The Deep-Rooted Misogyny in the Glorification of Toxic Relationships

Saturday, September 25

By Sasha Khanin

     He’s an asshole, but it’s hot. If you haven’t thought that before, you’re most likely lying. But why is it that the guys with enormous egos and the distaste for treating women with respect are the most desirable ones? It’s something about being chosen. He treats everyone like shit, but I’m different. There’s always a desire to be picked, selected, to feel special. I hope the feeling sticks when he treats you like everyone else. 

     The funny thing is, society has convinced women that they have to be different from other women to feel beautiful and wanted. If you are like other girls, you are like everyone else. There is nothing interesting about you. Are we surprised? No. Women will always be criticized, no matter what. But the point is, women, feel that they have to convince men that they are not like other women in order for them to be deemed “desirable.” But why is being like other women a bad thing? The concept, in itself, is slightly misogynistic the more you think about it because it forms a negative connotation with being a woman. 

     Now let’s talk about the unrealistic expectations for women. There have always been expectations set for women that are higher than those of men. For example, in Greek Mythology, Medusa has an affair with Poseidon, but she is the one punished and cursed for it. The “cult of domesticity” created standards for women: clean, cook, take care of your family and to this day, women are still taking the brunt of caring for children and domestic duties. Women have many hours of unpaid domestic labor, particularly in comparison to men: from homework to cleaning to cooking, there are so many responsibilities for women. On this planet, there are approximately 7.674 billion people and 3.905 billion of those people are women. And somehow every woman has to be entirely different from every other woman. I get that everyone is special and individual, but at the end of the day, we are all way more similar than we think. So, it’s impossible to expect every woman to be such an individual she is incomparable to the other 3.9 ish billion women out there. 

     I think every girl has heard, “I like you, you’re different” and their eyes rolled to the back of their head, trying to escape the not-so-subtle misogyny. Another thing about the “you’re not like other girls” cliche is that it convinces girls that being a woman and having characteristics of a woman is unattractive. But why do women have to be different to please men? And this brings me back to, why do so many women get into toxic relationships, what is the appeal? 

    It all goes back to the idea of being chosen, which can almost feel like being put on a pedestal, above everyone. I hate to break it to those who still believe it to be, but it’s really more of being put on a shelf with a few other trophies. It’s not a compliment, it’s objectification. Being chosen doesn’t mean you have to choose them. 

     Another reason why women go for these guys is that they have been taught that being objectified is a good thing and they should “take it as a compliment”; it’s really just a more subtle version of “he pushes you because he likes you.” So now that women have been convinced that they should be in toxic relationships, the appeal of being chosen is glorified. Not to mention, in the media, every toxic boy in the movies and books is romanticized because the lover is able to “change” or “fix them.” This creates the idea of being different enough that you could fix the unfixable, which is another unrealistic expectation that is imposed upon girls. 

     Overall, the toxic relationship and its romanticization are deeply rooted in misogyny and the unrealistic expectations forced upon girls. And if you disagree, maybe you should ask yourself why are you being expected to perform the impossible, but expect and glorify being treated like shit in your relationships? Or better yet, ask yourself why do the men in my life always treat me like shit? 

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