By now we have all seen the overtly ideological Gillette ad urging men to be better. No one seems to disagree that men could be better, but the ad’s male-bashing and shaming were not countered by any positive images of men. It was a propaganda film right out of the mind of feminism’s own Leni Riefenstahl, Kim Gehrig, and Orwell’s 1984.
Whether it is ultimately good or bad for society, it struck me as a desperate exercise in finger pointing by feminists. It tackled issues that are human, bullying and sexual harassment, but blamed them squarely on men. Why? Because women actually have a lot to answer for where “toxicity” is concerned.
Women learn the Middle School Mean Girl Guide to Toxic Relational Aggression by heart as girls. Girls also physically bully (is it toxic masculinity when they do it?), but female-style relational aggression is more insidious and safer than the straight-forward male physical version. It is all about manipulation. It consists of “frenemies” destroying relationships and self-esteem through rumors, lies, innuendo, false accusations, criticism of clothes and appearance, and shunning or exclusion. Many of these behaviors occur behind the victim’s back.
Girl bullies are motivated by jealousy, feelings of superiority, poor impulse control and lack of empathy, just like boy bullies. And it is not just girls they victimize. Boys can be physically and relationally bullied by girls and endure more stigma as victims of girls. Especially in the case of physical bullying they are just expected to take it.
Social media is fertile ground for the relational aggressor, and girls are twice as likely as boys to be the victims AND the perpetrators of cyberbullying. TWICE. There are numerous examples of girls and boys having been bullied into suicide by girls, with social media being a major component.
As adults, many women find that old habits die hard. #MeToo can be seen as a form of toxic femininity, relational aggression bullying against men using social media. Feminists see women as helpless little children who cannot level their accusations in a forum where the accused has rights and she could be cross-examined. They are too scared and weak to go through proper channels and do the right thing. So how do they get “justice?” By smearing a man’s reputation, getting him fired without normal due process and reducing him to groveling in public. And some of that damage is done by outright lies.
Men can also be the victims of sexual harassment by women, but #MeToo distracts any attention from that. That goal is aided by two things, conveniently for feminism: men are not socialized to see themselves as victims, and society would laugh at them if they were to come forward. Female on male sexual harassment is essentially erased from our radar.
But there is a more interesting toxic aspect of women in the workplace that #MeToo serves to distract from. 58% of workplace bullies are women. 70% of women report having been bullied or undermined at work by a female boss, 33% by a female colleague or underling. 40% of women prefer a male boss versus only 27% preferring a female one (and 33% had no preference). Apparently, “toxic femininity” on the job is so bad, more women would rather work for a man and risk the effects of “toxic masculinity” and sexual harassment.
Let that sink in. For years we have been deluged with the horror stories of men sexually harassing their female underlings and of women feeling thwarted, belittled and humiliated. #MeToo has kept it all in the headlines for nigh on two years now. Yet more women prefer to risk that than work for a woman. The official feminist answer to that conundrum is “internalized misogyny.” But it seems clear that either sexual harassment is not the problem for women feminists say it is or they are covering up for an extremely toxic femininity at play.
“Cover up” is not exactly right. To cover something up you need to be consciously aware of it. For all practical purposes feminists seem to be in deep denial. It is more like they are projecting their own faults onto men (who conveniently share those faults) to absolve women and defend their made-up victim narratives.
The sad truth of feminism is that reality has a habit of contradicting its narratives time and time again. Their rhetoric, and the Gillette ad, is hyperbole and distraction that can be reduced to a cartoonish “Look! Squirrel!”
An even sadder truth is that feminism itself is a form of relational aggression, of bullying. Let that sink in. But that is a topic for another day.