I've been working on this for a long time. I've erased and rewritten this post no less than 300 times because I try really hard to write less from a place of emotion and more from a place of logic and reason. I get close to finishing and I realize every time it's laced with anger and frustration and emotion. This is the last time I'm going to write it and I have decided not to care.
Modern feminism is toxic and is ruining the world. Screaming from the top of your lungs about gender wage gaps, oppression and bringing down the patriarchy while simultaneously wondering why you're lonely and no one wants to be with you or the guys you are with end up distancing themselves from you and eventually leaving you for "no reason" means you need to find a mirror and do some self-reflection.
Let me get my privilege out of the way and let you know that I was raised by both of my parents in a household with traditional gender roles and I am not and never will be ashamed of that. My mother didn't work outside our home until my brother and I were both in school. Prior to that she did in-home childcare for local families and even when she did work outside the home, she was home every evening to cook a meal for our family where we sat at our kitchen table and ate together. My father worked his fingers to the bone, right up until he was diagnosed with cancer, to provide for our family.
"50 Shades of Grey" sold 125 million copies by 2015, was the best-selling book of the decade in the United States and set a record in the United Kingdom for being the fastest-selling paperback of all time. For so many women to be railing against "toxic masculinity," those are some pretty impressive numbers. Were there women who read it solely to shit on it? Yes. My guess, though, is that number pales in comparison to the women who read it with the intention of disappearing into their own mind with their version of the billionaire bachelor and his penchant for asserting himself.....Toxically.
I bring this up for a reason. If the patriarchy and traits of someone who is toxic in their masculinity are harmful to women and others, why would so many women be interested in reading an entire 3-part book series about it? I have a theory. Women love masculinity. They crave it and desire it on a carnal and inherent level. However, women are conditioned to think they are "less than" for wanting traditional gender roles. They feel obligated to leave the house and "prove themselves," which leaves the state with the opportunity to indoctrinate, condition and train their children into compliance in the future. "Women, you are oppressed by the patriarchy; they are trying to keep you down so they can control you. Women, you can do anything a man can do; go out and prove it".....Meanwhile, families are forced to allow people who answer to, are trained and paid by and advocate for the government to spend more time with their children than they do. This is by design.
Societally, we are bored. We have so much extra time on our hands and our lives are so comfortable that we seek out ways to be offended and victimized. We've created an entire toxic feminist brand of hate, hurt and disdain that we carry with us like a Michael Kors hand bag from Rodeo Drive. That brand is growing like a festering cancer, hell bent on destroying everything in its path.
If you google "toxic masculinity examples" a list populates with the following traits: 1.) Using or threatening violence
2.) Controlling others
3.) Acting aggressively
4.) Suppressing emotions
5.) Trying to appear "tough"
6.) Treating sex as a competition
7.) Feeling entitled to sex from others.
8.) Using power over women, 'weaker' men and marginalized groups
I find this list wildly fascinating for a multitude of reasons, but I will try to keep it limited in my response. Let's begin with threatening violence. I will not sit here and pretend that there are not violent men in this world. I also will not pretend that all masculine men are violent, nor will I pretend that there are not women who are violent. Let's play a game, shall we? Please go to Twitter and type in "i hate you and hope you die" in the search tab. Some of the examples I encountered are here, here and here. I hear you, you're saying to me "Heather, that isn't threatening violence. That's just hoping that they die." Okay, okay. Try the search "i will kill you." Here and here are two blue check verified women and here, here and here are a couple regular accounts implying they will murder someone for one reason or another.
Next up, we have controlling others as an example of toxic masculinity. I'll be honest with you, I'm beginning to think most of the women I know are toxic men if this is the case. Women use guilt as a mechanism of control all the time. They weaponize sex as a means of control. "Do this or else you won't get x, y, z." There are also a special kind of toxic women who use a different kind of control. I discovered a woman who, quite literally, wouldn't allow her boyfriend to post pictures of them together online until he proposed to her. If you think I'm joking, click here to see the post where he proudly displays his affection for a woman who was so controlling that she wouldn't allow HIM to post any pictures of them together until he put a ring on her finger. The most toxic woman of all, in my opinion, is a woman who utilizes threats of financial ruin and ripping a father's children away from him to force him to stay in a marriage. There are people in this world who are control freaks, male and female alike. To paint an entire group of men as toxic with this as a qualifying characteristic is disingenuous and inaccurate.
