Over the weekend, Jonah Hill’s ex-girlfriend Sarah Brady leaked a series of messages between the two detailing Hill’s plans for their now-defunct relationship. Shocking “boundary”. Hill allegedly (the exchange was unconfirmed) explained that his need for a romantic partner did not support Brady “surfing with men,” “having inappropriate friendships with men without boundaries,” posting photos “in bathing suits.” , posting “sex pics,” “models,” or “building friendships with women who are in a precarious state because of their wild recent past, beyond grabbing lunch or coffee or doing something respectful.” We Many people in the group joked that it sounded like the perfect summer for a little unhealthy, a little dissociated, and totally autonomous. We can even jokingly say that inappropriate friendships with men without boundaries are exactly what your 20 is for. But glibness, as amusing as it is, doesn’t stop Hill from being (allegedly) coercive in his speech.
For me, articulating boundaries means identifying exactly those people, places, or things. Test your moral truth, personal safety, or emotional health in order to make a decision whether to challenge the deviant behavior or walk away from the situation entirely. Boundaries are not the way to stop your partner from surfing with guys or modeling. Boundaries are not a means of limiting or controlling the behavior of others. It’s amazing how therapeutic language—a protective language by design—can be used to elicit manipulative, misogynistic behavior with such ease. In this new normal—the tricky age of weaponized therapy—weak people argue for your autonomy with open logic and emotional candor. It’s very “it hurts when you seem free,” and it all plays out so matter-of-factly. It’s not dramatic, and it’s not the result of the outward anger of toxic men we’re used to. It feels grounded, almost emotionally pragmatic. Yet it is a dire red flag, an incredibly eloquent act of coercive control.
Hill also asked his then-girlfriend to remove a series of photos from her feed, some of which are now being reposted. These images of Brady — in our age of increasingly hypersexualized, feigned coquettishness, where the possibility of sexuality is quietly announced to our Instagram followers — feel surprisingly asexual and tame. Most adult women (and men) know when their content is potentially provocative or enticing, but we don’t see these in the photos we dig; they’re thirst-quenching traps. But the way sexuality and sexual availability is assessed is an important part of the problem.
According to the logic of Hill’s message, the means women use to grab a man—the flesh, the flirting, the frivolity—should stop once the man has fallen into the trap. When a woman takes pride in how she looks, when she stays confident and maintains friendships on her own terms, she increases her autonomy, empowers her outside of her partner, and most importantly, asserts where she stands and not his status. have. That’s what misogyny doesn’t like: women who don’t play submissive adjacent roles. These arguments were never really about swimsuits or boundaries, and the pretense of caring about her health was misguided. They are stories about a woman giving up herself for her man.