I’m sure you’ve heard of the toxic masculine, but have you heard about the toxic feminine? Probably not, not much even comes up with a google search. Which is ironic considering toxic femininity plagues most of the developed world. But before we get into the toxic feminine, let’s first understand masculine and feminine energy as a whole.
The west has attached gender meaning to the terms masculine and feminine that historically did not exist. The reality is, masculine and feminine and synonyms with yin and yang, which the west doesn’t seem to attach gender to. Instead, they represent a type of energy. And the same can be said for masculine and feminine.
We currently associate being masculine with being ‘manly,’ being a bro, lifting weights, playing sports; none of which truly speak to actual masculine energy. And feminine is associated with being ‘girly,’ being fragile, being submissive and wearing dresses and makeup; again none of which truly represent the feminine. These terms are not meant to represent gender constructs built by western society but rather a type of energy. Historically these energies have been associated with biology, for relatively obvious reasons. Women give birth so it makes sense that they would have the nurturing energy of the feminine. And men biologically tend to be physically stronger than women, so it makes sense that they would have the masculine energy of protecting. But considering these are energies, they aren’t stagnant. With the changing culture and requirements, the energies have also began shifting. Not all women have dominant feminine energy and not all men have dominant masculine energy. In fact, a lot of people have a balance of both energies and can utilize either depending on the situation. It’s important to note that regardless of a person’s dominant energy, everyone carries both masculine and feminine energies and both need to be harmonized.
So if these energies aren’t gender roles, let’s better understand what these energies actually entail. That way we can understand the toxic aspect of these as well.
A simple understanding is that the masculine provides physical safety, while the feminine provides emotional safety. And both provide a level of spiritual safety. Looking at history we can understand what this has meant in the past. Men were hunters and protected their tribes against outside threats. They also acted as shamans and spiritual leaders. Women were care takers, raising the children and nurturing the men so they were strong for battle or hunting. They were also seen as possessing divine wisdom and connection with Mother Earth. In the past, there was a balance and a clear understanding that without both energies, the tribe would collapse. From this we can see that both energies are rooted in providing safety, in their own divine way. Here is a list of some of these two energy qualities:
As I mentioned, these energies have undergone a shift, resulting in them being much less tied to biology. A man can have a dominant feminine energy and a women can have a dominant masculine energy, or they can be completely balanced. And this has nothing to do with physical appearance, sexual orientation or gender identity. A feminine dominant man shouldn’t be assumed to be ‘girly.’ In fact you can have a body builder who would just prefer being a stay at home parent instead of being the financial provider. Or a women that wears heels and dresses every day and runs a multi-million dollar company. Physically, both of these examples may appear to be the western definition of masculine and feminine but energetically they are the opposite. The feminine energy is a stay at home parent because it thrives in its nurturing and gentle nature. The masculine energy runs a company because it thrives in the logical and decisive nature of the job. You can see it has absolutely nothing to do with men and women as genders but masculine and feminine as energies.
Now we can start to understand the Toxic Feminine. The toxic version of both of these energies tend to be these energies in overdrive and neglecting the self. It’s essentially overcompensation, which is easier to see with the toxic masculine, but is also very clear in toxic feminine if you know what to look for. The toxic feminine is, in essence, the energy of allowing your energy to be drained and thinking that giving your energy is your responsibility. In other words, over caring and not having boundaries to realize when you should stop giving. To think sacrificing your own well being to take care of everyone else is nurturing or compassion. Another term for this could be the unhealed empath. Caring about people that don’t care about you because you feel like you have to. Or feeling like you have to show up for other people despite already running on empty from everything else you’ve already been doing. And never taking the time to nurture yourself. Sound familiar? Yeah, the self care movement wouldn’t be a thing if everyone had healthy feminine energy. The Divine Feminine knows her worth and therefore does not freely give if she does not also receive from the people and experiences she is giving to. The Divine Feminine is far too valuable to be drained of energy. This doesn’t mean that you should expect to receive something in return every time you give something. Actually, it means you give to people and things that fill your heart with love. It's spending time with those friends that make you laugh instead of the friends that you feel obligated to just because you’ve known them longer. It’s doing the things that fulfill you.
Are you giving to people and situations that don’t fill you up? Then you might have a toxic feminine to work on. Here’s a list of Toxic traits for both energies:
Now that we understand the Divine and Toxic aspects of each energy we can take a look at our own lives and determine which energy may be our dominant and see where we need to do some shadow work. This can be important because if we are living in an energy that isn’t our dominant, it can cause a lot of anxiety. This is because we are out of alignment with our soul. You love to draw and create, but you’re working as a data entry specialist; you’ll probably feel out of alignment. And knowing what our energetic strengths are can help us to know which types of energies we may need when it comes to romantic, platonic or business partnerships. Having feminine energy will be great for the creative aspect of starting a business, but you’ll need that masculine energy to make decisions and solve the logical problems.
Take a look at the Divine and Toxic lists and see if any of those traits resonate with you. Are you a logical driven person, you may be masculine dominant. Do you over empathize with people to your own detriment? You may need to work on your feminine. Regardless of which energy may be your dominant, both need to be nurtured and acknowledged. You can work on these by simply exercising some of the divine traits even in simple actions. Feminine? Try drawing or creating something, maybe cook or bake for others. Masculine? Try giving to others or sticking to your word/plans. The more you work on these, the more divine you’ll feel. You can become confident in both of these energies if you work with them intentionally.