Acting aggressively? There is an entire brand of female called "Karen" and she wants to see your manager. I'm not even going to post all the thousands of examples of women losing their minds over the course of the last year; I could fill this entire article with them. Women have become comfortable living in victimhood which is literally the antithesis of what it means to be a feminist. They go on the attack, lashing out at any little thing they find displeasing, knowing that there will be no repercussions because they are a protected class of individual. They will get in the face of any man they want and scream and even become physically violent and few men will do anything other than look at them for the unhinged person they are. A perfect example of this is Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. She is a shit human for what she did to him and then an even shittier human for attempting to turn herself into the victim and further ruin his life. Are there men who are aggressive? Absolutely. I am not, in any way, suggesting there are not. Domestic violence is reprehensible and I want to be extremely clear that I do not advocate for ANY aggression from one human towards another. Period. Regardless of what gender it comes from. But for us to pretend that women are innocent in this regard is ridiculous and I hope as you're reading, you're beginning to see the hypocrisy.
Suppressing emotions. HA! I laughed out loud at this one. Okay, be super honest ladies. How many of you have ever been asked by your partner/significant other "What is wrong?" or "Are you okay?" and gave the response "I'm fine." ? Then, you expected them to be able to read your mind and fix all the problems by magic and when they didn't, you referred back to #3 and became either aggressive or passive aggressive to get the results you wanted rather than actually communicating what your issues were in the first place? Whether you are friends, family or lovers, communication is absolutely key in any relationship. If you have something on your mind or something you need to say then say it. The people who matter and the people who should remain in your life will either be wiling to accept you for who you are or you will have to be secure enough to let them go. I believe that many of our communication issues come from a place of insecurity. "If I say 'x' this person may not like me or may not talk to me anymore." To that, I say, "okay, and?" On the flip side of that, people should be respectful of autonomy. If one does not wish to say or share something or is processing something a certain way, they should be given the privacy and respect to do so without being accused of being "toxic."
Trying to appear tough......Umm....Is the expectation that men should appear weak and impotent? I'm sorry, not sorry about my response to this one. I don't know if it's because of how I was raised. I don't know if it's because I am such a dominant personality that I don't want a doormat for a significant other. I don't know if it's because I have children and protecting them and their lives at all costs is paramount. I don't know if it's some inherent primal trait embedded in my DNA, but in my experience a lioness doesn't choose the lion who pretends to be a lamb.
Treating sex as a competition.....I'll be honest, I don't even know what this means. The only competition I ever hear discussed in sexual relationships is the length of time sex and sexual activity is missing and ladies, you are the reigning champions in that competition. I alluded to women weaponizing sex as a means of control earlier and I stand by that. I could go into an entire diatribe in this category, but I will save that for another post because this isn't the place for it. As with all things, this is not binary and I'm not saying every woman withholds sex and that there aren't some men who may do the same (I do not know any, but they might exist).
Feeling entitled to sex from others.....Entitled is an interesting word choice. Entitled would imply that it is one's right to have it and the other person must give it up whether they want to or not. Shy of calling 'toxic' males rapists, this seems pretty malicious and misguided. If I enter into a sexual relationship with someone, I believe it would be the mutual expectation that once that activity starts, it doesn't stop. If it does stop, it's important to communicate the reason why. Is there still a mutual attraction? Is there something medically wrong, creating a barrier? Is there a hormonal balance and are you actively doing something to rectify the issue? If both parties are on board with no sex, then no problem. If one party feels short-changed (male or female) by sex being withheld, I imagine they're well within their right to terminate the relationship on the grounds of dissatisfaction.
The last topic is one that is infuriating to me. Using power over women, 'weaker' men and marginalized groups....How does one utilize power over another person, in the broad figurative sense as it's used here, without the other person's permission? If you are not succeeding in your life the way that you want to be, ask yourself why. It's easy to point at someone else, but that person doesn't control your or anyone else's life and I'm sick of us pretending 'toxic' men are the boogey man and the cause of all the issues in the world. Personal accountability is the problem. No one controls you, period. If you have someone in your life that you feel has power over you, it's because you gave them that power. This applies to employers, the government, friends and significant others. You always have a choice and if you are dissatisfied with your choice, take the steps necessary to rectify that. It may not happen over night, but you are in control of your own life. Subsequently, if you achieve your goals and succeed, it should be on your own merit and you should be applauded for that. You should not be labeled "toxic" (male or female) for busting your ass and succeeding.
In closing I'd like to say that toxicity is not mutually exclusive to gender. If a man wants to work and provide for his family and protect them from any and all harm and in the process his significant other wishes to raise badass babies and handle business at home that doesn't make him toxic and it doesn't make her weak. If a woman wants to go out and chase those dreams of being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, get it girl, but don't expect it to be handed to you because you have a vagina.