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Someone Asked Internet Users To Share What Toxic Femininity Looks Like, Here Are 35 Answers

Hits: 54

Snowflake warning: Unlike the original article. I did not insert asterisks in potentially offensive words. You’ve been warned

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Most of the people responding are women with just a few men. Just like anybody can learn to be a wonderful, kind, and caring person, everybody has the potential to be an awful, cruel, and malicious individual. Being a horrible human being who spreads negativity and misery isn’t restricted by gender, age, race, or culture.

However, the internet usually tends to hyper-focus on toxic masculinity, suggesting that it’s mainly only guys who have the potential to be terrible human beings. That’s not the case. This time, we’re shining a light on some honest examples of what toxic femininity looks like, as shared by internet users in this candid and blunt r/AskReddit thread.

redditor u/imogen2797 who was kind enough to answer our questions and share her insights about toxic femininity. “I think a lot of toxic femininity is caused by jealousy, the need for a hierarchy and similarly, in a way, to feel empowered by bringing down other women,” she said.

British psychotherapist Silva Neves shared his thoughts about toxic behaviors. He stressed that it’s very important to highlight that “people are not toxic as and of themselves.” In other words, it’s the ideas and belief systems that are at fault, not necessarily the people themselves. Read on for his insights as well.

Illegals in DC
#1

I hate the whole “oh if you hold a baby you’ll want one” or “baby smell is the best” or my least favorite “you’re so good with kids, you’ll be a great mom!” comments. NOT EVERY WOMAN WANTS TO BE A MOM, NOT EVERY WOMAN EVEN LIKES KIDS! The fact that I’m a decent human being to my friends kids doesn’t mean I’ll be a good mom. You know what I love? My current lifestyle. I didn’t work today and you know what I did? I sat in bed, ate chocolate, watched Ice Cold Killers, and now I’m gonna take a nice long nap at 3 in the afternoon! How in gods name would a child enhance my life in any way? I’m 26 and the constant barrage of “you’re not getting any younger” comments are starting to get under my skin.

Redditor u/imogen2797, who created the thread on r/AskReddit in the first place, told Bored Panda that she personally believes that jealousy and bullying lie at the core of toxic femininity, not manipulation and passive aggression.

“Unfortunately, both toxic femininity and toxic masculinity seem to have their roots deep in our society at this current stage. For someone who is in the firing line of this, I would suggest seeking support from like-minded women, as well as calling out toxic behaviors as they happen,” she shared her thoughts on what someone should do if they find themselves a victim of toxic femininity. It’s vital to have firm boundaries, as well as the courage to cut toxic people out of your life.

“People can (mostly) choose the people they surround themselves with, and if something isn’t serving you in a positive way, cut it out.”

#2

Assuming men are never the victim of physical abuse or intimidation.

Meanwhile, for someone who recently figured out that they are a toxic individual, this sense of recognition is a good start. “I think 99% of women will at some point hold toxic views about other women in some way or another, but it is so important to value body autonomy and the rights that women have to choose what they want to do with their bodies and lives. In a world that is ruled by men, we need to lift up other women instead of tearing them down,” the redditor said.

The author of the thread also opened up about the inspiration for the question. “I first heard the term ‘toxic femininity’ when I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post that read, ‘When are we gonna start talking about toxic femininity for a change?’ To be honest, at first, I thought it was a cop-out written by men to deflect an issue that faces that community so heavily, back onto women. I posted to Reddit to get opinions on both sides and I realized that toxic femininity is actually a really prevalent issue that women face,” she shared with us.

“On the one hand, I’m glad that the post got so much attention because it brings light to an issue that isn’t talked about very much. On the other hand, I did notice a lot of the comments were from men using the term ‘toxic femininity’ as a mask to hate on women and be sexist in general, e.g ‘acting as if men are put on earth to serve women,’ ‘most feminists,’ and ‘forever victimhood,’ ‘wanting the same wages as men but less work,’” the redditor stressed that some people have a very subjective understanding of toxicity and use it to further their own goals.

Meanwhile, for someone who recently figured out that they are a toxic individual, this sense of recognition is a good start. “I think 99% of women will at some point hold toxic views about other women in some way or another, but it is so important to value body autonomy and the rights that women have to choose what they want to do with their bodies and lives. In a world that is ruled by men, we need to lift up other women instead of tearing them down,” the redditor said.

