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Toxic Femininity

Filed under: Gender Politics — JohnPotter @ 9:41 pm Fri 13th July 2018

The misuse of female sexual power is seldom discussed, or even acknowledged. Here is an exception: On Toxic Femininity written by Heather E. Heying, published in Quillette.

Every woman has the right not to be touched if she does not wish to be; and coercive quid pro quo, in which sexual favors are demanded for the possibility of career advancement, is unacceptable. But when women doll themselves up in clothes that highlight sexually-selected anatomy, and put on make-up that hints at impending orgasm, it is toxic — yes, toxic — to demand that men do not look, do not approach, do not query.

Young women have vast sexual power. Everyone who is being honest with themselves knows this: Women in their sexual prime who are anywhere near the beauty-norms for their culture have a kind of power that nobody else has. They are also all but certain to lack the wisdom to manage it. Toxic femininity is an abuse of that power, in which hotness is maximized, and victim status is then claimed when straight men don’t treat them as peers.


  1. I’m reading this and couldn’t help thinking about that liberation song,

    I am Woman (Hear me roar)

    Comment by Evan Myers — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 8:32 am

  2. Thanks for that link John. A well written and well argued piece by Ms Heying. She argues that male and female behaviour is shaped in part by biology and some males demonstrate toxic masculinity while some, or many, females demonstrate toxic femininity.

    However, this doesn’t address the propriety of attaching derogatory labels such as the word ‘toxic’ to the defining, innate characteristic of any group. Doing so will always amount to stereotyping and manipulative devaluing of the group’s essential being and therefore everyone in that group. If it wouldn’t be considered acceptable to use the terms ‘toxic Maoriness’ or ‘toxic red-headedness’ simply because some people from those groups behave badly, then why would ‘toxic masculinity’ be ok?

    It would be better, except for ideological warfare, to use terms specific to what is being complained about, such as ‘pushy courtship behaviour’, ‘sexual assault’ or ‘partner violence’, which can all be committed by members of any group.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 10:28 am

  3. There’s a slight problem with the human history side though in relation to the cubs who represent a comparison with human children.

    In the Roman Empire the father of the new born determined the child’s fate – he killed the child or accepted it. Perhaps not through the entire Empire or the entire time period of the Empire but this did happen.

    Our Western World has, whether we like it or not has been shaped by the enforcement of Christianity around 600 AD, in England.

    That’s the culture we know.

    Missionary travellers through the Pacific record the same behavior in Polynesian tribes.

    The beast is there whether we like it or not.

    The article lends itself to the ‘men have out grown their biology’ … but that biology is there and it’s far more recent than we might like to admit.

    Then perhaps what is easily not taken from this article is the beast in the woman, the primal behaviour, dressed in modern clothing and cosmetics, and it’s women that need to learn that they are the problem.

    The current feminist line is something like toxic masculinity comes from a culture that teaches men to behave badly.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 11:33 am

  4. Sexual communication is the lowest form of energy.
    Women use it all the time. Men fall for it all the time.
    Leads to promiscuity and now promiscuity is in fashion.
    Look up tinder and see where society is at.
    Sex is part of consumerism, same as a bag of weed or a gram of hash
    There is a huge difference between dressing professionally
    and dressing like a prostitute.
    Nowadays prostitutes have shame
    but women in general are confused about what shame means.
    They call it pride nowadays (Use what god gave you).
    I know it is just a race against time.

    Comment by JustCurious — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 3:31 pm

  5. But for any man to grab the noose
    and wrap around one’s own neck
    Whose fault is it?
    The woman that dresses sexy (often shows their insecurities)
    Or the man that gets aroused like a dog in heat. (is that not lack of impulse control?)

    Toxic is feminism not feminity

    Comment by JustCurious — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 3:42 pm

  6. @5 Can I point out that you’ve just said in a previous comment that Feminism has no other meaning apart from equal rights?

