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Emancipate Your Mind: 087: Internalized Misogyny and the “Ideal Woman”

There is a prevalent myth, particularly in high demand religion, that there exists such a thing as an “ideal woman”. In Christianity, she is described in Proverbs 31. But this idea that there is a feminine “ideal” that women should strive for exists across religions from Islam to Hinduism. You’ve likely encountered this idea out in the secular world too.

This ideal says that there’s a certain acceptable way to be a woman and that there are unacceptable ways to be a woman. This creates problems because we as women aren’t a monolith. We are highly individualized, complex, and even paradoxical beings. Each of us is incredibly unique.

In order to give ourselves permission to whatever kind of unique expression of womanhood that we are, we must understand the subconscious programming inside of ourselves that tells us what is ok to express and what is not.

Becoming fully comfortable with both our feminine and masculine traits (because YES, all humans have both) means allowing ourselves to become aware of our programming, challenge it, and begin to rewrite it.



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Dehlin, Audrianna. “Young Women’s Sexist Beliefs and Internalized Misogyny: Links with Psychosocial and Relational Functioning and Sociopolitical Behavior”. 2018. Utah State University.

Fatima, Sabina. “Why Women Perpetuate Patriarchy”. 2020.

Ferguson, Sian. “4 Common Phrases that Demonstrate Internalized Misogyny”. 2016. Everyday Feminism.

Gaylor, A.L. “Why Women Need Freedom From Religion”. 1993. Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Hibben, Aya. “Recognize Your Own Internalized Misogyny”. 2022. The Daily Utah Chronicle.

Kapoor, Anita. “Female Misogyny”. 2013. TedX Singapore Women. YouTube.

Kumar, Riya. “Breaking the Cycle: My Journey with Internalized Misogyny”. 2021. TedX Youth. YouTube.

Mary. “12 Characteristics of a Godly Woman (How to Become a True Woman of God)”. 2017. Healthy Christian Home.

Mehendiratta, Ashmeeta. “This Women’s Day, Let’s Kill the Good Girl Stereotype”. 2017. Youth Ki Awaaz.

Mulia, Musdah. “The Characteristics of the Ideal Woman in the Quran”. 2021. Translated and adapted from a 2014 article from the Jakarta: Megawati Institute.

Nadauld, Margaret D. “The Joy of Womanhood”. October, 2020. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints General Conference.

Planned Parenthood. “What are Gender Roles and Stereotypes? “.

Tinsley, Catherine and Ely, Robin. “What Most People Get Wrong About Men and Women: Research Shows the Sexes Aren’t So Different”. June 2018, Harvard Business Review.

United Nations. “Gender Stereotyping: OHCHR and Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equality”.

Young Mormon Feminists. “The Church vs. The World: Internalized Misogyny”. 2013.


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