “women’s affairs”.

The guys who wrote to me also worried that depression is "not a male disease." After some time, I made a closed support group for my acquaintances and realized how important it is to be able to share a problem, to understand its typicality and not to be labeled a hysterical for it. Although most treatment for depression and anxiety disorders is supervised by a doctor, both boys and girls need a comfortable space to discuss difficulties, where there is no room for blame and aggression. You can be vulnerable and respected at the same time, you can share and support each other, you can virtually hug strangers, and most importantly, you can hear the feelings, pain and experiences of other people without projecting your own life scenario onto others.

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We are all very different, with different shapes

and tastes, and this is why they are unique -

an obvious commonplace that strikes

like a bolt from the blue

Another important part of the awareness of girlish solidarity has become the most common house parties with the exchange of clothes. In the practice of my parents and previous generations, a bachelorette party is what happens when boys go about their business. Or is it the last party before the wedding where a stripper in gold panties is so unlike your future husband. At our bachelorette parties, I began to analyze how we build communication and learn to be vulnerable in adulthood. We dress in front of each other, talk about work and weekends, make plans, drink wine and discuss the latest news, MBAs, Beyoncé and ponies - and feel safe. In our revolutions there are no "fat thighs" and "crooked ears", "unsuitable figures" and "big noses", there are only good jokes and well-deserved compliments.

We are all very different, with different shapes and tastes, and this is why we are unique - an obvious common place that strikes like a bolt from the blue when 60 girls of different sizes and ages, with and without children, are trying on clothes before your eyes. For some reason, after each such party, my self-esteem rises - unlike half a day in some fitting room. I remember how the heroines of Mean Girls comment on each other, and I understand how great it is to grow up and be what you did not even think of becoming five years ago. How easy and pleasant it is to be friends without a stone in your bosom, to trust other girls and how long it takes to learn. I don't have a single sister, I found all of them myself. This is something that I certainly could not once have imagined.

Photos: kilukilu - adobe.stock.com, ksi - adobe.stock.com, Enlightened Media - adobe.stock.com

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