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Toxic femininity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to women. It refers to the socially-constructed attitudes that describe the feminine gender role as submissive, over-emotional, sexually complicit or manipulative, and so forth.

Like Toxic masculinity, both males and females can present toxic attitudes about what is appropriately female gendered. Such attitudes harm both women and men.

Examples

  • It is inappropriate for women to breastfeed or show their breasts in public.
  • Women who demonstrate sexual attitudes are attention-seeking or promiscuous, that female sexuality is shameful.
  • When women show that they are upset or angry, they must be 'PMSing', unreasonable, or just crazy.
  • That Real Women stand by their man no matter what. Women should be loyal and self-sacrificing.
  • That Real Women are homemakers and do not have what it takes to be strong leaders or work typically masculine jobs such as construction, firefighting, military, etc.
  • That every female who speaks about women's rights is a man-hater and doesn't care about the issues that men face.
  • Speaking out against shaming or bullying just means that the woman is thin-skinned and can't hang with the guys.
  • Women are just trying to exploit men for money. They are gold-diggers trying to commit 'marital wallet rape'.
  • The idea that there is a range of masculine interests and activities a Real Woman would not hold, and that disprove a woman's femininity regardless of her other actions:
    • not interested in fashion or make-up
    • being unemotional, expressing stoicism
    • action movies, comic books, stereotypically male sports like American football or wrestling
    • being career focused, independent
    • not interested in motherhood
    • and so on.

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