The author of the thread also opened up about the inspiration for the question. “I first heard the term ‘toxic femininity’ when I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post that read, ‘When are we gonna start talking about toxic femininity for a change?’ To be honest, at first, I thought it was a cop-out written by men to deflect an issue that faces that community so heavily, back onto women. I posted to Reddit to get opinions on both sides and I realized that toxic femininity is actually a really prevalent issue that women face,” she shared with us.

“On the one hand, I’m glad that the post got so much attention because it brings light to an issue that isn’t talked about very much. On the other hand, I did notice a lot of the comments were from men using the term ‘toxic femininity’ as a mask to hate on women and be sexist in general, e.g ‘acting as if men are put on earth to serve women,’ ‘most feminists,’ and ‘forever victimhood,’ ‘wanting the same wages as men but less work,’” the redditor stressed that some people have a very subjective understanding of toxicity and use it to further their own goals.

#3 (See also #21)
Don’t you dare hit me back! I’m a lady!

Girls who hit guys because they know the guy won’t hit them back

“I think it is very important to highlight that people are not toxic as and of themselves. When we describe toxic masculinity, we do not mean that some men are toxic, we mean that the ideas and belief systems that promote strict and unrealistic ideals of masculinity are toxic—the beliefs are, not the men themselves,” psychotherapist Silva said.

“These beliefs may encourage unpleasant behaviors—behaviors can be challenged and changed too, but we don’t need to change who they are, just what they believe and how they act upon those beliefs. The same goes for toxic femininity. Being kinder, more tolerant, and more caring involves talking and connecting to a diversity of people, rather than staying in the echo chamber of only interacting with the people sharing the same beliefs.”

The expert pointed out that everyone is flawed, whether they have toxic beliefs or not. “If you are aware that you have some flaws that get in the way of living a good life, you can see a therapist to make sense of it, learn to live with it, be kinder to yourself and also learn to challenge and change some of your thought and behavioral patterns to learn to live with your own integrity and values and not against them,” Silva said that reaching out to a professional for help can be a very important step in growing as a person.

#4

Putting women down for choosing not to have children. As if the only reason we were put on earth was to be baby makers

#5

“Real women have meat on their bones.” No. No no. Real women exist regardless of size.

#6

I see a lot of body positive women that shit on my girlfriend for working out and keeping her body hairless. They always say she should be more loving of her body and embrace her body hair.

It’s annoying. She does it cause SHE likes it. She goes to the gym and does deadlifts cause it empowers her and makes her feel AMAZING. Like, we all have different ideals and visions for our life. And after moisturizing herself and shaving she likes to rub her legs together like a cricket, and nobody should be taking that little slice of heaven from her.

“Heterosexual men do not need to fight for their rights because traditionally they are the ones making the rules—which is the very roots of encouraging toxic masculinity. The only time when toxic femininity might be noticed is on social media on forums when women promote the idea that all men are bad, and to its extreme promoting the movement of ‘kill all men’. This is what we call misandry, the hate of men,” Silva said

#7
Woman arrested for making false accusations of rape

Fake domestic violence or rape accusations.

This is why I feel like the phrase “every woman should be believed” should be changed to “every woman should be taken seriously.”

Not every woman is truthful, so we can’t go in with the mindset of “oh, she’s definitely innocent.” At the same time, we can’t let cases of false accusations prevent us from taking a case seriously because “she may be another liar.”

Sadly, people are bound to make decisions on who’s innocent and who’s not without even watching the trial.

#8

Amber Heard  

Caro Caro  Amber TURD. She not only hurt Johnny but hurt the women struggling for safety, equal rights and justice.

#9

The quote “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

Basically expecting a partner to put up with your drama as proof of them actually being into you/making them jump through hoops to prove they’re into you.

Toxic women are often called ‘nice girls’ or even ‘Karens.’ They’re often egocentric, arrogant, put others down, and are entitled to the point of looking like Sunday cartoon villains. They firmly believe that the world owes them, and they will manipulate, lie, and cheat their way to whatever goal they have in mind. Everyone else be damned. So, in other words, not all that different from walking paragons of toxic masculinity (aka ‘nice guys’ and ‘Kyles’).

