Erin Palette has posted six points which seem like they ought to be obvious:

Toxic masculinity does exist, although it’s nowhere near as pervasive nor as powerful as people think.

Toxic femininity also exists, and in greater concentrations than people are willing to admit. I’m prepared to argue this, just not here and now.

The existence of toxic masculinity does not mean that all masculinity is toxic and all men are abusers unless they prove otherwise.

The existence of toxic femininity does not mean that all femininity is toxic and all women are manipulative unless they prove otherwise.

Masculinity and femininity are gender expressions which exist outside of biological sex. It’s not only possible to for a man to be very feminine or a woman to be very masculine, I guarantee that you’ve met at least one of them in your lifetime.

So basically, “People can be toxic — which ought to come as no surprise to anyone — and how they express their toxicity is part of their gender expression.”

Britney Spears, at least, will tell you that toxicity is not necessarily a bad thing.


  1. fillyjonk »

    25 January 2019 · 3:36 pm

    Yes to the existence of toxic femininity. (I am presuming Erin means the sort of typical “girl bullying” I have experienced for a shockingly large chunk of my life: the backhanded compliments, the exclusion, the tendency for some women to gossip and spread rumors).

    I’ve long said that in some ways, girl bullying is harder to deal with than boy bullying, because teachers in school KNEW that “a big kid beating up a littler kid” is bad, but they didn’t always get that the backhanded compliments, or the shunning, or the whole mess of damnable RULES that girls set up for other girls is also bad.

    And the worst thing is that girl bullying doesn’t end with adulthood; one of the worst bosses I had was a woman who used all the girl-bullying techniques that I remembered from when I was 13, and I wasn’t any better at dealing with them as an adult than a tween.

    People ask me why I’m not more social. Frankly, I wonder why I’m not more anti-social than I am.

  2. McGehee »

    25 January 2019 · 4:40 pm

    People who single out toxic masculinity may not like hearing that all toxicity is bad, because they want their own toxicity privileged.

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