What comes to mind when you think of the feminine in the world? Do you think “deep respect”? or “high esteem and regard”? Or even “appreciation”? These are all synonyms for reverence.
Reverence is not often uses in conjunction with the feminine! But that’s not all on men. A lot of us have internalized the sexism and bias the culture has towards women. We have come to believe that the attitudes about our gender are valid and real. Movies, advertisements, the behavior of our parents and families might have taught us that women are less valuable than men. There are separate standards for men and women- in behaviors from sexuality to aggression, value of work, share of voice and appearance. These standards are enforced by women and men alike. This internalized misogyny falls under a larger category of “internalized oppression”- where the oppressor literally gets in your head. Yes, often we’ve been so steeped in bias, it’s now in us!
We come to believe the systems that keep us in limited power and decision making positions in the culture are valid. When this misogyny is internalized, it becomes self-hatred, and can result in depression, low self esteem, eating disorders or fracturing of female friendships and mentorship.
To reclaim self love, to find deep respect for the feminine, is a radical act.
And once you have that idea in your head, that you and all women are worthy of full appreciation, esteem and regard, you might set new kinds of boundaries on what is acceptable to you, and the world around you feels that and begins to shift.