Reader Interactions


  1. The Life of Jea says

    When I was a child, I thought boy/girl and man/woman meant nothing more than what you had, or didn’t have, between your legs. I didn’t understand that people thought certain things went with being a girl or a boy and my mum just went “no, you’re not telling her any different, she will grow up and like whatever she wants, not what people think she should!”
    I am so grateful for that, however it did cause problems as I got older. I wasn’t “girly enough” for the other girls. I didn’t mind getting mud on my clothes, I jumped around, I played with the boys. Then I didn’t care one bit about make up, or boybands (I soon started to pretend I loved them just to get friends…), or dresses. Still not girly enough and not really worthy of being around other girls.
    I’m so happy all of that is changing! I still get crap from people, mostly about my hair, “women can’t have THAT short hair, it’s too ugly!” or “women look nasty in mowhawks!”. Sadly, it’s women saying these things… Men usually say it’s really cool, and one man actually thanked me because his daughter really wanted a mowhawk, and after seeing me with one, and a full face of make up, she got one! She was too afraid before, that it wouldn’t be OK for a girl…
    Wait… my comment is getting really long now and I completely lost track of what I’m writing, sorry!!
    My point is, you’re absolutely right about everything you wrote! =)

    • LauraJ says

      I love your hair! So many women can’t pull off short hair. I feel like my bob cut didn’t do much for me. But your style works perfectly. And of course, Rihanna rocked it for quite a long time. Infact, quite a few celebs have.
      I imagine the girls critical are just jealous or putting their own insecurity onto you. I remember in college, I was the only girl in the entire school to wear red lipstick. Everyone made such a thing of it, but the guys were cool. Then I started seeing others do it.
      I have two younger sisters. One is extremely girly and the other is tomboy, well likes to wear red and blue, loves dinosaurs and spiderman etc. And I love that they are both so different and unique. I’m glad as well that things are changing.

      • The Life of Jea says

        Thank you =) I didn’t know Rihanna had one, have to have a look!
        I was just thinking I wished I could have the same hairstyle you do, because it always looks so good! But my hair is too thin, so no bother =)

        • LauraJ says

          My hair is so thin!! Well fine. The ends split really easily, like right now I need a haircut. And it’s a nightmare blowdrying because a hint of wind and it’s back to being unruly. I have no idea how to get rid of frizz at the moment! I’m just straightening it to help. But thank you for the compliment lol!

  2. Jyo says

    Thanks for the great read Laura ! I understand how toxic is an adjective, however, we must always take into account people do not hear with reasoned rational thought. Human beings see and hear through their own filter. People still hear feminism itself as a negative, simply due a few eons of ‘fem’ being negative and seen as one sided. We are struggling for a world of equality and for liberation of men (and women) from violent, toxic conditioning. I have pretty much switched to saying toxic conditioning, because some people can’t hear ‘toxic’ and ‘masculine’ without being triggered.

    • LauraJ says

      Very interesting perspective. I understand what you mean. Gender is really based on conditioning. So many people refuse to classify themselves as a feminist, because the word now has numerous connotations. To me, it’s obvious I’m a feminist because I believe in equality for both sexes. But the word has currently turned slightly negative which is a shame.

  3. Things Tinashe Says says

    I thoroughly loved reading this piece. It couldn’t have come at a more timely point in my life where I’m fed up with toxic femininity and have become passionate about dealing with it and starting conversations about it. I can totally relate to the cat calls at a young age, over zealous men who cant accept no, men who don’t know what sexual harassment is etc
    A few months ago while drafting company policy for a start up I was under, I was appalled by how the men in the room except for one went up in arms on my insistence on the need for a sexual harassment policy they felt I was infringing on their right to be men, this enraged me and opened my eyes for the need of awareness in my country.
    At the risk of writing a blog post in your comment section. I will end there.But before that, toxic masculity is both enraging and saddening. I probably don’t feel anymore differently from it in the enraging area but I find it sad because boys are indoctrinated into it by society and grow up considering it as the norm. Women are not the only sufferers of toxic masculinity men are too.I think more of the confusion lies around gender roles and imposing ideals on people.
    I loved this post!

    • LauraJ says

      I am so happy you wrote this comment!! Firstly, it’s such a good point to mention that men are sufferers as well. This idea that men have to be a certain way and like certain things like football.
      I found this article which I think you might be interested in:
      It says that when boys and girls are young, girls are basically better lol. Well they have advanced hearing and develop faster. But boys are naturally more physical. As time goes on, there’s not much difference. Society then seperates us by following what we believe is natural differences in gender.
      There’s toxic issues in both men and women and I feel like neither is address enough. In high school, some boys went round trying to touch as many girls on the bum as they could. And girls would laugh about their gossiping like it was a fun thing they should do. Once more, thank you for taking the time to write this!!

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