If you’re a woman who exists in this world, you’ve probably recognized patterns of male behavior that are used to silence, belittle, and control women. Women have been finding and naming these behaviors for years — as second-wave feminists knew, naming and recognizing is an important step in consciousness-raising. This is why men don’t want us to be able to do it.
As feminism is being corrupted by male interests and attempting to reframe male sexual access and denial of our experiences as “inclusive,” one woman has come up with a tool to help women recognize the misogyny around them. Rose, a 73-year-old second-wave feminist who goes by the username “TheBewilderness” online, has written, with the help of her friends, the “Rules of Misogyny.”
Originally only nine rules, the list has expanded to name an increasing number of male-patterns over time. The rules have taken on a life of their own, and women are expanding upon the list and creating memes and graphics based on their own experiences.
Learning these rules, and applying them when you encounter male behavior in the wild, can help every woman avoid patriarchal gaslighting. These rules are reprinted here (with permission) to help maintain a record.
1. Women are responsible for what men do.
2. Women saying no to men is a hate crime.
3. Women speaking for themselves are exclusionary and selfish.
4. Women’s opinions are violence against men, thus male violence against women is justified.
5. Women and Feminism must be useful to men or they are worthless.
6. Women who go around being female AT men by menstruating and breastfeeding babies deserve punishment.
7. Women should always be grateful to men for everything.
8. Men are whatever men say they are and women are whatever men say they are.
9. Men always know the “real reasons” for everything women do and say.
10. The worst thing about male violence is that it makes men look bad.
11. Whatever women suffer from, it is worse when it happens to men.
12. Women’s ability to recognize male behavior patterns is misandry.
13. Angry women are crazy. Angry men have trouble expressing themselves.
14. Women have all the rights they need: The right to remain silent.
15. Men are the default human. Women are strange subhuman others.
16. Everyone owns and controls women’s bodies except the women themselves.
17. Men are better at performing femininity than women are because they invented it and it gives them a boner.
The generous support of our readers allows 4W to pay our all-female staff and over 50 writers across the globe for original articles and reporting you can’t find anywhere else. Like our work? Become a monthly donor!
Enter your email below to sign in or become a 4W member and join the conversation.
(Already did this? Try refreshing the page!)