When I Doubt Myself và other women –challenging internalized sexism / internalized misogyny

Internalized sexism is defined as the involuntary belief by girls và women that the lies, stereotypes và myths about girls and women that are delivered khổng lồ everyone in a sexist society ARE TRUE. Girls & women, boys and men hear the sexist messages (lies and stereotypes) about women over their entire lifetimes. They hear that women are stupid, weak, passive, manipulative sầu, with no capacity for intellectual pursuits or leadership.

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There are two logical, predictable consequences of a lifetime of such messages. First, boys / men will grow to lớn believe many of the messages, và treat women accordingly. They will be thoroughly indoctrinated inlớn their role in sexism, protecting their male privilege by colluding with the perpetuation of sexism.

But there is a second logical consequence – the same messages also stick khổng lồ girls & women, resulting in internalized sexism / internalized misogyny. Women and girls are taught to lớn act out the lies and stereotypes, doubting themselves & other females (sometimes called “horizontal hostility.”) This is the way women collude with the perpetuation of sexism.

For the sexist system khổng lồ be maintained & passed on lớn the next generation, we all must believe the messages (lies và stereotypes) to some degree, và collude with sexism by performing our assigned roles.

Most progressive sầu, non-profit organizations, whether in human services or social change, recognize that their mission cannot be completely fulfilled until all forms of oppression (racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, anti-Semitism, et al) are addressed. Many of these same organizations, however, do not recognize the forms of internalized oppression that interfere with accomplishing their missions.

Women’s organizations, in particular, must take conscious action to recognize, acknowledge và interrupt internalized sexism / internalized misogyny as it affects individual women & the organization as a whole.

This worksiêu thị encourages women to lớn recognize and examine the harmful impact of a lifetime of sexist messages on their own self image, as well as their attitudes toward other women. Exercises & skills are offered khổng lồ affirm women, women’s skills và khổng lồ challenge internalized sexism, in our own lives, for girls in our lives, and in our women’s organizations.

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Sample Objectives

To provide a framework & common language for genuine dialogue about sexism và internalized sexism, and to lớn create an environment which encourages such dialogue.To clarify the historical, political and social context for sexism and violence against women in the U. S.To probe the reality & daily experience of sexism & internalized sexism for women in U. S. America.To identify concrete examples of internalized sexism in the lives of girls and women.To identify concrete examples of internalized sexism within institutional structures và programs.To develop attitudes và tools for interrupting internalized sexism – personally & organizationally.To examine the interconnections of sexism và racism, và the negative impact internalized sexism has on anti-racist action by women.To offer individual participants opportunities khổng lồ deepen their own awareness & understanding of sexism, và their commitment lớn gender justice.To develop specific leadership skills and relevant strategies for challenging internalized sexism.


One to lớn two days, unlimited number of participants, one or two facilitators.Women only.Both days are interactive and experiential.A variety of teaching/learning modalities is used: small groups, fishbowls, interactive exercises, caucuses, lecture, graphics, music, poetry, và journaling.Includes handouts & a personal journal.The focus is on the personal impact of sexism và internalized sexism.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the INTERNALIZED SEXISM WORKSHOPhường participants will:

be familiar with language và a framework related to the historical, political và social realities of sexism in the United States.define internalized sexism, and distinguish between internalized misogyny và internalized male supremacy.explore examples of internalized sexism in their own lives & the lives of other women và girls.begin khổng lồ identify examples of internalized sexism in organizational structures, policies & programs.identify và nurture attitudes and actions lớn counteract the impact of internalized sexism for adult women and reduce its recycling to lớn future generations of girls.have sầu created a personal bond with one or several other participants with the potential for future collaboration.leave sầu the worksiêu thị with a tangible plan of action for themselves in their organizational role.



The “When I Doubt Myself và other women” worksiêu thị offers women an intense, personal và interactive sầu experience with opportunities to lớn examine, question & challenge the harmful impact of a lifetime of sexist, misogynist messages on their own self image & their attitudes toward other women. Exercises & skills are offered to affirm women, women’s skills và khổng lồ confront internalized sexism.

No woman, or women’s organization, can avoid the challenges presented by internalized sexism. Internalized sexism is defined, at its most basic cấp độ, as “the involuntary belief BY women & girls that the sexist lies, stereotypes and myths ABOUT them are true.” Some of the results of this involuntary internalization process are self-doubt, self-hate, self-censorship, plus doubt or mistrust of and competition with other women. Internalized sexism results in women’s collusion with sexism và male supremacy.

Internalized sexism, or more accurately its fraternal twins: internalized misogyny và internalized male supremacy, have sầu thoroughly taught women two key lies. First, women are not completely competent, trustworthy, or capable of “real” leadership, và second, men are.

There can be devastating consequences for individual women và women’s organizations who bởi not challenge internalized sexism.

Organizations who have sầu sponsored this workshop:

Sample Non-Profit Sponsors:

Community Against Violence (Domestic và Sexual Violence program)Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape / National Sexual Violence Resource CenterYWCA Regional Northeast and Heartland Regional CouncilsYWCA of Lancaster, PAMichigan Womyn’s Music Festival (1998 – 2011)

Sample Emergency Service Organization Sponsors:

London Fire BrigadeInternational Women in Fire & Emergency Services (2001 – 2009)Tulsa Fire DepartmentVirginia Progressive sầu Firefighters AssociationAlexandria (VA) Fire Department