There are a dozen things that a female student has to be wary of when she starts living abroad. While all students have to pick up a set of life skills not just to survive, but learn how to thrive when studying abroad, it can be especially hard for a woman in specific ways.
Only owing to their gender, female students can find themselves becoming prey to a host of predators or problems which they need to be aware of.
When it comes to identifying misogynists, it can be both difficult as well as an overwhelming prospect. It is not very easy to locate these people- most of the time, they are themselves not aware of their underlying thought patterns and mannerisms. And even if they are, they become increasingly good at putting on a charming façade, making it difficult to identify them.
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Here are some essential things every female student must know about identifying misogynists abroad, and what they can do about it.
What, or Who Are Misogynists?
Misogynists are people who have an unconscious hatred towards women. They are mostly men. However, there can also be a female misogynist. These people may or may not be aware of this hatred they hold for women in general, but their actions eventually expose it.
How Does One Become a Misogynist?
In most cases, misogyny occurs because an individual has experienced specific traumatic incidents involving some female figure who they have trusted.
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This can be in the form of an abusive mother, or one who is cold and distant, a teacher whom they believed, a girlfriend, or a female relative. The abuse or the trauma plants a seed deep into the subcortical matter of their brain. This becomes a lifelong, deep-rooted hatred for women, which manifests itself in many ways.
The trauma or abuse can be seen as a seed that is planted into the brain of an individual at a very early age. Over time, this seed begins to germinate and grow without any conscious knowledge of the individual.
The roots plant itself deeply into the memory as well as the fear processing areas of the brain. Eventually, these start to affect the rational thinking and decision-making capabilities of the individual.
How Can You Identify a Misogynist?
Although at first, the signs are not as apparent and obvious, over time, if the abuse, neglect, or mistreatment continues, this behaviour gets more forceful and more overt. However, in many cases, the misogynist himself may not realize his behaviour or attitude.
The unfortunate thing about the misogynistic individual is that the people around him, as well as himself, may fail to realize the signs and his behaviour.
Here are some of the typical traits of a misogynist:
- The individual feels not only hatred, but also superiority and hostility towards one woman, several, or maybe even all women.
- He feels the overwhelming need to control and dominate women. He will police them, suppress, punish, and also banish any and every woman who challenges his male dominance.
- To cover up his hatred for women, he will sugarcoat his words, actions, and behaviour at first. He may come off as charming, sweet, flirtatious, and even kind. However, this is all a garb. Once he wins over the trust of the women he has targeted, he will start to exhibit other undesirable qualities, such as suppressing and oppressing them, dominating them, making them feel guilty for their way of behaving, talking, dressing, etc.
- He will expend a lot of energy in trying to prove women wrong in any aspect that he can. He will find ways to insult her, demean her and make her feel inferior, not only in private moments but also when they are out in public. He will do this consciously in front of others so that she is made to feel inferior. It will take a long time for the women to realize and come to terms with this feeling because he will already have built a trust factor with her. This will not allow her to see through him and realize his true intentions immediately.
- His behaviour and treatment of men will be mostly different compared to how he treats women. He will be kind-hearted, friendly, and genuinely sociable with men. These might be friends, family, relatives, or even just random men. He will always prioritize men. He will be quick to praise a man for the same actions for which he will criticize a woman.
- He will make a woman feel less capable and less sensible than men in any aspect of life.
- These types of men absolutely cannot stand the sight of successful women. If he does happen to cross paths with a woman who is more successful than he is, he will take it as a personal attack to his ego. Any woman who is more successful than him is treated as poison, and he will do anything within his power to undermine the woman.
While these are just some of the more apparent traits of misogynists, there are many more that can be discussed at length. Keep in mind that while the majority of misogynists are men, there is also a small population of women who can be misogynistic.
These might stem from the same causes or different causes, and many women might not be aware that they hold this attitude and belief.
For female students who are studying abroad, it is essential to be able to identify these traits so that they can be aware if they are interacting with a misogynist.
In case they realize it early on, it is a good idea to forgo interaction with this individual, as continuing it might eventually turn out to be toxic for these women, and can even put them in physical and mental danger.
These misogynists have a strong and robust hold over these women who they wish to victimize, and it is thus essential to not let yourself become a victim in this situation. In case you feel any danger to yourself, make sure you alert higher authorities and get help.