Are Women Partly To Blame For Their Own Oppression?

Often the word “feminism” is misunderstood. The word, itself, holds absolutely no weight, especially if we use it to simply “bash” on men for the way they oppress and mistreat women. And I’ve noticed that this “men-bashing” mantra is primarily used as an explanation for the existence of female oppression. And then I wonder: Why do such so-called “feminists” only blame the man? This is not feminism at all, but rather playing the blame-game, because it’s very easy to point fingers and say, “I am the way I am because of him.”

However, can we say that men always benefit from this oppression? Should the blame constantly be placed on the man? I mean, is that even fair? And are the majority of men necessarily performing these horrible acts most of the time? Of course not! Yes, it’s true that some men treat women lower than dirt and are beyond despicable; I absolutely loathe such pathetic men.  (Heck, I don’t even consider them men!) However, this doesn’t imply that that is where it should end now, does it? Most so-called feminists are so biased that they only look at things from one side of the spectrum – from one point of view – and that is of a woman being a saint and the man being the devil. Clichéd much?

I recall having a conversation with a close friend about this a while back, and we both came to the conclusion that albeit men are to blame for oppressing/dominating women, making them feel inferior, raping them, physically abusing them, etc. At the same time, women are equally to blame for their own subjugation, if not more so by men.

I’ve come to realize that women can be just as oppressive to each other as their male counterparts are to them. And this oppression of females often begins at home. Especially the way mothers oppress their own daughters, without realizing it – mothers who favour their sons more than they do their daughters, especially in eastern cultures (one of them being my very own culture). These mothers not only treat their sons differently than their daughters, but they even go as far as reinforcing the idea that women are subordinate to men because men are superior, both mentally and physically. Some, or perhaps even most, women are convinced that because men have uncontrollable feelings of lust, then women, by default, should cover up so as not to “lure” or “excite” the men. And failure in doing so will inevitably result in rape, which they believe is their own fault, and NEVER the man’s. As disturbing as this may sound, this is the reality that many women have to face. But it doesn’t just end with mothers, for there are mothers-in-law who are far worse to their daughters-in-law. Some loathe the idea of sharing their son with another woman so much that they end up mentally abusing their daughter-in-law, cursing her, and some even go as far as physically maiming her, or perhaps even worse. Basically, they do/say anything in their power to make another woman’s life a living hell!

Nevertheless, while most women may not be aggressive in the same way men are, cross-cultural studies confirm that girls and women are equally aggressive in “indirect” ways, and mainly toward each other. Women envy and compete against other women, instead of men, and often tend to deny this; even to themselves. Women compete to be the prettiest, the thinnest, the most talented, and perhaps even the smartest. And, especially in the west, popular culture is full of anorexic, surgically modified women. It almost seems to me that many women try to maintain themselves just so that they can beat out the competition with other women, ensuring that they are envied. And it is usually this envy which gives them some sort of uncanny gratification – a sense of power that is unmatched.

Of course, that’s never where it ends. Like men, many women also hold sexist beliefs and are often unaware of it. While women depend on each other for emotional/intellectual bonding, their inevitable power to form cliques, gossip about/backbite, and shun one another enforces conformity, and hence discourages self-confidence and psychological clarity from girlhood on. As a matter of fact, women all over the world seem to oppress each other in one way or another. They say and do anything in their power to put other women down. From calling each other derogatory names such as “slut” /“bitch” to backbiting to causing physical harm to emotionally blackmailing them. It’s never-ending.

And then I can’t help wonder why, we women, do this to each other – women, who are educated and supposedly civilized. Can we strive to better ourselves without hurting others? Can we make ourselves feel good without hurting others? I feel this is possible but it will take a lot of work from all women, no matter what colour, age, race, culture, religion, or nationality we belong to. We need to all work together and accept each other for who we really are.

So, to conclude: Are women oppressed by other women? Yes. Do oppressed people internalize the oppressor’s attitudes? Yes, again, and without a single doubt. Women, and particularly these so-called feminists, must therefore acknowledge their own sexism before solely blaming the man for every single thing. They also need to realize their gendered double-standards in order to practice sisterhood; they need to resist sexism, treat other women ethically, and forge realistic and compassionate personal as well as political unions. Otherwise, the words “women’s oppression” becomes synonymous and vacuous, lacking any iota of credibility.

8 responses to “Are Women Partly To Blame For Their Own Oppression?

  1. I’m glad you have spoken the truth.I’m a woman and I think exactly the same.Why do women compete against each other instead of supporting ourselves? It’s ridiculous. And how pathetic is it that some women even have sexist views on how our male siblings are superior to us.I hope more women read this article.

    • Hi Maria!

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for leaving such an intelligent and thoughtful comment. It’s very refreshing to see that there are women like you out there who also feel that women can be just as vindictive and vicious to each other, as their male counterparts are to them. It’s very, very sad. The sadder thing is that I actually know of such women, and they call themselves “feminists,” while at the same time, they go around backbiting and calling other women “sluts” and “bitches.” If that isn’t sad, then I don’t know what is. We can truly be our own enemy. Sigh.

