The alternative to blaming our social system (the patriarchy) is to blame individual people for just being shitty, and although individuals do bear personal responsibility for their actions, living in a dominance hierarchy (which is what patriarchy is) influences how we interact with each other on all levels. It is the root cause of not just things like sexual harassment, but also racism, homophobia, and bullying of all sorts. Which is why I said this in my comment:

"the patriarchal society that we live in, meaning, socially stratified, always comparing yourself to others, vying for the highest status, etc., and not just the male/female power differential. A lot of male jerkiness comes from the same place - societal expectations and norms."

You've conflated a bunch of things in your response and I'm not got to take the time to tease them all apart, but I'll reiterate again that the definition of toxic masculinity is traditional masculine characteristics taken to an unhealthy extreme. Therefore, toxic femininity would be same, but for women, and what Jessica described is not that. It's internalized insecurities and ensuing self-absorbed behaviors that come from living in a culture that has certain expectations of men and certain other expectations of women, and also includes constant comparison to those around us, rather than trying to just be the best person you can be for yourself.

People who don't live in dog-eat-dog cultures don't have a lot of these same issues. The "toxic" narratives that you've identified that women have created all are a function of our social system as well. That's patriarchy on parade. Why else would any women gravitate to that stuff? Because they've been sold a messed up idea of what a man is supposed to be, just as men have been sold a messed up idea of that.

Here's some other things that I've written that explain a bit more about where I'm coming from.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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