According to some experts, rigid gender roles have been elevated to the status of a problem: toxic masculinity and toxic femininity are cultural maladies that have plagued our society.
The fact that men can also be victims of violence is, of course, undeniable. But how well does the term “toxic femininity” capture the type of behavior that we see in Love Island (“Love Island Greece” is a Greek reality show based on the British TV series Love Island of the same name that premiered on September 29, 2022 on Sky TV)?
Is it referring to the aggressive behavior of women that we used to call “toxic” (for example, bullying, intimidation, or emotional manipulation in a relationship)? Should the show serve as an “example” for the youth, confirming that “women can be not only bad, but also just as ‘terrible (violent) as men’? Is “toxic femininity” a term meant to highlight the gender expectations that society Is the discussion of “toxic femininity” ultimately fair, feminist, or outright anti-feminist?All these questions have been tried to be answered by experts, sociologists and psychologists.
According to Mark Brooks, President of the ManKind Initiative, an organization that supports men who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse, “there is no such thing as toxic femininity or toxic masculinitythere is simply toxic people and toxic behavior“.
At first glance, this is a fair and equitable approach. However, Brooks goes on to argue that the term “toxic masculinity” is directed against men in general, “demonizing the entire male gender as a whole”.
Women who become angry, rude, or humiliating others are often subject to more intense and prolonged chastening, as anger itself is considered an unacceptable feminine trait.
Alicia Denby, a sociologist and PhD student at the University of Manchester, points out that women who get angry, rude or put down (exhibit their bitchiness) often subjected to more intense and prolonged censurebecause anger itself is considered an unacceptable female trait.
“This, of course, does not mean that women should not be held responsible for any violent behavior,” she notes, “it should not be used as an excuse to fuel an anti-feminist agenda.” Denby suggests that “instead of calling this behavior ‘toxic masculinity’ or ‘toxic femininity’, we first need to decide what it is, in the first place, the real thing.” emotional abuse“.
Psychologist and psychotherapist Nova Cobban seems to agree. “Actually,” she says, “toxic behavior is not correlated or even linked to gender, in fact, it is a negative behavior aimed at ensuring dominance.”
Trauma and emotional stability expert Dr. Lisa Turner says that toxic femininity “can be understood as a set of negative traits or behaviors that reflect the harmful aspects of gender stereotyping. Toxic femininity can include ostracizing women who do not conform to these norms or challenge traditional gender roles.”
However, the term “toxic femininity” still seems confusing, as it is particularly used both to promote and to criticize such stereotypes.
But let’s get back to the reality show, because the youth and teenagers “spend all day” watching TV screens. Or does the “box” teach nothing bad?
So, the reality show Love Island (“Love Island”) on ITV became the highest rated in its category in the history of British television. And Greece adopted it. The latest episode of the show was watched by more than six million people, and its title topped the list of the most popular hashtags on Twitter for two days.
Love Island is adored by teenagers, tolerated by their parents, and school teachers hate.
Love Island is most hated by teachers and principals. When describing it, they most often use the word “catastrophe”. And the point is not only that the atmosphere of the show and the manner of communication of its participants does not quite correspond to “exemplary behavior”.
“A study by the Mental Health Foundation says that 31% of teenagers are body shy. 35% of adults in the UK are also unhappy with their figure, and one in eight adults thought about suicide because of being overweight,” says the director of one of the English schools “While the message of ‘Love Island’ is you have to be beautiful and look good, otherwise you don’t deserve to be loved. And that’s the most dangerous message.”
“The show was made according to the principle: poor quality for the sake of high ratings,” critics wrote.
The concept of the “Island of Love” was invented in the first half of the “zero”. 10 guys and girls go to a tropical island, choose a couple. “In the process” they can change partners. Every week there is a procedure for the expulsion from the island of those who have not found a mate and those against whom the viewers voted. Couples, which are watched by about 70 cameras, spend most of their airtime in swimming trunks and swimsuits, the vast majority of them have close to model figures. They discuss each other and the members who are unfortunate enough to find a mate. From time to time, love triangles form in the villa where they all live – and this immediately becomes the number one topic.
In the media, the show is called a national phenomenon. Most Popular teen parties began to make out in the style of Love Island. It was desirable to carry them out in the fresh air, ideally – in the courtyard of the house, with the maximum amount of beach paraphernalia.
Their versions of the “prototype” of the British reality show are released in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Poland and Greece. They are as close to the original as possible.
“A woman, a real woman, must become more and more feminine, must be extremely soft and weak. And a man, if he wants to be a real man, must be as masculine as possible. When a real man comes into contact with a real woman, they are polar opposites, extremes. But only extremes can love each other and only extremes can enjoy intimacy. Only extremes attract each other. Today we are witnessing some kind of unisex: Men are becoming more feminine and women are becoming more and more masculine.. Sooner or later all these differences will disappear. Society will become colorless, it will be boring.” (“About a Woman” by Osho, quotes).
In general, it is unlikely that a reality show can be called “indicator» civilized society. And what will grow out of our children in the future, what they will become, depends, first of all, on each of us.
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