This post was inspired by someone on Twitter a while ago who objected to the phrase ‘toxic masculinity’ and wanted to know if there was such a thing as ‘toxic femininity‘. I don’t know that there is, but this is the scenario that leapt to mind.
I don’t hate men, but I do hate this man. We race together towards a red light. He’s not far behind me, but he definitely is behind me. We yank on our brakes to come to a halt, and he pulls up next to me. Then, side-by-side, we sweat. We pant. We eye each other up. Then amber, green: go – we’re off. Another futile race which he cannot possibly win. He’ll try anyway, why not? And I don’t care if he tries – I like that he does. I swallow his attempts to beat me like shots of tequila and cum, delighting in how bitterly they burn as they slide down my throat.
I don’t ever want to be vulnerable purely because I’m a woman. I understand life has its moments, and leaning in to vulnerability – when you’re with friends and loved ones – can be a valuable thing to do. Let people in, get closer, see their vulnerabilities too and nurture them through hard times. But broadly, I don’t want to be vulnerable. I go through life doing powerful things, and rejecting vulnerability because I don’t want to feel weak. Unfortunately, the world is peppered with men who want to remind women just how vulnerable we are.
I am single now, so I’m doing everything on my own. I fucking love it. There’s an immense and roaring joy that comes with the power of being alone. The power to do or not do something based purely on whether the fuck I want to. Singing loudly in the kitchen. Dancing… well… everywhere. Learning new things and remembering old things and saying ‘yes’ when someone asks me for Skype drinks. I’m a strong, independent woman. In every single area except one.
To the one night stands. To the fucks who didn’t love me, or ever need me to love them: a heartfelt thank you. You were not mistakes, but memories.
I know it’s irrational, I know it sounds silly. I know there is no ultimate benchmark of behaviour whereby one could draw a line that divides people into conclusive ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories. I know that it’s needlessly patronising – infantilising, even – and that by accepting the label I put myself in a position that’s wildly at odds with the feminist principles that guide the rest of my life. But still: I want you to tell me I’m a very good girl.