Thought Catalog

15 People On The Destructive Ideals Society Teaches Girls

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Found on r/AskWomen.

1. Allowing boys to tease you

That a boy teasing you, or hurting you, means that he likes you. That being treated badly is a sign of love and affection. I think it feeds into some unhealthy relationship behaviours later in life.

2. Men can’t control themselves

That men can’t “control themselves” and women must take responsibility for that lack of control by dressing modestly and not entering compromising situations.

You know what a dude who can’t control himself is? A rapist.

3. Sex is bad

That sex is bad, virginity is precious, and guys will do anything to deceive women into having sex with them.

4. Only men can enjoy sex

That men are the only one supposed to really enjoy sex. I mean, how fucked up is it that I knew how to get a guy off before I knew how to get myself off?

5. Being beautiful gets you places

That they have to be beautiful to be worthy of love.

6. This is a big one

That being “polite” entails sparing the feelings of people who disregard theirs.

7. Assertive women in society

That being a strong self-advocate makes one a ‘bitch’ or ‘cunt.’

8. Feeling threatened by other girls

“I’m not like other girls.”

I think one of the most destructive things is that other women are the enemy or that we should be threatened by or accept bullying from the prettier/smarter woman.

Little girls start tearing each other down so very early in life. We need to teach girls to stick together and be inspired by each other instead of threatened. We need girls who feel threatened to examine why. We need to stop “othering” each other in an attempt to fit in with boys.

We all need to have a little more Amy Poehler in us.

9. Mistreating men

That men are the enemy.

I have a few friends with young daughters who constantly put down men. Just because they have had bad relationships doesn’t mean that they need to project their hatred of the male species onto their daughters.

I think that this train of thought just fuels gender wars. We need to raise women to respect men…and vice versa, if course.

10. These five things

That love is the solution to everything.

That you base your self-worth on finding a man.

That you need to be with someone to be happy.

To trivialize your own feelings in the face of others to spare yourself of appearing to be crazy.

To not be confrontational and to problem solve passive aggressively.

11. Comparing boys to girls

Sort of a counter-productive method but when we say things to young girls like “Girls can do that, too,” we are (in our adult minds, with social context) telling girls that yes they are capable but only in comparison to boys who are capable by default.

Some girls won’t even assume there’s nothing they can’t do. Telling them “girls can do anything boys can do!” just inadvertently tells them, “there’s a difference between you and boys automatically.”

12. Codependency

That if you just love someone hard enough they’ll become the perfect partner. It opens the doors for terribly abusive relationships and makes codependency look like a virtue (think Beauty and the Beast).

13. The “rules” of romance

That you should sit around and wait for the man to make ALL of the moves. Should you make any moves yourself, you will look desperate.

Taught socially/in teen friendship groups- that you should wait 10-15 minutes before replying to a text so that you don’t look desperate. That shit is SO immature.

14. Misogyny

That it’s okay to internalize and spread misogyny among ourselves.

Honestly, most of the negative reinforcement and misogyny that I experienced growing up rarely ever came from a man or was said directly to my face, but came from close friends gossiping about others. I think that people can say the most hateful/ hurtful things when they think they’re in close company, but what they don’t realize is that their friend/ daughter/ niece is internalizing what they’re saying.

Those girls are totally asking for it because they’re wearing short skirts? I internalize that victim blaming is okay. Your female co-worker is such a bitch because she wants things done on time? I internalize that women should not be assertive in the workplace. You talk about how fat this celebrity has gotten? I internalize that overweight women do not matter as much as thin women.

If some guy/person told me that I deserve to get raped for something I was wearing, I would write him off as an asshole. But when it comes indirectly from someone I trust (i.e. if a friend commented, “Wow! It’s like she wants to get raped tonight”), I’d be much more likely to internalize that as truth. And that is terribly toxic.

15. Apologizing for everything

To apologize for her gender.

I was raised like this, and despite knowing full well how irrational it is, I still feel that I need to continually apologize for everything I am and everything I do.

I’m sorry for blocking your view of the pinto beans in the supermarket. I’m sorry for needing to pass you in the narrow hallway. I’m sorry for walking through that door you so thoughtfully held open for me. I’m sorry I didn’t have an extra quarter so you could round my change up to a $5 bill. I’m sorry that I need your attention for “just a quick second”. I’m so sorry for every action that I take, including the ones that I don’t, and I begin every question with “sorry” because to even make myself noticed is to impose upon the time of others. TC mark

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