It is easy to make misogyny feel impersonal — generalized to the point where it feels out of your control. But here’s the thing: all of this is occurring right here, at La Salle, every single day.
The women in our community are constantly experiencing misogyny — along with millions of other young girls in our world.
The problem is local, national, and global. But, change starts on a grassroots level. And we must start changing.
It is absolutely necessary to remember that men are not inherently sexist. It is not a biological defect, nor an inevitable byproduct of gender.
Young men are raised on a diet of misogyny. Thus, the harm they cause to women is learned.
So, it can also be unlearned.
To the men and boys reading this:
It is your responsibility to step up and evaluate your role in upholding aspects of our society that oppress women in their authentic state.
Femininity is not a weakness, nor should it be taught or thought of as such. Doing so villainizes women’s existence, and depreciates our presence in the world.
We are not inherently less than.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we write about our experience as women, nothing will change unless you choose to hear what we have to say.
Once again, in Megan Murphy’s article, discussing the limits of women’s empathy, she provides a powerful call for reflection: “Please meditate on how easily we accept women’s pain as collateral damage in men’s self-discovery.”
So, please, listen to the women around you. Hold their voices in high regard — the friends, the mothers, the teachers, and all other female figures you interact with — because too often, it comes from a place of pain, a place of not being heard.
Once you choose to fully listen, it comes time to self-reflect. It comes time to assess how you are using your power — how you genuinely treat women, without the blindfold of protection to dodge accountability. Do you belittle women to magnify yourself? Reflect honestly and authentically; it is OK if the answer is yes. We want acknowledgement and authenticity — that is the first step toward change.
Finally, it’s time to act. Take what you know and exercise that knowledge by holding yourself and others accountable, for how your seemingly normal, everyday actions are impacting the women around you.
These problems are too rampant in our lives for us to be okay with their continuation. We won’t accept being treated as men’s subordinates. Women have carried the weight of men’s mistreatment for too long.
We are tired.
We are exhausted.
Just as we see and feel all of the hurtful comments, the same can be said for the positive. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so any amount of change is good — but still, one good small action can never outweigh the thousands of other negative ones.
Nevertheless, the good adds up — but it must take a collective effort for us to overcome ourselves and finally be able to live as equals.