Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date



Visual and Performing Arts, College of


Theatre and Dance, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. James Al-Shamma

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


It seems that more women fight against each other than for one another. Women have developed a reputation for gossiping to disparage the reputation of each other, leveraging terms like “floozie,” “bimbo,” and “slut” against one another. While women will rage against men who support the patriarchy, women are often some of the strictest enforcers of its standards. In Kate Hamill’s playscript Little Women, an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel, it is Aunt March, not a man, who places pressure on Jo to assimilate to society’s expectation of women. This push of conformity may reflect Aunt March’s own fears and internalized misogyny. For many women, it is their mother or older female relatives who push conformity. Women’s internalized misogyny leads to insecurity, jealousy, the enforcement of patriarchy on one another, and ultimately the loss of support for one another. All in all, internalized misogyny is the culprit for poor relationships between women. It will take community to erase the patriarchy that enforces the competition and jealousy to which women have been subjected.