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People Are Sharing Examples Of Toxic Femininity And It's Accurate, Controversial, And Eye-Opening


On Monday, I wrote a post about people sharing examples of "toxic femininity," which are basically things that women do — usually to other women — that could be viewed as problematic. Well, our own BuzzFeed Community came through in the comments with some interesting examples of their own.

A group of women smiling as they sit on a couch

1. "Women who slut-shame. Period."


2. "Making fun of your female friends to try and get male attention. Also, just picking on and gossiping about other women in general (but then claiming you’re all for 'women supporting women'). Unfortunately, I’ve worked with a few women like this."


3. "Toxic femininity to me is when women shame men for being too soft or not adhering to their limited idea of masculinity. I dated a very short man for many years, and women would say the snarkiest things to me. They judged me for dating a man that wasn't bigger than me, because that's what a 'real man' is supposed to look like, according to them."


A man very tall man standing next to a much shorter woman

4. "My grandma keeps telling me to lose weight and go on these diets, and wonders why I don't like go visit."


5. "I hate when women tear other women down for doing 'girly' things. Some women do the 'I’m not like other girls' thing to an extreme, so if you do like makeup or nails, you’re automatically beneath women who choose not to do that because they’re 'past all that.'"


6. "Keeping a spotless house and being judged if you can't. It seems one is a 'better woman' if one is good at cleaning and highly meticulous about it."


A woman holding a pile of laundry

7. "I had a friend who was dating this girl who was all about being a feminist. When they broke up, my friend said that —among other things — she cheated on him, but justified it with feminism."


8. "Women telling other women to dumb it down to attract a mate. Sorry, but someone who prefers to date idiots is likely super toxic or a bigger idiot."


9. "My pits are hairy, and I’m sick of women being disgusted by it. No man has ever disliked or said anything to me about it (not that I care), but women have outright stopped me on the street and asked me if I’m uncomfortable or if I smell worse than if I didn’t have it. For them, it’s the end of the world when I say I don't care and choose not to wax/shave."


A person shaving their armpits

10. "Telling another woman that she needs meat on her bones, or insulting her for not being curvy enough/flat-chested. Also, saying that she doesn't look like a real woman and that she looks like a boy. Body-shaming applies to any type of body."


11. "Toxic femininity equals being a Karen."


12. "When brides pull the 'This is my day' card or make ridiculous demands of those around them because they have 'dreamed of this day since they were 6.' There are two of you getting married, and your friends and family are happy to support your commitment to each other, but not willing to be held hostage to some bridezilla’s demands that I lose weight, grow 6 inches, cut my hair, spend a minimum of $500 on a gift, and pay to go out of town for three parties that I have to help plan and pay for."


A group of people making a toast at the dinner table

13. "Being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) is a prime example of toxic femininity."


14. "The feeling, particularly among young women, that looks are the most important thing and that they'll only get a man if they keep up their appearance. It's not exactly toxic behavior — more a toxic mindset. I work with quite a lot of 18- to 25-year-old women, and often the break-time chat is almost solely focused on weight, makeup, hair, beauty treatments, etc. It's mind-numbingly boring, but once when they were discussing waxing, I casually commented that I would never get a bikini wax. There was a silence and then one girl said, 'But you have a boyfriend, don't you?' I was like, 'Yes. And he doesn't care. He said he'd never get waxed, so why should I?' and they were all like, 'OMG, that's so unusual that he doesn't mind!' It's so sad that they genuinely think no man will want them unless they're hairless and polished. I'm sure most men don't think that way at all."


15. "Buying into the whole Disney princess/rom-com thing of thinking a relationship needs to be a huge struggle in the beginning or that getting married will solve all your problems."


16. "Saying, 'I'm not like other girls,' and just bringing other women down unnecessarily."


What do you think of these examples? Do you have other thoughts on what "toxic femininity" is? Tell us in the comments!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.