Redditor u/CTFOE_is_Fee, one of the moderators running the r/Nicegirls subreddit about toxic women, explained to Bored Panda during an interview why someone is a ‘nice girl.’

“Some of them are too immature to realize what they’re doing. Others are that manipulative on purpose. Lastly, some do not even realize what they’re doing,” they told us.

#10

Telling mothers that they should “suck it up” and deal with postpartum depression without help because women from previous generations were able to raise children without any complaints.

No, Carol. I’m fucking miserable, and there’s nothing shameful about getting the treatment I need to cope with my depression.

#11

Expecting all the affection and love in the world from their boyfriends and never showing a glimpse of it towards them. Men DO have feelings you know?

#12

Saying that mothers who adopt aren’t real moms. I’m adopted and I got all the love and support I needed from my mom. She continues to put her all into her kids and grandkids. I’ll be damned if anyone says she isn’t a real mom because she didn’t give birth to me and my siblings.

Commander OwO Someone once said a quote, “Mom is a verb, not a noun” meaning one can nourish and care like a mom but not be one in actuality. I think it’s a nice quote.

They shared their opinion on where the line lies between actual, genuine niceness and fake, manipulative ‘niceness’ meant to exploit someone.

“Personally, for me, the line is drawn when you can tell that someone is being passive-aggressive; when you can sense the subdued maliciousness in their words and actions. If your gut is telling you that something is not genuine about the person then they probably are not genuine. I think we’ve all experienced a few relationships like that in our lives. I do not see there being a large grey area between the two. You know when someone is being kind or not,” moderator u/CTFOE_is_Fee said.

According to Forbes, toxic femininity in the workplace revolves around backstabbing others, failing to support other women in their success, as well as being a “tool of the patriarchy to undermine femininity.”

Toxic femininity is often expressed through passive aggression. “It’s when we allow relationships and productivity to suffer because we’re not being honest about our own objectives, or when we are assuming we know best with a ‘caring’ face. It’s being a ‘Karen’ and it’s not a step forward from patriarchal systems of control. It might not involve yelling, but it’s still manipulating other people,” Forbes writes, adding that the antidote to this and to toxic masculinity are good leadership skills.

#13

When we are blind supporters of other women. Like, a woman uninvited slapping another woman’s ass isn’t as bad because it’s a woman. Cardi B drugging and robbing dudes isn’t bad because men have done that to women for ever. We don’t get passes because we’ve been victims.

Also, women who refuse to accept that men can also be victims of the patriarchy. Sure, it fucks us all in different ways to different extents, but still.

#14

The whole “mamma bear” knows better than a medical professional about anything to with their children.

#15

The idea that women should be meek and pretty 24/7, and if you are a loud, tomboyish woman, you’re not a real woman.

As a lifelong tomboy, I’ve been put down a lot for not wearing makeup and doing “manly jobs”. I’ve actually got some internalized misogyny as a result. I have a much harder time trusting other women than I have trusting men, because in my experience, it’s mostly other women who accuse me of not being a woman.

#16

Placing your entire self-worth on being desirable to men, or assuming any woman who dislikes you must be jealous of your desirability. Not knowing who you are without male attention.

#17

Thinking that being in a romantic relationship/marriage or being able to have children makes you inherently better than women who aren’t.

#18 (See also #27)

Defaulting to the female parental figure in all things child-related.

I worked an hour’s drive away, my husband worked 15 minutes away. We clearly listed him as the primary emergency contact on all school forms and even noted that he was closest. We told the kid to specifically request they call Dad.

Every time there was an emergency, guess who got called? I would then instruct them to call my husband because my leaving work to take the kid home means they have to deal with an extra hour or so of projectile vomit (or whatever).

We ended up just listing his number as mine.

Stupid!

#19

Using “feminism” as a shield to justify every shitty thing they do.

 Voodoops_13 ANYONE who tries to hijack the term Feminist/Feminism by equating it with being a bitch/ugly/angry/single/childless can fuck all the way off. Male or female, doesn’t matter.

#20

Shitting on stay at home moms or Sex Workers because you don’t understand their choices. Feminism means we all get to choose our own path . Not everyone wants a high powered career and that’s Ok.

#21 (See also #3)

“No man is ever allowed to hit a woman, in any circumstances.”

