“Misogyny can be defined as the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, hostility, male supremacist ideas, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.” – Wikipaedia
In layman terms, misogyny is when a man intentionally looks down on a woman simply because SHE IS A WOMAN. It is when a woman gets paid lesser salary than a man for the same position at work simply because SHE IS A WOMAN. And even when she chooses to complain, she is told HOW CAN A WOMAN EARN THE SAME SALARY AS A MAN?
It is when your male boss does not take any of your ideas because he doesn’t think a woman can have any useful ideas. It is when he does not think a woman can lead a team because women were created to “follow”. It is when your male colleague makes a commitment to you but always fails to come through with his commitment until you notice he only does that to “women”.
It is when as a team leader, you call on a meeting with your teem mates but he never shows up on time because you are a woman and he shouldn’t be taking orders from you. It is when his behavior around women in general is grandiose, cocky, controlling and self-centered. It is when he treats women differently from men even in social settings, allowing men various liberties because they are MEN whereas criticizing women in the same circumstance.
I could go on and on about misogynistic men but to be honest, I had only heard about them in the past until quite recently when I encountered one for myself.
At first, I didn’t realize he was misogynistic even after seeing the way he treats his partner and bosses her around telling her what she can or cannot do. I guess I just thought he likes being in control or better still I invoked the saying “DO NOT DRINK PANADOL ON ANOTHER MAN’S HEADACHE”.
That was until my own head started aching after I overheard the man in question talking to the group of people we work with where he said “Now that majority of the team (males) are traveling for Easter, do you think OUR is competent enough to handle the production”? And that was the moment I lost it with him and every other misogynistic remark he had ever made.
First of all, I am Leo and as you might know, Leo’s were born to lead. Secondly, the so called production he spoke of involved children. So if (as a woman and mother), I am not competent to handle little children because the supposed “men” who are Lord and Mighty are indisposed then how misogynistic can one get.
Not only did I take over the production from where my colleagues left off after they traveled, I singlehandedly took charge of every single detail including the feasibility study, sourcing, handling and setup of hardware materials, getting all the parties involved together and ensuring everything was on schedule.
And together with the other women in the team, knowing how misogynistic he was, we joined forces and ensured we had a VERY SUCCESSFUL production to which all he said was “you pulled it off”.
After this incident, I sat and began to reminisce on every single act of misogyny he had brought my way without me knowing.
Was it the time when we were looking to get trained in First Aid and I (a woman) am officially trained in First Aid by the American Hearts Association (AHA)? So rather than call on an officially trained member of your team to handle the training, he chose to source for a “male doctor” to handle it.
Even when the “doctor” wasn’t forthcoming and delayed the training for two weeks leading to him eventually calling on me to deliver the training, he still went ahead and found a “trainee doctor” to stand in my place without having the courtesy to let me know that he had finally gotten the doctor he so sought.
And of course, I adamantly refused and stood my ground. I blatantly refused to let the “trainee” carry out the training who by the way wasn’t even equipped to handle the training. I went ahead and delivered the training after which he shockingly admitted that he was blown away.
What is it they say about what a man can do, a woman can do better? Or the saying about wetin you dey find for Sokoto dey inside your sokoto.
There are numerous examples of where he had sidelined me because he felt I was a woman and wouldn’t be able to handle certain tasks and like I always put it, he has (on so many occasions) intentionally worked against me so as to see me fail and end up being right about women being incompetent.
But as God would have it, I have proven him wrong every time and little does he know that his actions only drive me to work even harder to be the best at what I do. Without his misogyny, I would probably give a 90% at my work but with his misogyny, I’m a straight out 100% just so I don’t leave any stone unturned.
As much as this is wrong and women shouldn’t have to work extra hard to prove themselves to men, this is the very sad country we live in. And if there is one thing you should take from my experience, it is the fact that YOU SHOULD NEVER LET A MAN PUSH YOU OVER BECAUSE YOU ARE A WOMAN.
Do like I did, insist and stand your ground. Take up any opportunity you find to prove him wrong. DO NOT accept defeat by letting him win and not making you the head of a team. Speak up and share your ideas even if he might shut you down. DO NOT be intimidated and most importantly DO NOT lose your voice. Put your foot down and volunteer for team leader if need be.
I know there are more to come from my misogynistic encounter with this man because we only just started working together but he better be ready for me because I am a perfectionist and when I get things done, I get things done well. So if for a second he thinks he can bully me into relapsing and letting him have the only and final say then he is in for a long ride.
I am going to be heard not just as a woman but as a person who has a voice and everyone (male and female) in our team should be given a chance to be heard regardless of their gender. Maybe I will have to be the one to impart that knowledge to him.
So be the one to enlighten people about misogyny because as it turns out, majority of them who are misogynists do not even know they are.
Have you ever encountered a misogynist? Or are you a misogynist?
Feel free to share your thoughts, opinion and suggestions.
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PHOTO CREDIT: THE BLACK FALCON