Heather Heying, a former biology professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, has called out “toxic femininity” to combat the ills of “toxic masculinity” in today’s society.
Heying, who, according to her Twitter bio, is now a “professor in exile,” as well as an evolutionary biologist, penned a July 9 article on “toxic femininity.”
What’s a brief background on this?
Heying and her husband, Bret Weinstein, a former fellow professor at Evergreen State, were run out of the college in 2017 after Weinstein refused to leave the campus on a “Day of Absence,” during which all white people were encouraged to leave campus, allowing only people of color to occupy the campus.
Students rallied and demanded firings be handed for such refusals to leave the campus on that particular day.
Heying and Weinstein filed a tort claim against the school, and later resigned, having been given $450,000 and $50,000 for attorney’s fees by the school.
According to reports, Heying’s and Weinstein’s resignations were a stipulation of the settlement, in which Evergreen “[admitted] no liability, and [rejected] the allegations made in the tort claim.”
The couple initially sued for $3.85 million in damages for being subjected to a “racially hostile” campus, in which the professors said the school also “permitted, cultivated and perpetuated a … retaliatory work environment” following the school’s “Day of Absence.”
According to the claim, Weinstein “was subjected to ridicule by students and his colleagues, his safety was even put in danger, and on one occasion, he was forced to hold class in a parking lot because students blocked the entrance to his classroom.”
You can read more about the background here, and watch a video of the students’ outrage below.
What are the details of the article?
The article, titled “On Toxic Femininity,” disputed the popular and trendy social justice notion that all men are inherently toxic.
Heying wrote that in today’s popular society, men are merely criticized and slapped with the “toxic” label simply because they’re men. Heying said she believes a lot of this attitude can be attributed to what she calls “toxic femininity” without having to dispute that toxic masculinity exists at all.
Heying wrote, “[T]he use of the term [toxic masculinity] has been weaponized. It is being hurled without care at every man.”
“This term, toxic masculinity, is being wielded indiscriminately, and with force,” Heying wrote. “We are not talking imprecision now, we are talking thoroughgoing inaccuracy. Most men are not toxic. Their maleness does not make them toxic, any more than one’s ‘whiteness’ makes one racist.”
Heying went on to note that while many women have likely been victim at the hands of some manipulative, toxic men, “not all women are victims,” and those who have “truly suffered at the hands of men … do not want their status in the world to be ‘victim.’”
The professor added that “toxic femininity” can be just as damaging as its male counterpart and noted that “femininity becomes toxic when it cries foul, chastising men for responding to a provocative display.”
She then noted that she is not victim-blaming, but said that criticizing males on such a high level is extremely unhelpful in addressing the root problems between men and women, and went on to list several indications of what she perceives as “toxic masculinity.”
“Creating hunger in men by actively inviting the male gaze, then demanding that men have no such hunger — that is toxic femininity,” Heying wrote. “Subjugating men, emasculating them when they display strength — physical, intellectual, or other — that is toxic femininity. Insisting that men, simply by virtue of being men, are toxic, and then acting surprised as relationships between men and women become more strained — that is toxic femininity.”
Heying concluded, “Everyone who understands game theory knows how this game ends: Innocent people being vilified with false claims, and exposed to witch hunts. Sexual assault is real, but that does not mean that all claims of sexual assault are honest. The sex-specific toxicity that I have seen, when it has been obvious, has mostly been in the other court. All men are toxic and all women victims? No. Not in my name.”
(H/T: Campus Reform)