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 5:29 pm

  7. Faults and equal rights aside…. it is all biological!!!,,, we are what we are and the trouble in lying in the denial!

    Comment by mama — Sat 14th July 2018 @ 7:18 pm

  8. Pheromone Warfare?

    Comment by Evan Myers — Sun 15th July 2018 @ 8:57 am

  9. 8 – ha! ..indeed but never Pher., we have a perfume for every reaction.

    Comment by mama — Sun 15th July 2018 @ 11:01 am

  10. @TheHuiNZ morena @Mihi_Forbes Ka pai te kōrero i te ata nei.
    I’m always learning, Kia ora ngā wāhine i te tēpu.

    Feminism totally needs decolonisation, mana wāhine is so important.

    Is it possible that Feminism never questions itself but blames anything it can to get what it wants.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Sun 15th July 2018 @ 11:04 am

  11. @5 Can I point out that you’ve just said in a previous comment that Feminism has no other meaning apart from equal rights?

    Yes toxic because men instead of being men are fighting ghosts of women (feminism) seeking rights that have no meaning.

    Imagine a world where every woman would walk naked around men and yet, they would draw no favor among any man!!!

    Whose fault is it?
    Women actin sensually or sexually overtly or men following their impulses?
    Or are you saying no man can resist this?

    It’s like blaming a scorpion for stinging where by nature that is what it does.

    It’s not feminism. IT is the laws that are wrong. they are he ones that need changing. focusing on feminism or sexuality or open sensuality is actually simply distracting one self from the real issues.

    Every man woman or child wants to be liked. That is normal. Some use cleverness (words), some us art (fashion, make up, body building (is that not what women do too when they dress in certain way except -naturally built?,…. ) and some use sensuality….

    So rather than focusing on women, which is sexist – cause every 1 has a mother auntie, daughter grandma or sister… shouldn’t we men be focused on how can we teach boys to be men. Remain steady and focus on the bigger prize which is their own manhood without dissolution.

    WE had wars before. Many died and many returned. WE had many rituals and rites of passage that defined the different stages in life for boys, teens and men. Nowadays, what do we have?

    Comment by JustCurious — Mon 16th July 2018 @ 10:10 am

  12. Funny enough this inherent power of seduction can easily be voided by ignoring it.
    I think I posted somewhere else about the hidden conversation between men and women.
    The one that is energetic that we all engage in and most men are unaware of.
    WE do not pick our women, we get invited.
    We think we have a chance and jump head first into the rabbit hole seeking instant release, not a partner, not a wife, not a friend.
    That is what a man should seek, a compatible partner in life – not the flesh and the form which naturally fall away and becomes dust.
    5 minutes of pleasure is all we are promised but the lifetime of child support that follows is the tacit agreement. And of course the mind fuck is simply par for the course.
    The problem is how can we blame women for being women and doing what women do?
    They are out there advertising. Do we have to buy?

    Comment by JustCurious — Mon 16th July 2018 @ 10:29 am

  13. I know young men, now not so young , all they wanted was the family unit, instead they got a modern version of what used to be, my weekend , your weekend with the kid, princess women whom wanted everything they supposedly needed and when they could not be suitably looked after, they had a choice, all laid out in the form of a domestic purposes benefit, ideal independence, no reliance…shame lies with a system and weak women who think they are strong and independent that have not learned compromise because they have not had to give a relationship a real chance.

    Comment by mama — Mon 16th July 2018 @ 2:25 pm

  14. @13 that sounds like poetry.
    Now kids come before there is even a relationship.
    Whats the use of growing up if its smarter not to?

    Comment by JustCurious — Mon 16th July 2018 @ 4:49 pm

  15. Anyone subscribed to the Economist, this could be interesting.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Sun 22nd July 2018 @ 5:04 pm

  16. The authors biological analogy may not have been the best example but her thinking is still well grounded

    Having “information that exonerates a person accused of a repugnant crime yet choos[ing] to withhold that information for ideological reasons illustrates the dangerous zealotry of rape-culture feminism.”

    This to me is saying Feminism is not an entitlement that doesn’t need to conform.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Tue 31st July 2018 @ 5:37 pm

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