Dr. Helen

Toxic Femininity and Lack of Personal Responsibility

Toxic Femininity and Lack of Personal Responsibility
American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France while working on his CNN series on culinary traditions around the world. (Ian West/PA Wire URN:36901111, Press Association via AP Images)

I was surprised to see a decent article entitled “HOT LINES: Can We Talk About Toxic Femininity?” at Penthouse.com:

On June 8th, celebrity chef, author, and food show host Anthony Bourdain hanged himself in his French hotel room. Although Bourdain had openly talked about his battles with addiction and depression, the world was shocked that he had taken his own life. The question on everyone’s minds: Why would he do this?

However, as the days went by and the press storm raged on, another question arose, this one not about why Bourdain committed suicide, but about how his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento, and a friend of the couple, actress Rose McGowan, came to be feminist heroes to so many American women.

The article describes how Asia Agrento cheated on Bourdain and treated him poorly during the relationship and he became more and more distraught prior to committing suicide:

So what led to Bourdain’s death? Do we just say it was depression? I think suicide is a lot more complicated than that. It goes against everything our brain and body tell us to do. Most of us wake up every morning and try our best to stay alive. Basically, we do shit to avoid dying. But perhaps a person can hit their pain threshold, and everyone’s is different.

Men don’t deal with humiliation the same way women do. Men sometimes murder their lovers over humiliation. They also kill themselves over feeling humiliated. That doesn’t mean that we women should be held responsible for men’s behavior. Fuck no. But we should recognize how powerful we can be. We can choose to use our power any way we want. Maybe we should acknowledge that power, so we can proceed accordingly? …

“They started fighting on Tuesday,” the person wrote. “Tony had to leave the set multiple times to talk to her on the phone. Things escalated on Wednesday when by all accounts she told him she no longer wanted to be with him. Everyone was keeping an eye on him all day and night because he was incredibly distraught.”

The article tells women like Argento and other fake #MeToo advocates that they need to “own their shit” and take some responsibility for their actions. These phony activists probably never will take responsibility for anything in the current environment which lends itself to giving women like Argento a “pussy pass” and a voice while offering nothing but disdain for men.

If men are sad or upset like Bourdain, they live with the consequences and often blame themselves or even other men, but not women. This psychological dynamic can be deadly. His friends tried to get him to see that this woman was mean and abusive but he couldn’t hear critical words against a woman that he cared about. Many men feel this way and they think a failed relationship is their fault, always.

We as a society are teaching women like Argento that anything goes and she is always the victim. Even Bourdain’s suicide is seen as a tragedy for her. Really? As long as women have privilege and men have responsibility, our relationships, politics and laws will be one-sided and unfair. In the long run, this dynamic will destroy the lives of many, including women.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member