January 25, 2023 By: Alexandra Kinias
Misogyny, practiced for thousands of years in patriarchal societies continues to spread in modern day Egypt and in other regions around the world where women are considered inferior to men, and treated as such. In Egypt, a country with male dominance, misogyny forms the foundation for the oppression of women. It perpetuates from one generation to the other as is evident not only in the behavior of men against women, but also in how the society at all its levels perceives and reacts to these behaviors. Many are appalled by how some women support and justify men’s behavior, even though they are the primary victims of their abuse, in its various forms; verbal, physical, emotional, etc., and often they are personally subjected to these abuses by close male relatives.
Because it has been wildly publicized that misogyny is a male trait, practiced by men for dominance, many are unaware that it is also practiced by women against their gender and even their own wellbeing. Many reasons drive women to practice misogyny and advocate for their own submissiveness. In societies where women are still fighting for their rights, such behaviors, practices and attitudes further hinders their advancement. It is shameful and disturbing when women become victims of other women’s judgments and injustices.
Brainwashed from an early age that inferiority is their source of empowerment, women in patriarchal societies, where misogyny pervades, are bred to obey, please and work in the relationship; take more care of the men’s needs; avoid confrontations; and become a subordinate – not an equal partner – in the relationship. Moreover, in these societies girls are also taught at an early age to loath their bodies and sexualities. They grow up believing that women’s bodies are the root of all evil. As a result, no matter what the circumstances are, they believe that women who are harassed, abused or even raped are at fault. They blame the victims for triggering men’s sexual desires. Not only that, but they also come to the defense of these men, hence, demonstrating a behavioral pattern that perpetuates their own abuse. Never the aggressor’s fault, they rationalize men’s behaviors with excuses that these women were dressed indecently, behaved promiscuously, or any other justification to acquit the abuser.
Misogynist women suffer from psychological slavery, a condition which is commonly became known as Stockholm syndrome; where the victims side with the abuser or oppressor. The more these women, who were bred to obey and please, depend on men socially and financially, siding with the abuser becomes a survival instinct. Their lives, just like the slaves, depend on their abusers, and they develop gratitude for them, even if they were victimized by them first hand.
Thus, these women who support the harassers are in fact victims. They reach a state of submissiveness in accepting the abuse, and justify the behaviors of the harassers. They become content with their status quo. In defending their abusers, they aggressively attack other women who stand against the harassers or try to help them break free from this cycle. Instead of appreciating the efforts that would alleviate their status, they promote their own submissiveness and oppression. In their delusional minds, they believe the cure to social alignments is in their submissiveness not the rebellion against their oppressors. In their sick minds, they believe if women just behaved as men wanted them to, they will live a happier life. These justifications become their coping mechanism with oppression.
Unfortunately, rehabilitation is unachievable in the foreseeable future because the brainwash is deeply rooted in their core values that influences their own behaviors and attitudes. Not to mention that these women are also responsible for raising up the new generations of women. As daughters keep following the same path as their misogynist mothers, no one should question why women continues to be their own worst enemies.
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