Friday, 30 September, 2022

Mystery of Misogyny

Mahabuba Sultana

The word misogyny refers to hatred towards women. Misogyny is everywhere: from family to school, workplace to theme park - anywhere and everywhere around the globe. It is taboo to talk about misogyny in this society. It has been practised for hundreds of years, but it is only now that people are opening up about it. However, opening up is not easy because victim-blaming is what we love to practice.

 Often, I used to ask myself a question repeatedly, "why are women so deeply hated?" You can go to a room full of people or in a shop, market, hospital, school, cinema, bank, anywhere and start a topic unrelated to the female gender, but eventually, you will see many people forming into groups and mostly talking and sharing thoughts which commonly turn into hate speech directed towards women in no time. Whenever I have found myself in such a situation, I have always wondered, "why was there so much hatred against women?" Women, who carry a child in their womb for nine long months, are responsible for nurturing a newborn child till that child is an adult and, in many cases, even afterwards. This is where my question lies. Even if you leave the gender specification, any person, male or female, has a mother, a sister, or a female friend, or a female relative while growing up. No matter if you are single or in a relationship later in life, then where is all the hatred coming from?

 Many moons later, when I reflected upon that idea, I felt it comes from "fear". Fear of the unknown, not being in control, and inability to do "as you please". I believe many men are afraid of females at their core. So much that their insecurity screams beforehand, to hide that fear, they "rise above themselves through violence" since they have not channelled their fear or analyzed the reason behind it, nor come to any positive terms with themselves. They want women to "obey". Wherever they see any differences in their "maintenance process", they keep bringing it up to keep it "under control".

Now the question that might come to your mind is, "what are so many men afraid of at their core?" I believe they are afraid of losing their "manhood". This kind of man tends to think that if they can overpower a female by word or action, only then they become men, by protecting "their manhood". I know it sounds very harsh when I write or say it aloud, but at their core, many men know this is what they want.

By birth, a woman can look after themselves and their partner and, in many cases, one or two families, which scares the core of many men. Therefore, they do not want women to upgrade further, which can be uncomprehending, uncommendable, and uncontrollable. Many men want a woman who would take care of them; the men should be able to rely on them, and command them. These men do not want a woman who will not obey their "commands".

So, am I here to write or share my point of view on the centuries of misogyny in practice that most of us already know? The answer to that is "no". I am here to share only one idea.

There are also many progressive men who stand as pillars of society, taking us all forwards alongside them. So, what about the rest? I would say, "Leave them as they are and grow yourself." Yes, that is my idea - a simple one. I know the idea of self-grooming has become a cliché now but I find it more in words and less in action. My only idea is to grow as much as possible as a female, so society has no other option but to accept a progressive woman. We females must develop ourselves to the extent that if a man wants to be with a woman, they either upgrade themselves and be with a progressive woman or live a life without any woman at all.


The writer is pursuing a master’s degree at University of Windsor, Canada