Uh, hell no. I’m a woman, but I fully expect that if I started punching a guy or trying to kill him, that he would be well within his rights to give me a slap. Being female doesn’t mean you get to start physical fights and face no repercussions.

#22

“If you gave birth through c-section, you’re not a real mom.”

What. The. Fuck? Suddenly 9 months of pregnancy, a terrifying procedure and caring for a newborn doesn’t count because MacDuff from his mother’s womb was untimely ripped? Whose baby is this then, since apparently no mothers are present?

#23

“all other girls are bitches”

If you’re a girl and think that, that’s a you problem

#24

Karens are a prime example (of Toxic Femininity). They show peak entitlement found more often in women then men. Everything must be done for them. They are a mother or they’re a “struggling” woman who should be given everything she wants.

There’s also abusive women. Abusive men will hit you, abusive women will give you several mental and emotional disorders and claim you made it all up while you suffer alone in silence. I know this from personal experience having an abusive biological father and step mother.

If a woman does hit you, you aren’t allowed to hit back. If you defend yourself you’re the aggressor because… men big?

#25

Last week: 3 women admiring my fiancé’s new engagement ring (which is a bit flashy)
My fiancé tells them it’s lab-made, which is what she wanted
One of them responded with “Oh, that doesn’t count then”

#26

I had an ex who laughed and took advantage of me after I cried in front of her. She told me she didn’t see me as a man and that crying is for girls.

#27 (See also #18)

The expectation of doing emotional labor. If you fall short of being the default caretaker/nurturer in any way, you are a bad woman. If you don’t put your family’s needs before your own all the time, you might be called a bad mom, a bad wife, or a bad daughter or sister, etc. Meanwhile women who sacrifice themselves completely to take care of others are good mothers, good wives, etc

Similarly, the overly glorified societal idea that a woman’s love is supposed to fix her partner. I read a lot of romance novels and wow is hetero romance content overwhelmingly saturated with the idea that even the most broken person (usually a man in the examples I have personally read) can be healed by the true love of the other person (usually a woman in the examples I have read). There’s no therapy, no focus on healthy ways to deal with trauma, just the idea that some woman can walk into some broken man’s life and completely heal him instantly with “true love”.

#28

Using your period as an excuse to be physically or emotionally abusive.
Turns out my mom was just a bitch, not PMS’ing.

#29

Being unable to critize another woman for shit she did since “women support each other“. Has the exact same energy as frat guys saying “bro code”.

#30

Mothers who tell their sons that they are less than equal, based on gender alone.
“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”
“The future is female, not male.”
That type of stuff.

We’re all in this world together and equally capable of greatness and kindness. Please don’t tell your kids otherwise. If you teach someone they’re “less than,” you’re giving them a lifelong hall pass to be a selfish jerk because you don’t need them anyway.

#31

Being all “Claire!! Hiiiii it’s soo good to seee youuuuu oh my goooodddd!!!!” in that obnoxious tone of voice, to every single woman in the group, then turning around and talking the most nasty gossip you can behind their backs or purposely being snaky to the group. This is so toxic, if you don’t like the people you spend time with then drop the mask and stop shoving “positive vibes” down their throats.

#32  (Related to #3 and #21)

Girls who start an argument or fight with a stranger and expect their bf/husband/partner to be the one to handle the fall out.

#33

Just generally assuming men are made of emotional rubber and can bounce back from anything,then accusing a man of “male fragility” if they don’t.

When a guy has an really good platonic male friend who he enjoys spending time with , and a woman thinks it’s odd and says “ you two should get it over with and make out/have sex” as if men only become close if sex is involved.

#34

Believing that its a man’s job to impress her when she’s dating. If you like someone ACT AS THOUGH YOU LIKE THEM. Dating is an equal exchange of time and emotional labour, if she feels like she needs further financial compensation beyond that (paying for the food/show/whatever it is) then maybe she don’t like him enough.

 El Dee This one is deeply ingrained. It’s like an internalised form of self sabotage. Now things are beginning to change but I think it will be my grandchildren who benefit.

#35

The “I get along with guys better.”

I cringe because I used to be like this. Don’t discount a whole gender. There’s a lot of awesome women out there, find them and befriend them! Not all guys are awesome so why assume all women aren’t?

 

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