Women, fear culture and a thousand guts

Let’s talk about fear, shall we? I want to talk about fear because I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being afraid, and I’m tired of watching other women and girls be intimidated. We have a culture so laced with intimidation norms that we are often cornered by fear without even fully realizing it.

It happens every day on scales large and small. It’s the small scale ones, I think, that are the most powerful. When women are obviously and broadly discriminated against, we have strength in numbers. We can fight against it. It’s not so easy on smaller, more nuanced scale. For example, we learned this week that a majority of men resent it when their wives are more successful than they are. While the study is a large, glaring piece of evidence of emotional discrimination, how do you think that resentment manifests itself inside a marriage? I imagine it’s subtle, the way husbands express their displeasure with their wives’ success. I imagine each wife feels sorry for her husband and gradually backs off of her upward movement in the interest of her marriage.

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