Internalized sexism- Misogyny: The hatred/ dislike or mistrust of women by other women due to the belief in harmful stereotypes and the need to be separated from them (often times through unconscious actions/behaviors)

Minor examples:

  • "I'm not like other girls."
  • "I'm just one of the guys. Girls are too much drama."
  • "Girly women don't get things done."
  • "You should try to look presentable and put some make up on."


Internalized misogyny stems from male dominated societies. These cultures breed many stereotypes that portray women as inferior. This in turn creates a new problem in which women also believe and spread these harmful generalizations.

Self Objectification[]

Self Objectification can be seen as a type of misogyny that can be described as the internalization of sexually objectifying experiences that occurs when women treat themselves as an object to be looked at and evaluated based on appearance. An example of this can be seen with the growth of women shaving from being a marketing campaign to a cultural expectation. Women shaming other women for not shaving with the reasoning that it is "ugly" or not "lady-like" due to it not being favored by men is a form of self objectification and in turn a form of internalized misogyny.

This internalization of the male gaze has also been shown to lead to depression as well has harmful behaviors such as disordered eating.

Gender Identity & Internalized Misogyny[]

Some individuals who are questioning their identity can come across the internal discussion of whether or not their thoughts stem from being transgender and/or non-binary or possessing internalized sexism. An example of this could be someone who has been identifying female, but dislikes femininity and wishes to express in a more masculine manner. From here the discussion can venture into whether or not this is a question of gender identity or a way of expressing that they do not internally believe they will be taken seriously if they express themselves in a feminine manner. The latter could be seen as the individual wanting to separate from femininity due to internalized distrust/dislike of the female sex.


Internalized Misogyny & Feminism[]

Many feminists receive criticism due to expressing internalized sexism. This expression can be seen in many forms such as:

  • Slut-shaming
  • Assigning oppression (this can be seen targeted towards women who wear religious coverings)
  • Trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERFS)

These faults in many feminist activists and texts are often seen as setbacks in the overall goal of the feminist movement.


Spengler, R. (2014). Evil woman: An examination of internalized misogyny (Order No. 3664321). Available from ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1727739400). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1727739400?accountid=14541

Gartler, H. A. (2015). Examining the relationship between internalized misogyny, self-objectification and self-efficacy among cisgender and transgender women (Order No. 3704112). Available from GenderWatch; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1690276921). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1690276921?accountid=14541

Blair, K. L., & Hoskin, R. A. (2016). Contemporary understandings of femme identities and related experiences of discrimination. Psychology & Sexuality7(2), 101-115. doi:10.1080/19419899.2015.1053824