feminity exists at work

When toxic féminity exists at work

In many countries, young girls are brought up to fit a mold their societies dictate. These include expectations that women must be submissive, married by a certain age and bear children.

Even in a professional setting, many employees believe women should be subservient, passive, dress appropriately and focus on support instead of leadership. Also, several companies bypass women for promotion because they could become pregnant and their absence can cause disruptions in operations.

There’s even a common belief that women are emotional and thus cannot make rational decisions. Note that it’s not just men who think this – women too.

What then is Toxic Femininity?

feminity exists at work

It is behavior that upholds gender stereotypes and norms that degrade and discourage women from growing personally and professionally. It is also exhibited when women try to conform to traditions or norms at the expense of their individuality.

The definition of femininity is not the same everywhere, as culture, society, laws and even religion affect it. The social standards of one country may be different from that of another. But this doesn’t mean that change is impossible. It might take time for others to rid their societies of toxic femininity.

Nevertheless, here are a few ways to handle it.

Check your beliefs

Unknowingly, you might tolerate or advocate toxic femininity because your beliefs guide your behavior. Do you believe that there are roles for men alone or that women are incapable of specific tasks at work

Today, there aren’t any jobs for men only – maybe male dominated but not exclusive.

Analyze your belief system and ask yourself if you’re being fair to women. Be open to new views that you never considered before.

Make sound judgment

It’s going to take a while to change your beliefs. In the meantime, ask yourself if a person’s gender affects your evaluation of a colleague.

Even in a professional setting, certain traits are instantly attributed to women. For instance, they’re sensitive. You know that men can be sensitive too. When you assess a woman, ensure her gender isn’t a factor.

Make It Part of the Conversation

It isn’t wise to tell others that they are perpetuating toxic femininity. But when the opportunity arises, ask why they think that way.

This allows you to share your views, though contradictory. Discussing rather than telling people they’re wrong is always the better option. They may disagree with you, but get them to think about it.

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