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Toxic Femininity in Three Forms

by Grecu Daniel Cristian 4 months ago in list
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Is there such a thing as poisonous femininity? If so, how does it appear?

Mean Girls (2004). Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

We've all heard of the term "toxic masculinity" by now. Toxic masculinity is unquestionably a problem, but I feel that toxic femininity is a lesser-known one. Toxic femininity isn't as loud or aggressive as toxic masculinity, but it's just as dangerous.

Toxic femininity is the outcome of bad views about womanhood, just as toxic masculinity is the result of unhealthy beliefs about manhood.

Three examples of toxic femininity are given below:

1. Aggression in Relationships

Relational aggression is a type of hostility in which one person hurts another by using social exclusion. Relational aggressiveness is recognizable to anybody who has faced nasty females in high school.

Excluding someone from social occasions, spreading malicious stories about them, or providing backhanded compliments are all examples of relational violence. Relational antagonism is best described as "you can't sit with us."

It's excruciatingly terrible to be ostracized from a social group. Particularly for young females who bond primarily through verbal communication. Exclusion from their peer group can inflict emotional wounds that last a lifetime.

Girls and women are more prone than boys and men to engage in relational aggressiveness. This is due to the fact that girls and women are often educated to be "ladylike" and rarely express themselves through physical aggression, therefore they find other methods to express themselves.

Because relational hostility is hidden, it is more difficult to combat than violent violence.Passive aggressiveness takes the form of relational aggression. This act permits a girl or woman to project a feminine and pleasing appearance while still causing damage to others.

Maybe if girls and women were taught how to communicate their emotions in healthy ways, such as assertiveness, they wouldn't lash out in relational aggression's passive-aggressive ways.

2. Bridezillas

A bridezilla is a bride-to-be who will go to any length to ensure her wedding day is flawless, even if it involves abusing those around her.

Bridezillas have a reputation for demanding ridiculous things. Consider the bride who asked that everyone of her guests pay $1,500 to attend her wedding or the bride who severed ties with guests who couldn't afford to spend $3,000 to attend her destination wedding, both of which went viral in 2018.

It's easy to scoff at bridezillas and dismiss them as spoiled brats, but there's more to the story.

Women are conditioned to believe that their wedding day is the most significant day of their lives from the time they are young. It's not the day they graduate from college or receive their first promotion; it's the day they marry.

For some heterosexual women, her wedding signifies the realization that she is valuable because a guy believes she is valuable. The cost of the ring, the cost of her gown, and the cost of the wedding ceremony are all used to evaluate her worth.

Bridezillas may vanish if we stopped educating females that their worth is directly proportional to the cost of their wedding.

3. "Karens" or Damsels in Distress

Women have worked for decades to be treated on an equal footing with men, and the fight is far from done. Because women have been perceived as inferior to males for hundreds of years, some women try to capitalize on this damaging stereotype.

Women who play the role of "damsel in distress" avoid taking responsibility for their actions by pretending to be stupid or helpless. This action not only undermines the credibility of the woman posing as a damsel in distress, but it also undermines the credibility of all women.

Women who behave in a Karen-like manner are the most renowned example of a damsel in distress. I wrote an essay last year on the Karen meme and why there is no male counterpart to a Karen. Here's what I came up with:

“Karen memes usually involve seeking the help of an authority figure of some kind (the manager, the police, etc.) The Karens in these scenarios claim that they are being harmed and need protection from a person in power. In this way, Karens present themselves as damsels in distress and this same behavior from a man is perceived as weak, and therefore, “feminine.” (source).

Karens are dangerous because their position as privileged white women allows them to easily hurt others, particularly people of color, and get away with it.

. . . . . . . . . .

Toxic femininity can be seen in a variety of ways. I've merely scratched the surface with these three instances. Toxic femininity is a byproduct of toxic masculinity, while toxic masculinity is a result of toxic femininity. Without the other, neither can exist.

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Grecu Daniel Cristian

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