Arts & Entertainment | May 3, 2021 11:00 am

Billie Eilish Says “Men Are Very Weak”

The star reminds us that masculinity is often both toxic and fragile

Billie Eilish on the cover of British Vogue
Billie Eilish is British Vogue's June cover star.
CRAIG MCDEAN for British Vogue

Men, Billie Eilish is not impressed. The star spoke about power, gender and abuse in an interview for British Vogue‘s June cover story, pointing to male fragility as a root cause of the crisis of abuse and misconduct that remains at the heart of modern masculinity.

“I really think the bottom line is, men are very weak,” said Eilish. “I think it’s just so easy for them to lose it,” she added, slamming the sexist excuses often made in defense of male predators in an attempt to blame women for their own abuse: “‘You expect a dude not to grab you if you’re wearing that dress?’ Seriously, you’re that weak? Come on! Go masturbate!”

Eilish also noted the staggering prevalence of sexual misconduct among men. “I don’t know one girl or woman who hasn’t had a weird experience, or a really bad experience,” said the star, who described her new single, “Your Power,” as “an open letter to people who take advantage — mostly men.” Eilish also added that women aren’t the only ones vulnerable to abuse at the hands of men, noting that “young boys” and even men themselves are also “taken advantage of constantly.”

“It doesn’t matter who you are, what your life is, your situation, who you surround yourself with, how strong you are, how smart you are. You can always be taken advantage of,” said Eilish. “That’s a big problem in the world of domestic abuse or statutory rape — girls that were very confident and strong-willed finding themselves in situations where they’re like, ‘oh my god, I’m the victim here?’ And it’s so embarrassing and humiliating and demoralizing to be in that position of thinking you know so much and then you realize, I’m being abused right now.”

“Masculinity” is a word almost invariably preceded by one of two qualifiers these days, “toxic” or “fragile.” While those terms have arguably approached or even passed the point of buzzy, reductive cliché, Eilish’s unflinching analysis of the ubiquity of male abuse reminds us that masculinity — as it is often practiced, anyway — is indeed both toxic and fragile. In fact, that fragility may be the root of all the toxicity that remains insidious within society. As Eilish notes, an abuse of power is really just a display of weakness.