Strategic Misogyny was born out of a small working group on sexism. We have created this space as an online forum for fellow students and staff at our university and at other universities to share their stories of sexism and sexual harassment/assault.
Marilyn Frye said sexism is reproduced by others’ refusal to recognise it; consequently, the action of making sexism visible and recognised becomes a political project (Frye 1983). We collect stories in order to expose sexist acts for what they are, and to connect the dots between stories of sexism at our university and others in the UK. Our mission is to expose the systematic nature of sexism so that we can intervene in its reproduction and institutionalisation. To achieve this objective, we share our personal stories, as well as other news of institutional sexism.
Our name, Strategic Misogyny, refers to how sexism and sexual harassment/assault work strategically in our universities to secure institutional power for some while denying it to others. This becomes clearer when we think about the connections between the culture of sexual harassment and the gendered breakdown of labor at our universities (wherein men still occupy the majority of top management and teaching positions), as well as the connections between sexual harassment and ‘academic sexism’ (erasing work authored by women and people of color in the classroom, and equating men with the “universal” while equating women and people of colour with the “particular”).
We recognise our university experiences exist as part of a wider social structure of patriarchy, and that sexism often collaborates with other forms of discrimination, e.g. racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism, and class inequalities, to perpetuate existing institutionalised power structures. We are dedicated to confronting sexism on our campus from an intersectional perspective because as Audre Lorde said, “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives” (Lorde 1984).
We invite you to join us in our mission and share your stories with us. Stories may range from daily microaggressions, so frequent and normalised, to sexual harassment and violence. Stories can be one-liners or essays. We practice a strict safe spaces policy and prioritize the privacy of everyone who posts to our blog.
Lorde, Audre (1984). Sister Outsider. Berkely, CA: Crossing Press.
Frye, Marilyn (1983). “Oppression” in The Politics of Reality. Crossing Press.