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“What About Toxic FEMININITY??” Tucker Triggers Feminist Writer


Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2018
Littlehampton, UK

Toxic Femininity: Machiavellian Mary in the Workplace
The type of leaders who are hired is critical to a successful business.

"Toxic femininity" refers to women who are hostile to nurturance and cooperation, opting instead for aggression and backstabbing to get ahead. In this regard, the type of leaders and team builders who are hired is critical to a successful business. Certain personality characteristics are associated typically with leaders who are willing to be risk takers, assertive, fighters, and task-oriented. Nurturant is not a typical descriptor of leaders. It suggests a “mothering” approach and evokes images of passivity; that is, being a supporter rather than a leader, and being someone who is focused on relationships rather than tasks. Men who hire women to be leaders may not consider “nurturers” as competent for the role. Therefore, women in business leadership positions, may consciously or unconsciously, shy away from these and other “feminine-centric” images.

A particularly virulent personality leadership type by a woman is one we label “Machiavellian Mary.” This style denotes a superficially agreeable, yet ruthless, self-focused, and false individual. Machiavellian Mary is “mean business.” She kills “buy-in” from key stakeholders—the employees who are the face and backbone of the business. Her authoritarian style poisons the working environment that could otherwise nourish new ideas. Hers is a “top-down” communication style—one that promotes a culture of dishonesty and fear.

Yet, Machiavellian Mary often rises to high-level positions. Why? Because she plays well in the “male” game of pyramidal hierarchies. She knows how to be pleasing to those on top and how to control and step on-and-over those below.

As women professionals, we’ve witnessed this style. Our female colleagues and friends agree that some of the worst bosses they have had were Machiavellian Marys. Many stories are told of how Machiavellian Mary created friction, pitted co-workers against each other, and promoted dissension and an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust. These accounts reveal how Machiavellian Mary lowered morale, caused employee strife, damaged productivity, contributed to EEO actions and lawsuits, and jeopardized solvency.

Yet, Machiavellian Marys continue to be prominent in leadership positions of power across sectors. Why? Frankly, they succeed because both men and women believe in the myth of the “Iron Lady” as having the characteristics that are admirable and desirable because they promote the “bottom line.” We may unconsciously assign nurturant styles to the roles of subordinates who are to be led, but not to be the leaders. We may think that women who were able to move up “the leadership ladder” did so because they could be ruthless; or if that term is not palatable, we may soften the adjective to “realistic” or “has a business sense.” Such a woman may be viewed as skillfully playing the game.

Despite gender equality as the overt mantra, the archetypes of strength as masculine and weakness as feminine remain potent today, just as they have in the past. Power impacts our view of others; we respect those with status and assign lower esteem to those without. Historically, men have had more power than women; consequently, women may unconsciously assign more respect to women who lead like men.

In addition, men may be more comfortable with Machiavellian Mary, at least initially. Machiavellian Mary has no problems in promoting herself. On the surface, she can look like she is getting the job done and is not distracted by interpersonal issues, such as being concerned about the needs of others. As she does not have “feminine frills” like a democratic style (e.g., acknowledging teamwork), tasks such as down-sizing, aggressive take-overs, and issuing demotions come easily to her.

Is a nurturing leadership style just a nice theory that plays well in academic journals and sounds good in conferences about transformational leaders? Is it more aspirational than pragmatic? Several years ago, researchers found that biomedical research centers with a nurturing leadership style yielded the most major biomedical discoveries. There are examples in other fields where promoting cooperation rather than competition enhances creativity. Although hiring Machiavellian Mary may look good at first, she will ultimately hamper the true growth and potential of the business.

Cooperation instead of “dog-eat-dog” competition fosters creativity—whether it’s in the form of inventions or new products, original works, scientific contributions, or successful business practices. Machiavellian Mary kills potential. The key to new ideas and growth comes from planting the seed of entrepreneurial altruism. Although there is a much to endorse about healthy competition, we believe that a cooperative spirit of promoting the success of others and encouraging teamwork will stimulate the exponential explosion of phenomenal creativity and productivity, as well as lead to better work environments.

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Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2018
Littlehampton, UK
On Toxic Femininity
written by Heather E. Heying

Male lions can be monsters, murderous and focused. Toxic, if you will.

Given the opportunity, male lions will kill the kittens in a pride over which they have gained control. They commit infanticide, which brings the new mothers, freshly childless, back into estrous. The females are quickly impregnated. This, we can all agree, is disturbing behavior, and may make some people feel rather less pleased with lions.

Given the opportunity, the vast majority of modern human males would do no such thing.

Those who argue that men are inherently toxic are, ironically, making arguments that are biologically essentialist. And they are making them badly, at that. Evolution built humans, as it did lions. But humans have longer childhoods and greater generational overlap, share more ideas with greater complexity, and usually live in more stable social groups than do lions. In humans, evolution has given us the capacity to shape personality during development to a greater degree than in any other species. As such, and because few human cultures would tolerate such behavior, the vast majority of men would not and could not kill babies, nor rape their grieving mothers.

