I learned how to hate women by listening to my mother hate herself. Her body. Her fat. Her hair. Her blood. Everything her body did was disgusting, wrong, an irritation, a sin. It was like she was trying to will her physical form into nonexistence by feeding it a steady diet of hate, coffee, shame, and far less food than it needed to thrive.
I learned how to hate women from The Church. Sinful, deceitful whores, subservient to man’s power. They existed only because of him. Just a rib. Formed as a second thought, an accessory. Not equal. Disgusting because of their blood. The only one revered was a virgin. Because women are only worth as much as their hymen and the children they can produce.
I learned to view women as competition. Because women don’t produce anything except children, they’re work. They have to be provided for, cared for. That means they need a man. A good man. All women need a good man. And so if you have a good man, all other women are a threat and ultimately want to steal him.
They are to be viewed with suspicion. Sneered at. Cut down. Demeaned. I learned to talk shit about what other women wear, how they walk, what they say, how they do their hair, what they bring to the potluck, and how they discipline their children. Judge them. Scorn them. Hate them.
Women and their bodies are fucking disgusting. They’re nothing but a burden for men to take care of. And fuck.
I learned this in the looks and from the words of my uncles and grandfather, from my stepfathers, from magazines and TV. I learned it from breathing my mother’s air and being born from her body.
There is nowhere on this planet where I have been spared this lesson.
The voice that lives inside me and says these things isn’t me. This voice who judges every woman I see walking around in the world. This voice who sees all things “feminine” as “less than” and “weak.”
This voice exists inside my body, inside a body that knows what it says isn’t true. A body that was powerful enough to birth a child. A body that continues to breath and succeed in this “man’s world.” And yet I still believe what it says. I still despise the things about me that are feminine. I still see a woman’s tears as a manipulation. I still don’t trust them.
Sitting with my misogynist terrifies me. This is fucking gross and scary and I can feel my guts twisting as I try to both feel it and protect myself from it. I’m angry and sad and, I don’t know, just tired I guess of hearing this voice. Tired of feeling this terror.
Thanks to Nekole Malia Shapiro for the title and edits on this post. ❤