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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

LYONS: This is why we can’t have nice things


Society has a strange agreed upon resentment towards young women. If they simply like what’s popular, they’re basic. If they’re into things that are less mainstream, they’re trying too hard to be different. Wearing revealing clothing means you’re “asking for it” and covering up makes you boring. Prude or slut, madonna or whore.

The phenomena of young women being made fun of simply for existing is prevalent on all forms of social media. You can find videos making fun of them for dancing, for their bodies and even for how they speak. An array of comments can be seen under any video or photo of a young woman such as, “The f in women stands for funny” and “This is why I don’t want a daughter,” along with referring to women exclusively as females

Many young women face ridicule for visibly wearing makeup, whether that be to express themselves or to fit into the current beauty standard. However if you don’t wear makeup and simultaneously don’t fit into the beauty standard, you’re still ugly, which trumps all other aspects of your personhood. Then if you start wearing makeup, you’re trying too hard or lying. You must be beautiful with no, or at the very least undetectable, makeup.

Shockingly, this can be tracked to misogyny.

Misogyny can be difficult to spot outright, as it’s ingrained so deeply into our culture it can get lost in subtlety.

This results in the idea of not being like “other girls,” a phase which many women have gone through at some point in their lives. These other girls liked pink, makeup and attention. Basically if you were like these mythical “other girls” it meant that you were shallow and vapid, thus undeserving of respect. This is a lose-lose scenario. You can either fit into the binary of femininity or exist outside of it. Either way you will face ridicule. This stereotype is extremely toxic and indicative of society’s infantilization of femininity.

It’s not just men who help to perpetuate these unfair standards, women too can be deeply cruel to one another and themselves. This is referred to as internalized misogyny

Internalized misogyny is when women hold subconscious hatred for other women or stereotypically feminine qualities. This can be seen in making negative remarks about your or other women’s bodies, slut shaming and comparing other women. Effectively seeing other women as a threat to yourself. 

The never-ending cycle of young women just trying to do something they enjoy and being judged for it has permeated the lives of most women at one point or another. 

The minds of young women are constantly being fed these ideas all while surviving the turbulent time that is adolescence. The effects of being ridiculed for what they enjoy doing and thus trying to fit into an impossible mold can weigh heavily on self-perception and esteem. 

Over the past 50 years, with the advent of supermodels, beauty magazines and social media, eating disorders among adolescent girls has increased at a concerning rate. The rate for anorexia nervosa is 0.48% among girls from the ages of 15 to 19 years old and around 1% to 5% of girls are bulimic. Several studies report that media regarding physical appearance is linked to disordered eating behavior in girls. Young women are being fed the idea that they will never be good enough in their skin.

This is just one symptom of how young women will mold themselves based on society’s cues and who they can and cannot be. 

The first step to stopping this issue of tearing women and girls down is to come to terms with how we personally perpetuate misogyny. Ask yourself what internal narratives you have that look down on women and feminine presenting people. Only by addressing our own shortcomings can we actually foster a better world.

This story was written by Kirsten Lyons. She can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Kirsten Lyons
Kirsten Lyons, Assistant Opinions Editor
Kirsten Lyons is a sophomore from St. Paul, Minnesota studying journalism and peace studies and is the Assistant Opinions Editor at the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire she enjoys knitting, reading and trying out new recipes. She is excited to grow as a journalist at the Wire and help others do the same.

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