Over 30 years ago, I came of age as a female in LA. Being a young woman in LA means being watched—watched for deviations from the norm, for indications of future fame, for signs of weakness. Watched simply for how one looks. There are, unfortunately, many examples, recent and not, that point to LA’s most famous industry being a place where young women need to be on guard. I never aspired to the industry, but even just living in LA, the culture is omnipresent.

Two anecdotes should suffice. Walking alone in my sun-kissed west LA neighborhood one summer, I was approached by a man looking for extras for a beach scene in a movie. Before I had said a word, he told me where to go, how much I would be paid per day, and what would be expected of me: that I stand around in a bikini, among others similarly clad. I told him I was going to college. He literally looked me up and down, adopted a frown, and assured me that I did not need to go to college. Beach scenes were my future, and from there—who can say? Better beach scenes, presumably.

Second anecdote: One of my many part-time jobs in high school, along with scooping ice cream and renting out VHS tapes, was staffing high end catering events. Dressed in classic, tailored black and white, I carried platters of hors d’ouevres around during cocktail hour, and ferried plated entrees during table service. At indoor events, male attendees would often stop me to engage in small talk, and ask for my number. I wished that they wouldn’t, but I felt no risk. One night, though, I worked an event on the backlot of Universal Studios. A group unaffiliated with Hollywood had booked it for a no-expenses-spared fete, and I was to do the usual, except that I would have to cover more ground. The kitchen was further away, the guests more spread out, with no walls to contain them. Before table service, my co-workers and I made the rounds with our platters of bruschetta and cured meats. On this Hollywood backlot, though, the lack of walls proved dangerous. A young man—older than me but younger than 30—maneuvered me away from the crowd. There were many shadows, and he stood too close. He looked at me with predatory eyes. He backed me into a hedge, rubbed up against me. And I got away from him before it went any further.

That was toxic masculinity, before the phrase existed.

Yes, toxic masculinity exists. But the use of the term has been weaponized. It is being hurled without care at every man. When it emerged, its use seemed merely imprecise—in most groups of people, there’s some guy waiting for an opportunity to fondle a woman’s ass without her consent, put his hand where he shouldn’t, right? That’s who was being outed as toxic. Those men—and far, far worse—do exist. Obviously. But wait—does every human assemblage contain such men? It does not. This term, toxic masculinity, is being wielded indiscriminately, and with force. We are not talking imprecision now, we are talking thoroughgoing inaccuracy.

Most men are not toxic. Their maleness does not make them toxic, any more than one’s ‘whiteness’ makes one racist. Assume for the moment that we could agree on terms: Is maleness more highly correlated with toxic masculinity than is femaleness? Yes. Ipso facto—the term is about maleness, so men will display more of it than will women. The logical leap is then concluding that all men are toxic. The very communities where ‘toxic masculinity’ is being discussed most are the communities where the men are, in my experience, compassionate, egalitarian, and not at all toxic.

Calling good men toxic does everyone a deep disservice. Everyone except those who seek empowerment through victim narratives.

For the record: I am not suggesting that actual victims do not exist, nor that they do not deserve full emotional, physical, legal, medical, and other support. I also do not want to minimize the fact that most women, perhaps even all, have experienced unpleasantness from a subset of men. But not all women are victims. And even among those women who have truly suffered at the hands of men, many—most, I would hazard to guess—do not want their status in the world to be ‘victim.’

All of which leads us directly to a topic not much discussed: toxic femininity.

Sex and gender roles have been formed over hundreds of thousands of years in human evolution, indeed, over hundreds of millions of years in our animal lineage. Aspects of those roles are in rapid flux, but ancient truths still exist. Historical appetites and desires persist. Straight men will look at beautiful women, especially if those women are a) young and hot and b) actively displaying. Display invites attention.

Hotness-amplifying femininity puts on a full display, advertising fertility and urgent sexuality. It invites male attention by, for instance, revealing flesh, or by painting on signals of sexual receptivity. This, I would argue, is inviting trouble. No, I did not just say that she was asking for it. I did, however, just say that she was displaying herself, and of course she was going to get looked at.

The amplification of hotness is not, in and of itself, toxic, although personally, I don’t respect it, and never have. Hotness fades, wisdom grows— wise young women will invest accordingly. Femininity becomes toxic when it cries foul, chastising men for responding to a provocative display.

Where we set our boundaries is a question about which reasonable people might disagree, but two bright-lines are widely agreed upon: Every woman has the right not to be touched if she does not wish to be; and coercive quid pro quo, in which sexual favors are demanded for the possibility of career advancement, is unacceptable. But when women doll themselves up in clothes that highlight sexually-selected anatomy, and put on make-up that hints at impending orgasm, it is toxic—yes, toxic—to demand that men do not look, do not approach, do not query.

