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.
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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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Being The Last Friend To Turn 21 Isn't ALL Bad

All your friends have turned 21, but that is okay

Cassidy
Cassidy
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You may think being the last one out of your friend group to turn twenty-one is the worst thing in the world, but in all honesty, it doesn't have to be. One of the biggest perks is that everyone of your friends can go out to the bars with you on your birthday. All the people who turn twenty-one first have to wait for people to be able to go out with them, but you get to celebrate your birthday with all of your friends.

Another huge reason you should feel okay with being last to turn twenty-one is thinking about all the money you are saving. The bars are expensive. When you don't go to the bars you are saving so much money because an average bar drink is about seven dollars. This being said seven dollars multiple times a night, multiple nights a week really adds up, so you are going to have to budget your money better.

You don't have to be the one to buy alcohol for everyone else. Having a ton of people ask you to buy them alcohol must get annoying at a point, and if you're the youngest out of your friends, no one will be asking you to do liquor store runs for them because they can all go already for themselves.

The biggest reason is that you can enjoy being young. You should still continue to enjoy going to house parties and just being able to hang out with friends without having to go to the bars. Spend these months before you turn twenty-one just being able to enjoy life without feeling obligated to go out to the bars all the time. You have a great excuse when you don't want to drink on a weekday to just stay in. This being said it will be your turn to turn twenty-one soon.

Cassidy
Cassidy

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