Toxic Femininity: "It is a way for women to exercise violence in sneakier ways that the more overt violent tactics that are used by men, via passive aggression, person to person manipulation and systemic manipulation of victim complexes and protected identities, and funnelling of persons to violence by its counterpart- toxic masculinity" Source
I am going to split Toxic Feminity into two categories: The Immature Feminine and Internalised Misogyny. The former refers to the weaponising feminine traits, while the latter refers to the punishment for feminine traits (by females). While the expression of these characteristics can and often do overlap, they are different in terms of the desired outcome.
This blog post will focus on The Immature Feminine; Internalised Misogyny will be discussed next week's blog post.
An "immature feminine" person (yes this applies to males as well), has the following characteristics: Bitchy, Gossipy, Jealous of other women, Needs validation from external sources, low self-worth, ego-centric, seductive – uses sexuality to manipulate others and get attention (source). This list is not exhaustive, but we think you have a general idea.
When we first saw the list, we smiled sheepishly. We have been, and probably still are, guilty of committing all of the above. So don't worry, you're not alone.
Who can resist sharing juicy gossip with their girlfriends? And we doubt we're the only ones who have worn short skirts and high heels just because we wanted attention.
An example from Mean Girls: "Why do you wear your hair like that? Your hair looks so sexy pushed back. Cady, will you please tell him his hair looks sexy pushed back".
We love this scene for many reasons; first, you can see how Regina George uses her beauty, charm, and sexuality to control manipulate Aaron Samuels into doing what she wants, she, of course, does it "subtly"- compliments. Second, she does this in front of Cady Heron, triggering Cady to be jealous, to quote Cady "Regina was dangling Aaron in front of me on purpose".
This is precisely what an immature feminine character would do; it is not enough to win the guy; they have to make other girls feel jealous and upset as well.
Unlike guys who would settle conflict like this:
We're not here to comment on which way is better. We're not here to tell you that what you have been doing is wrong. All we are saying is if that is your way of expressing your femininity, then maybe you need to grow up.
At its core, mature feminine energies are present, nurturing, empowering of others, surrendered and fluid, emotionally intelligent, self-fulfilled and oozing self-love, sensual, confident in sexual energy, motivated by heart and what will be of benefit to others, whole (source). Unfortunately, many of us have been conditioned to believe that these are weaknesses; which has resulted in people who are feminine at their core to either wear a masculine task or express their femininity in immature ways to protect themselves.
We'll be writing about how you can express your feminity healthily and maturely in the next few weeks, so keep a look out for that. In the meantime, we would like to leave you with this question: If you're preoccupied with what others think, do, and say, then how will you have time to work on yourself?
Lots of love,
Jump Stakes Team
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