15 Signs of Toxic Femininity and What To Do About It

signs of toxic femininity

In this article, we will be discussing 15 signs of toxic femininity and what to do about it.

Toxic femininity is a term that refers to women using their feminine traits in a way that is harmful to others. This can include anything from being too emotional, overly sensitive, manipulative, gossipy, etc.

What is the cause of these traits? And what we can do about it if we exhibit these traits ourselves?

Keep reading for answers!

What are the signs of toxic femininity?

Here are 15 signs of toxic femininity:

  1. Being passive-aggressive (fake laugh, eye-rolling, silence, patronizing, …)
  2. Being hypercritical
  3. Shaming other women (their bodies, sexual choices, …)
  4. Being jealous and envious of other women
  5. Being overly emotional, creating unnecessary drama
  6. Using rumors and gossiping to destroy someone’s reputation
  7. Manipulating situations with guilt and lying
  8. Playing a victim to avoid responsibility (acting weak)
  9. Backstabbing
  10. Judging men based on superficial factors (income, height, …)
  11. Shaming male sexuality and sexual desires of her partner
  12. Setting unrealistic expectations for men
  13. Lying about pregnancy or birth control
  14. Manipulating men with jealously and insecurity to make them stay with her
  15. Setting double standards for men and women (men can’t hit women, but women can hit men)

What is toxic femininity?

Toxic femininity is a term that refers to women using their feminine traits in a way that is harmful to others.

Toxic femininity includes unhealthy expressions of femininity, like being excessively emotional, being overly sensitive, being manipulative or deceitful, being a chronic gossiper, and needing excessive attention.

Signs of toxic femininity can occur in women’s relationships, friendships, school, workplace, and also motherhood.

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How to spot toxic femininity?

Opposed to toxic masculinity, which tends to be overt, physical, and apparent, toxic femininity is usually subtle and less direct. Toxic femininity plays more on emotions and usually manifests in relationships.

What causes toxic femininity?

Some of the most common causes of toxic femininity include:

  1. Woman’s upbringing
  2. Wounded feminine energy
  3. Seeing other women as a threat
  4. Negative past experiences with men
  5. The pressure to match unrealistic beauty standards

1) women's upbringing

If girls are taught that “boys will be boys” when it comes to aggressive or sexual behavior, then they may learn that the way to get what they want (attention, love) is through emotional manipulation and passive-aggressivity.

It is important to release these negative thinking patterns you learned in the past as they are not serving you to live your best life.

2) WOUNDED feminine energy

The truth is that if you are relying on using toxic femininity to get what you want in life, you are choosing the hard way to do life. When you repress your feminine energy and push through life with your masculine energy, you end up exhausted and unhappy. I write about all the common signs of this issue here: 35 Signs Of Blocked Feminine Energy

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3) Seeing other women as a threat

Women often see other women’s youth, beauty, and sexual power as a threat to their own relationships and career. If you see another woman as competition, the only way to protect what’s yours (attention) is by putting her down. This comes out in the form of shaming and judging.

The solution to this is to build your confidence and strengthen your sense of self.

4) Negative past experiences with men

If a woman has had negative experiences with men in the past such as misused power and tyranny, she might start to view all men as being bad. This can then lead to her exhibiting toxic femininity traits in her relationships. 

Releasing these blocks can help women immensely to feel empowered again. Day 3 of the unlock feminine energy program is dedicated to healing this stored trauma and negativity that has been impacting your intimate relationships with a guided meditation. But you can also use reflective journaling or therapy.

5) The pressure to match unrealistic beauty standards

Society pressures women to match certain beauty standards, constantly showing who women should be. This pressure can lead some women to feel insecure about themselves, which then leads them to play the victim or blame others for their problems (manipulation).

What can we do about toxic femininity?

Here are some ways to combat signs of toxic femininity:

- Practise empathy

The best thing you can do to combat toxic femininity in yourself or someone else is to learn how to have more empathy. If you feel like something someone else is doing or saying is wrong, try to see things from their perspective.

- See people for who they are, instead of who they should be

Treat people as they are, not who you want them to be. This includes holding men and women to the same standards. If we stop judging each other, it will be easier for us to connect with one another on a deeper level.

- Speak up against toxic femininity

If you see someone exhibiting signs of toxic femininity, speak up! Let them know that their behavior is harmful and not okay.

- Become a role model

If you are a woman, try to lead by example and show other women that it’s okay to be themselves. Don’t subscribe to the societal pressures of toxic femininity, and instead celebrate all the unique things that make you special.

- Heal your feminine wounds

Truly healed feminine energy is playful, nurturing, creative and intuitive. To access this part of ourselves, we need to heal our feminine wounds and negative conditioning. I share 10 quick tips on how to start in this article here: 10 Steps How to heal wounded feminine energy

- Set a better example for our children

We can set a better example for our daughters by showing them that women are strong and powerful. We can do this by being confident in ourselves, standing up for what we believe in, and not putting other women down.

- Eliminate the competition mindset

Stop seeing women as a threat. Stop judging them based on how pretty or sexually available they are. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, so celebrate other women’s accomplishments instead of feeling threatened by them.

- Challenge beauty standards

Don’t compare yourself to airbrushed images you see in the media. Embrace your own unique beauty. You don’t have to be skinny or wear a lot of makeup to be beautiful.

- Stop demonizing both femininity and masculinity

Both can be harmful if taken to an extreme, which means we should stop demonizing both of them. We need both femininity and masculinity in society and in ourselves to create a happy life.

- Find your inner balance of masculine and feminine energy

Everyone has a mix of both masculine and feminine energy inside them. Find out what works best for you and embrace it. This could mean finding activities that make you feel more powerful and in control, or embracing your softer side more.

More on the topic in this article here: How to balance masculine and feminine energy in 5 steps

- Accept that everyone has their own baggage

Everyone has their own stories and experiences in life that shape the way they behave. If you want to have a better relationship with someone, try being more forgiving of their past mistakes.

- Challenge your beliefs

Is what you believe around men and women true? What is the story you keep telling yourself? Do you believe that men and women can’t be friends or that all men are bad? Try to challenge your own limiting beliefs. Think about what fears might underlie your behaviors, such as wanting to protect yourself from being hurt again.

- Work on yourself and surround yourself with people who work on themselves too

The best way to combat toxic femininity is by working on our own issues. If we are not willing to do this, it will be difficult for us to ever change these behaviors or even recognize them in ourselves. Try to surround yourself with people who also work on themselves and have healthy relationships.

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Final Thoughts on Signs of toxic femininity

Thank you for reading the fifteen signs of toxic femininity and what we can do about it.

By being more aware of these behaviors, we can hopefully start to change some of the ways we interact with each other.

Let’s work together to create a more positive world for everyone.

If you enjoyed this article, I am sure you will enjoy this next one, where I give you a list of wounded feminine energy traits, so you can quickly see for yourself if you have wounded feminine energy: 10 traits of wounded feminine energy.

about Katerina

heal feminine energy - how to feel like a woman

Hello lovely,

my name is Katerina and welcome to my page.

On this blog, I write about femininity and self-development.

Let’s get to know each other on my about page :)