We are so privileged to have Chief jona olsson provide us with another round of her incredibly impactful session for women called, When I Doubt Myself and Other Women-Confronting Internalized Misogyny
Leadership in the fire service demands self-confidence, along with trust of one’s own knowledge, judgment and capabilities. While most women have successfully challenged sexist comments, behaviours, policies and organizational structures to get to their positions, the impact of internalized sexism / misogyny often still holds us back. A lifetime of sexist messages causes us to doubt our judgment, our competence, our leadership capacity and each other. In these sessions, we’ll examine how our doubt affects our leadership, training and support of other women firefighters. Strategies will be offered to identify and confront internalized sexism to help every woman (at any level of the fire service) perform her very best.
Girls and women, boys and men hear sexist messages (lies and stereotypes) about women over their entire lifetimes. They hear that women are stupid, weak, passive, manipulative, with no capacity for intellectual pursuits, courage or leadership.
There are two logical, predictable consequences of a lifetime of such messages. First, boys / men will grow to believe many of the messages, and treat women accordingly. They will be thoroughly indoctrinated into their role in sexism - protecting their male privilege by colluding with the perpetuation of sexism.
But there is a second logical consequence - the same messages also stick to girls and women, resulting in internalized sexism / internalized misogyny. Women and girls are taught to act out the lies and stereotypes, doubting themselves and other females (sometimes called “horizontal hostility.”) This is the way women collude with the perpetuation of sexism. For the sexist system to be maintained and passed on to the next generation, we all must believe the messages (lies and stereotypes) to some degree, and collude with sexism by performing our assigned roles.
Part 2 registration details coming soon!