Internalized misogyny is a real phenomenon. It is described as the “involuntary belief by girls and women that the lies, stereotypes and myths about girls and women that are delivered to everyone in a sexist society ARE TRUE”.
A prime example of internalized misogyny is a statement that Candice Jackson, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education, gave to the New York Times, in which she said that young female students who report rape or sexual assault, “…90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right,’”.
Jackson’s boss, Betsy Devos, Secretary of Education, apparently agrees with Jackson’s feelings on the subject. In September, Devos implemented a new policy that increased protections for students accused of sexual misconduct.
The new policy allows sexual assault cases in schools to be settled by mediation, and raises the standard of proof required by accusers from a “preponderance of evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence”. As an interesting footnote, Devos implemented these changes two days after meeting with former Michigan State president, Lou Anna Simon. Simon recently resigned as president of Michigan State in disgrace after Larry Nassar, a former athletic department doctor at the university, was found guilty of sexual assault and was sentenced to 175 years in prison.
As a direct result of the new policy, three civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Education, Devos, and Jackson. The groups, Equal Rights Advocates, Victims Rights Law Center, and SurvJustice, argue “that the changes are discriminatory, violate federal law and are having a “chilling effect” on assault reports.
In addition, schools are either not responding to the fewer complaints or not taking action as quickly, according to the suit.”
The complaint even insinuates that President Donald Trump had an impact on the new, misogynistic policy, saying that “the discriminatory mindset not only motivated decision makers at the department, it flows from the top of the Executive Branch.”
Given the aforementioned quote attributed to Jackson, and the wild abundance of misogynistic things Trump has said, a pattern of discrimination against women isn’t hard to find or prove. It should be easy to illustrate to a court that the new policy was implemented simply because of discrimination against women.