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Anima/Animus + Toxic Gender Roles [Episode 10.5]

Updated: Dec 24, 2020


For this Bonus episode, McCall is diving into Jung’s theory of Anima (the feminine aspect in a male) and Animus (the masculine aspect in a female) and the toxicity that occurs when those characteristics become too extreme.

This week, Alison Whiteacre, a transfemme transition coach (a perfectly suited career, we think!) and an old love of McCall’s, joins the show to speak candidly on how she feels about femininity and masculinity and what transitioning has taught her so far. Also on deck this week is Cassidy, whose work in rape crisis gives her an interesting, albeit biased, perspective on terminology she unboxes with us.


  • [1:56] Our Village

  • [2:44] What is animus?

  • [3:53] What’s anima then?

  • [6:38] Alison Whiteacre and transition coaching

  • [8:32] Alison’s 4 Phases of Change (like playing your hand)

  • [11:02] Girls have more fun!

  • [12:49] Gender fluidity and Non-Binary Billy

  • [15:15] Gender Dysphoria

  • [15:59] Alison’s 3-Step Life Hack

  • [17:52] Cass’s reaction to toxic femininity

  • [22:24] Toxic gender roles: a phone call

  • [31:53] Devon Price: “Toxic Femininity Holds All of us Back”

  • [35:36] John Mellencamp “Little Ditty” outtake


  • [10:30] “At the core, the inner critic is developed early on in life, designed to keep us safe and small. It all boils down to: I'm not good enough. And it comes in different shapes and sizes….You can't get rid of your inner critic. You just have to train it. You have to repurpose it.” --Alison Whiteacre

  • [14:53] “Sometimes I get these little feelings that are… a memory of the masculine, and... I'm not a big fan. It's a visceral thing… I just feel like I'm being myself now, and that I will naturally be to some degree non-binary, but I don't really walk around thinking about masculine and feminine. I'm just being myself now.” --Alison Whiteacre

  • [16:31] “...when I realized the correlation between me judging others and me judging myself - when it just became painful, I became painfully aware of it… I came up with a life hack. … it's a three step process. I love myself. I forgive myself. Then, with attention and focus and admiration: I love you for being you.” --Alison Whiteacre

  • [24:03] “Well, my animus is erupting all over the place [with opinions], lemme just tell ya…” --Cassidy Villano

  • [25:23] “...we do play the cards we have, the cards we're dealt. When we play the cards and manipulate them in some way... it's not authentic. And when it's not authentic, it very quickly turns toxic, I think.” --McCall Bennett-Lawrence

  • [33:10] “...We all watched as Sarah Fisher's legs automatically slammed together and then crossed over one another in a frantic, unthinking bid to make herself small.” --Devon Price, from “Toxic Femininity Holds Us All Back

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tags: 12-step recovery | spiritual recovery | recovery podcast | spiritual exploration | spiritual podcast | carl jung | jungian psychology | anima | animus | transgender | toxic masculinity | toxic femininity | gender stereotypes

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