Let's Talk About Toxic Femininity

Let's Talk About Toxic Femininity

Being a woman isn't always easy, and it's not just because of the patriarchy.

In the wake of International Women's Day, I began to think about all of the encounters I've had with other women throughout my life. Women are awesome. We are strong, we are courageous, and we can do amazing things. I can name so many women who have had such amazing impacts on my life. They've helped me grow in countless areas of my life. They aided me through the most difficult times I've experienced. And they just made me immeasurably happy to be alive.

Women are fantastic, and we deserve that praise.

That being said, there are some attributes of women that aren't the best. There is a lot of talk about toxic masculinity but not a lot of talk about the toxic parts of femininity. Women can be overly competitive. Women can be hurtful. Women can be cruel. There's even an entire movie dedicated to the harmful attributes of femininity (and it does a great job of tackling those issues from the core). Women often tear other women down, especially if they think it'll benefit them. Women will even gang up together to tear someone down because they know numbers make them stronger.

Being a woman isn't always easy, and it's not just because of the patriarchy.

When I look back on all the difficulties with other people I've experienced throughout my life, almost all of them stemmed from other women. As a matter of fact, I can only think of one man who has truly been a toxic and negative force in my life, and I can think of many, many women in comparison. When I recall all of the times I've been bullied (I was text-book definition bullied in elementary and middle school), all of my perpetrators were women. They purposely left me out of things, they purposely spread rumors about me, and they purposely strived to isolate me.

When I think about the times someone has tried undermining in some type of role or position I've held, again, they were all women. They tried to manipulate me, they tried to manipulate others against me, and they purposely disrespected me to try to wrestle control over me.

Women don't grow out of these toxic tendencies.

I've had problems with women since the time I was seven up until now, at 21. I've had issues with women as recently as a month ago. I know grown women, women at the age of 30/40/50, who also have similar problems.

It's a part of our of gender that we've ignored for years. It's amazing that we've come so far as a gender, and we've created such a wonderful place in society for ourselves, but we'll never truly be empowered until we're able to truly empower each other.

I know this seems like a counter-intuitive position, this belief that femininity can be toxic, but I think it's quite progressive to recognize our faults and try to fix them. Once we stop being so wicked about other women, once we learn to recognize our toxic behaviors and to redress them, we will never achieve all that we want. We're the first to undermine other women, and we need to work on ourselves just as much as we work on the rest of society.

Once again, I'm so blessed to have the women I have in my life. I'm so lucky to know women who support me and build me up, and that's what we should strive for as a gender all the time.

We cannot keep acting like women are perfect and wonderful when there are glaringly obvious issues. We need to recognize our role in the struggles of being a woman and work towards eliminating them.

Cover Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.


From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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