Gayle King and Toxic Feminism

Barrington Rose
4 min readFeb 11, 2020

Social media is currently abuzz, with the current feud between legendary rapper Snoop Dogg and journalist Gayle King, as a result of her recent interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie. Almost everyone seems to have an opinion about this issue, most seeming to side with Snoop and his demeaning characterization of Ms. King.

Gayle has also had her defenders, including former NSA official, Susan Rice, who warned that Snoop would face “an army” if he persisted in his vicious criticism. I personally think that Ms. King, overstepped her journalistic boundaries by repeatedly asking Lisa Leslie, about Kobe’s rape allegations so soon after his tragic death. However, Snoop lost some credibility by appearing to issue a threat and referring to her as, “a dog faced bitch.”

It’s shameful that Kobe’s death sparked such a nasty, public fight between two influential African-Americans, but the issue that needs to be discussed is, why would Gayle bring up such a sensitive issue during such a tragic time? Was she just trying to increase her ratings? Is she truly a sellout? A man hater?

I think that Gayle’s line of questioning is rooted in an obscure new terminology, called “toxic feminism.” For those who aren’t familiar with this term, it’s essentially when women, use their femininity as a weapon and as leverage in any situation that may benefit them. This term became popular, as a response to the MeToo movement, where legitimate allegations against Hollywood elites, like Harvey Weinstein, were levied, but also swept up well respected men, with spurious allegations.

The allegations against the latter, is the root of toxic feminism. Women using the MeToo movement as a weapon to settle old scores, and ruin the lives of men, whom they despise — regardless of the veracity of their assault claims.

Many details about Kobe’s accuser, emerged during the trial, most notably that his accuser bragged about sex with Kobe, and the forensics determined that she had semen from five other different men on her panties. Sex between Kobe and his accuser, was probably consensual. However, she saw an opportunity to blackmail him and allegedly received $2.5 million as a settlement.

After the trial, Kobe returned to his basketball life, tearing up the league and setting numerous NBA records. His play and his dominance over the years, helped to distance himself from the troubling rape allegations. When Kobe’s name was mentioned, rarely did anyone bring up the topic of rape, until Ms. King’s interview.

Gayle was not alone in dredging up the dated rape allegation. Many women — including black women, expressed sympathy for his alleged victim via social media. The bitterness and vitriol from black people is because of Ms. King’s ethnicity, the insensitive timing of her questions and her association with Oprah Winfrey. Oprah and Gayle are being “dragged” online with mean-spirited (and comical) memes, expressing their dislike for the two celebrities — due to their apparent criticism of black male celebrities.

Gayle probably thought her questions about the alleged rape were appropriate, because of the heightened popularity of the MeToo movement and the sense of empowerment it created for women to speak out. But that sense of empowerment can become toxic, when you only see the world through the eyes of a woman.

As men, we’re prone to exhibit our masculinity, it’s our nature — but we’re also aware that there are professional boundaries. When a man crosses that boundary, then he will judged by his actions, but toxic feminism, asserts that all men are the problem.

When you fail to empathize with a man because of his gender, you become toxic. When you fail to accept that your brother, or husband, or father is beyond redemption and empathy, then you become a toxic feminist.

Gayle has a son, and I’m sure that if tragedy were to strike him, she would not appreciate anyone bringing up questions about his past, immediately after his death. I also recently discovered an interview, where Gayle talks about walking in on her ex-husband having sex with her friend. I’m sure she wouldn’t want the media to bring this up at her passing, because it’s irrelevant, just as Kobe’s allegations are irrelevant to his legacy.

However, she felt empowered to question his legacy because he’s man — but Kobe deserves the same respect that she would give her son, and the same forgiveness she had for her ex-husband.

Rest in Power Kobe!

Follow Barrington Rose @40Confessions



Barrington Rose

Just a writer of words and a lover of verbs. Author of “Confessions of a 40 (something) Year Old Bachelor” Follow @40Confessions