We’ve all heard of toxic masculinity – that whole, “Boys don’t cry. Tough it out. Emotions are for sissies” nonsense. Since we as a society have failed to hold space for men to be vulnerable , they’ve been forced to self-medicate through drugs, violence, and the objectification of women.
The patriarchy has made them choose between connectedness and power, and 9 times out of 10, men at the top of the food chain have opted for power. Rich old dudes chase after twenty something bimbos for this very reason. They aren’t seeking an equal but rather someone who will submit.
Feminists are all to eager to criticize men, both on a collective and individual level. While some of this condemnation is warranted, I think it’s bullshit to point the sword outwards without pointing it inwards as well. In other words, we as women can’t blame men for all the bad stuff without reflecting on our own behaviors and striving to correct them.
Toxic femininity is just as real of an issue as toxic masculinity and it’s about time us women started taking care of our side of the street instead of continuing to delude ourselves into thinking that we can enact any kind of meaningful change solely by shitting on the men’s side.
In the conscious community, we call toxic masculinity the wounded masculine and toxic femininity the wounded feminine. Once a person has done the spiritual work, these wounds are healed and wounded masculine transforms into divine masculine, while wounded feminine transforms into divine feminine.
Though we tend to gender masculine and feminine (i.e men are masculine but not feminine, while women are feminine but not masculine), the reality is that spiritually fit humans have equal parts masculine and feminine within them, regardless of gender.
Due to socially constructed gender norms, which have been perpetuated by the media throughout modern times (i.e the ideal male is a sexaholic, money obsessed alpha while the ideal female is a delicate, docile damsel waiting for her knight in shining armor to save her), most of us have lost this masculine / feminine balance.
It is my view that this lack of balance fuels the patriarchy, as well as toxic / wounded masculine and toxic / wounded feminine dynamics. Men and women are at war with each other, constantly trying to subvert and dehumanize the opposite gender.
Both genders are subscribing to a zero-sum game, in which one group cannot rise without the other falling. The reality is that if we focused on ridding ourselves of the wounded parts of our femininity and masculinity and started harnessing the divinity within, we would stop acting from a place of disempowerment. In order to get there, it’s essential to understand what we are doing wrong so that we know how to change it. See below for a list of three toxic feminine traits and how to heal them.
The patriarchy is set up to make women compete with one another for primo dick. As such, it’s all too easy to get stuck in the habit of comparing yourself to others – especially in the age of Insta, where real life Bratz dolls showcasing their thigh gaps and açaí bowls in tropical villas populate your feed. But getting caught up in the rat race that is the comparison game is a full proof way to start hating yourself.
There is always going to be someone prettier, smarter, and more successful than you. Rather than resent them, appreciate them for the exemplary sister goddesses they are. Their awesomeness does make you any less awesome. Women who embody their divine feminine don’t knock other women down; they uplift them. By supporting others, you will be able to form bonds which will help you weather whatever shitstorms life throws your way.
If insecurity is something you struggle with, I highly suggest nurturing whatever it is that makes you feel special and fulfilled. In doing so, you will find the confidence required to let go of superficiality. As someone who was a very insecure, perfectionist in my youth, it took me a while to accept that I couldn’t be good at everything. But once I finally did, I was able to lean into my true passions and shine in the process.
This metamorphosis enabled me to let go of self-doubt, as well as the destructive habit of comparing myself to others. I stopped forming friendships with females that centered around bad-mouthing other women, and instead found myself attracting higher vibration people into my life who actually wanted to see me succeed. In the wise words of former first lady and feminsit icon, Eleanor Roosevelt, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
Being Overly Emotional
This one is tricky, as it’s hard not to sound like a woman combating internalized misogyny when calling out women for being overly emotional. For thousands of years, women have been written off as hysterical lunatics – slaves to their hormones who are incapable of holding positions of power due their emotional volatility. For a long time, I repressed my sensitive nature for this very reason. I didn’t want to be grouped into the category of “crazy bitch,” and instead embraced my toxic masculine side, smoking loads of weed to help me not feel.
But try as I might to control my emotions through dissociation, they still very much existed. Through my spiritual practice of later years, I’ve come to learn that whether we hide them or not, everyone feels emotions.
Having emotions is out of our control, but what we do have control over is how we cope with them. If we listen to the voice inside our head that tries to invalidate them (i.e “I shouldn’t be mad about this” or “I don’t care that this person hurt me”), all we do is repress them.
While it might sound radical to some, I believe that virtually all chronic illness – both mental and physical – stems from these repressed negative emotions. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel sad when tragedy befalls us, it turns into depression. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel anger when an injustice is committed, our personality becomes intertwined with rage; and if we fail to separate feeling guilty for a single action with the internalization of guilt, we become full of shame and self-loathing.
Due to a combination of socialization and genetics, women are naturally more in touch with their emotions. It’s time to stop downplaying that and start lauding it as the superpower it is.
At the same time though, we have to be careful not to overdo it. We have to hold space for our emotions – good and bad – so that they can flow through our bodies as we feel them.
If we do this, the temptation to ruminate and hold onto negative emotions and thought patterns will fade. We will stop feeling beholden to our emotions and start rising into our power as the stoic goddesses we were always meant to be. As the great stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius put it: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
If an ex boyfriend of yours was to round up a group of his bros, hit the town, and spend the whole night shit-talking you and bashing women as a whole, you would undoubtedly find it unacceptable.
Yet women rarely hold themselves to the same standard. Whether a man commits a minor infraction or does something objectively horrible to his lady, a woman instantly earns the right to make a big stink out of it.
She can round up her troops, get wasted, and spend the whole night whining about how “all men are trash,” and no one will blink an eye.
Considering how normalized it is for men to treat women disrespectfully, I’m certainly not here to make excuses for their behavior.
Try as we might, we as women can’t control men — at least not in the way we think we can (i.e “If I get him to put a ring on it, he won’t cheat”). But that sure as hell doesn’t make us victims, unless we let it. A man might cheat on us but we are only victims if we indulge in the “poor little me” narrative.
By doing so, we give them all the power. Their actions dictate how we view ourselves. Speaking as someone who has done just that, I feel confident in my assertion of how disempowering it feels. A boyfriend has been unfaithful to me and I’ve literally thought to myself, “Why wasn’t I good enough? What could I have done to prevent this?”
In reality, a man who cheats or does anything that undermines your value as a human, woman, or partner, does so because of his own issues. That shit is not on you. Let go of the need to place blame.
Accept it as the favor it is – this person in your life has revealed themselves to you and you can now make a more informed decision on how to move forward. Too often do we try to force relationships, in a desperate attempt to conform to societal norms. But when it’s not meant to be, the real power move is to accept reality, let that shit go, and move on with your life.
On a larger scale, women often find themselves getting frustrated by systematic oppression, feeling as though they are a victim fighting an uphill battle to be treated equal to men.
Again, I’m not here to say that sexism is not a real problem. I just don’t see the value in getting overly attached to the whole, “Life is so unfair. I don’t stand a chance” sentiment. I seriously doubt that the Harriet Tubmans, Marie Curies and Ruth Bader Ginsbergs of the world allowed the objectively challenging obstacles they faced to get in the way of their magic. I’m sure they had their moments, as all humans do, but in the end, they used their divine femininity to boss bitch the matrix and make history.
Being a victim of something does not mean you have to let it define who you are.
The sooner you can shed your victim mentality, the sooner you can rise to your full potential. As famed psychologist, Carl Jung, phrased it, “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”