Toxic Femininity

Wow, here are some ideas worth thinking about a whole lot more.


stiletto Photo: Lukasz Dziegel,

Throw into the 2018 file of “Things That Happen So Regularly We Hardly Even Notice”: liberal friend uses the phrase “toxic masculinity” on social media to refer to a man abusing his partner or shooting a bunch of strangers or whatever. Conservative friend responds aghast to the idea that “masculinity is toxic” and rushes to the defense of all the great, truly MANLY men she knows who embody masculine qualities. Tired liberal friend explains that the phrase “toxic masculinity” does not mean “being masculine is toxic.” Blah blah blah: at this point we all know our lines.

But my latest go-round on the Merry-Go-Round-of-Gender-Norm-Debates triggered a new thought: Is there such a thing as “toxic femininity”? 

If “toxic masculinity” means not “masculine behavior is inherently toxic” but “there is a version of masculine behavior that can be expressed in toxic and damaging ways” — violence…

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