  2. “Women hate women. It’s an undeniable fact.”… I’m sure there would be finer detail to this claim, like a specific age group or certain women that fall under this fact (I trust that it is a fact since you’ve mentioned it). I and the majority of women I know do not hate women, especially those of relation to us, i.e. Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Daughters, Grand-daughters, Sisters, and undoubtedly certain friends and women of a certain calibre that we know of. Hate is a strong word, there must be something specific to it?

    However, you raise a very good point. Oppression isn’t only from Men it’s from Women alike, which is very sad to see. We’d expect more emotion from women but it’s less so. Competitive women are supposed to be a symbol of pride yet they come across as witches!

    p.s. Men are also victim to oppression but not in significant number.

    • Well, you”re right to say that hate is rather strong a word, and I could be painting everything in one brush; however, I should have made myself clearer when I made that claim, for I meant “hate” more in the subconscious sense. Yes, we all love our girl friends, sisters, mothers, aunts, etc. However, there are many, many cases where sisters may love each other on the surface, but secretly resent each other, either for their beauty, talents, or the fact that one sister is more favoured/loved than the other.

      The same goes for friends as well. We ALL have friends we love to the core of our being, but there are times where we want to prove to them that we can do better than them in terms of finding a mate, our intellectual advancement, and perhaps even success. We don’t have ill intentions; nope, none whatsoever. Yet, we can’t control our subconscious. It’s innate, I believe. Like I think we, women, are the way we are ’cause of evolution and the way we are designed. And of course, it has a LOT to do with the survival of the fittest. We are, by nature, very competitive. So, no matter how much we love someone, that love could easily turn into hate if that person becomes a threat to us, our success, and our ability to survive. And it all happens subconsciously. We will slowly start to distance ourselves from that person. We will limit our communication with them, until we feel they are no longer a threat to us. And we will gradually come back to them. It’s complicated to explain, ’cause there is a lot of psychology involved in it. And I LOOOOOVE psychology! 😛

      But, anyway, you’ve brought up a VERY interesting topic, and now I am thinking of writing a separate blog post on this whole claim of why I mentioned the whole “Women hate women” thing in my article. Btw, that was inspired by Chirs Rock (he’s so hilarious and there’s SO much truth in everything he’s saying). Here check it out here:

  3. Pingback: MGTOW and Radfem·

  4. Hello. what an informative read. it is so sad that we as women do not see how much power we could have if we stood together intead of tearing each other down. please like my page on facebook “help another woman up campaign” and help to encourage us women to support each other instead of oppress each other.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Thadekile! I would be more than happy to join/like your page! You are indeed supporting a great cause; something I, too, LOVE and incorporate into my daily life. Nothing makes me more happy than to see other women flourish in all and every aspect of their lives, be it education, work, motherhood — the works! Looking forward to hearing from you again soon. Warmest regards 🙂

  5. This is the problem, women expecting things from other women. Men dont expect anything from other men.

    Women hold each other back by not giving them space, but its not a thing in them to do because it goes in the wrong direction. Women push each other in directions that make them more likely to reproduce, if true biological competition was taking place this would be the reverse. Women push each other to improve their appearance, to not do anything other then become mothers, all things that are not a sign of biological competition.

    Women punish other women for trying to get into the things men are in. This looks on the surface like competition, but its not because men dont select these women for reproduction, these women men get more money and social power but they dont get more reproductive power.

    The way mothers treat their daughters and mother inlaws act etc has no biological advantage either, her grand children will be worse off for it.

    Men dont have to be cruel to women directly to be oppressing them, its unspoken behaviour where women know where the line is and over that line is backlash. Women fight each other within that line, if they went over it then male aggression will be more disable. Women do try and keep each other in that zone and this is why women keep women out of things that are not even a threat to women but are a threat to men.

    Women would keep other women out of playing football with the men, but when women do play football with the men it does not get them chips with men on a sexual level, they still remain focused on the other types of women not playing and in the end may become aggressive to the women wanting to play rather then becoming more attracted to them. Women notice this, and as a result look like they are excluding women from the pack when they go over a certain line but they are not, whats happening is the pack dont want to go over the line so they dont go with the other woman, they try to get her to come back so they can level with her again without having to risk crossing the line themselves. What you have to do as a woman is cross that line and recognise what the backlash from other women is about. This is where you get to feel isolated and uneasy and through it you break out of the need for pack support, and you get more able to be individualistic because you become less dependant on emotional support. When you get to that point where you dont need other women, and grow confidence and strength (which can only come when the supports are removed and you face the wind) you will find its men who are trying to knock you down, they are not trying to date you anymore they will move onto real aggression. Other women will spot how men react to you, and some women will question it and notice its not right and they will realize men are only being nice to them because they are acting a certain way rather then been down to just how the men they know are.

    When women reach this point they may get branded as masculine, and it may lead them to try and dress up more to prove they are not masculine or dont want to be a man, just dont do it because it wont work and it will make you look like you are just competing and doing it all for male attention. Stay who you are, if you was a dressed up person to start with stay there and if you was more a tomboy stay there.

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