Young women have vast sexual power. Everyone who is being honest with themselves knows this: Women in their sexual prime who are anywhere near the beauty-norms for their culture have a kind of power that nobody else has. They are also all but certain to lack the wisdom to manage it. Toxic femininity is an abuse of that power, in which hotness is maximized, and victim status is then claimed when straight men don’t treat them as peers.

Creating hunger in men by actively inviting the male gaze, then demanding that men have no such hunger—that is toxic femininity. Subjugating men, emasculating them when they display strength—physical, intellectual, or other—that is toxic femininity. Insisting that men, simply by virtue of being men, are toxic, and then acting surprised as relationships between men and women become more strained—that is toxic femininity. It is a game, the benefits of which go to a few while the costs are shared by all of us.

I had a student on one of my study abroad trips who had a perennial problem with clothing. She was never wearing enough of it. She was smart, athletic, and beautiful, but also intent on advertising hotness at all moments. At a field station in a jungle in Latin America, she approached me to complain that the local men were looking at her. The rest of us were wearing field gear—a distinctly unrevealing and unsexy garb. She was in a swimsuit. “Put on more clothes,” I told her. She was aghast. She wanted me to change the men, to talk to them about where to point their eyes. Here in their home, where we were visitors, and one of the gringos had shown up nearly naked, she wanted the men to change.

For a spell before that, my job was to trek around tropical forests studying poison frogs. I was interested in their sex lives, in figuring out how they choose their mates and their territories, in how they parent, and in what that meant about the evolution of sociality more generally.

My research revealed, in part, how many different ways there are to be territorial, and to be successful, in male frogs. In Madagascan poison frogs, there are multiple routes to success, both naturally and sexually selected—males can succeed, evolutionarily, by holding high-quality territories, and they can also succeed by having no territories at all (but by being rather more sneaky). Wide variance in strategy, and shifting strategies under different conditions, is well studied in animal behavior and game theory.

Given that we know this to be true in non-human animals, why would we imagine that humans are less, rather than even more, flexible? There are many ways to be female, and many ways to be male, and some of each are bad news for everyone but the individual employing them. As a social species that has become the dominant ecological force on our planet, we can and should aspire to behave in ways that are not merely selfish, not merely competitive, but also collaborative. Toxic masculinity, and toxic femininity, are inherently selfish modes, and those not employing them should be interested in seeing them eradicated.

The movement that has popularized the term ‘toxic masculinity’ shares tools and conclusions with those who see signs of ‘white supremacy’ everywhere they look. Intersectionalists have in common with one another a particular rhetorical trick: Any claim made by a member of an historically oppressed group is unquestionably true. Questioning claims is, itself, an act of oppression.

This opens the door for anyone who is willing to lie to obtain power. If you cannot question claims, any claim can be made.

Thus: Racism is ubiquitous. And all men are toxic. I object—but objection is not allowed. Everyone who understands game theory knows how this game ends: Innocent people being vilified with false claims, and exposed to witch hunts. Sexual assault is real, but that does not mean that all claims of sexual assault are honest.

It is shocking that this bears saying, but there is a world of men who are smart and compassionate and eager to have vibrant, surprising conversations with other people, both men and women. The sex-specific toxicity that I have seen, when it has been obvious, has mostly been in the other court. All men are toxic and all women victims? No. Not in my name.

Heather E. Heying is a former professor of evolutionary biology at The Evergreen State College. She has a PhD in Biology from the University of Michigan, and is the author of Antipode, an investigation of life and research in Madagascar. You can follow her on Twitter @HeatherEHeying

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Reactions: JustKidding


Active Member
Sep 3, 2018
Interesting article, JP. As a woman, I would much prefer to work for a man than a woman. The world is now completely upside down.
Reactions: JPConservative


Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2018
Littlehampton, UK
Interesting article, JP. As a woman, I would much prefer to work for a man than a woman. The world is now completely upside down.
As a man who has worked in a female dominated profession, I have come across quite a few Machiavellian Marys. Men will tell you upfront if you've made a mistake and will let you fix it if it was a genuine mistake. Not so with Machiavellian Marys. I'm not saying all women are bad bosses and all men are good... However, when women try to act like men, they make bad bosses, just like when men try to act like women.

As you know JK, men and women are meant to complement one another. Each has strengths and weaknesses inherent in their natures. Toxic Feminism in the form of the modern Feminist movement is as harmful to women as it is to men. It is a clear manifestation of Cultural Marxism, and I will fight it to my dying breath for the anti-human movement that it is!

Jenny asked me recently why I concern myself with American politics. I say if America is lost to the dogma of Cultural Marxism, then the Western World, and the Glory of the combination of Judao-Christian Faith with Greco-Roman Philosophy will be lost forever.