Jonah Hill's Texts To His Ex Reinforce Idea That Traditional Men Are Attracted To 'Free' Women Because 'His Dream Is To Put Her In A Cage'

"He's like an exotic bird collector...He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage.”

jonah hill texts to ex and trevor noah independent women quote Denis Makarenko via Shutterstock / @SkinwithLolami via Twitter / @sarahhbrady via Instagram / Bianca Maria Arreola via Canva

Jonah Hill has recently come under fire after his ex-girlfriend, Sarah Brady, accused him of being emotionally abusive after sharing some text messages he had sent her.

In the messages, the 'Superbad' actor brazenly told Brady some of the unacceptable qualities and behaviors that he refuses to put up with from a romantic partner, including "posting pictures of yourself in a bathing suit" and "surfing with men."


“If these things bring you to a place of happiness I support it and there will be no hard feelings. These are my boundaries for romantic partnership,” Hill reportedly wrote in the text message.

jonah hill texts sarah brady instagram storyPhoto: @sarahhbrady / Instagram

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Not only has the 39-year-old actor sparked significant criticism about 'therapy speak abuse', but his messages have sparked a conversation about the type of women traditional men tend to go for and the sinister reason why.

Jonah Hill's texts reinforce the idea that traditional men often attempt to destroy the same traits that attract them to women in the first place.

Since Hill's texts with Grady were released, many people have chimed in on why independent women often find themselves caught up in controlling relationships. Many likened the situation to a quote from Trevor Noah's autobiography, 'Born a Crime,' in which he recounts his mom explaining the unfortunate dynamic between traditional men and "free" women.

"The way my mother always explained it, the traditional man wants a woman to be subservient, but he never falls in love with subservient women. He's attracted to independent women," Noah wrote of his mom's words. "'He's like an exotic bird collector,' she said. 'He only wants a woman who is free because his dream is to put her in a cage.'"


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In a series of tweets, Una McIlvenna, an Honorary Senior Lecturer in History at the Australian National University, expanded on how she's witnessed that same belief, explaining that she used to work as an air hostess and would often see men drawn to the women working in that field.

"I saw it countless times while working there: guys would seek out these fun, exciting girls full of life and light, and then try to destroy exactly what made those girls shine," she wrote. Mcllvenna noticed that as soon as things would get serious, these "traditional men" would often grow to resent their girlfriends for the same "free" and "independent" spirit they fell in love with.

She claimed that many of these women would often complain about how their husbands would force them to quit their jobs and adapt to a lifestyle that better suited them.


"For those who think [Jonah Hill] is just ‘setting boundaries’, he chose to be with a surf instructor and then tried to control the thing she loved, to destroy it. This happens ALL THE TIME. These are the first steps in coercive control," Mcllvenna continued.

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Coercive control is an often common form of emotional abuse experienced by women in romantic relationships.

Coercive control is a particular kind of domestic abuse. It's defined as an ongoing system of control, in which the abusive partner seeks to override their partner’s autonomy and destroy their sense of self. 

Hill's attempt at controlling Brady's lifestyle shows that the actor had a lack of respect for Brady's autonomy and right to individuality. 


"If you’re a guy who feels the need to defend [Hill], ask yourself why. If you’re a guy who can’t understand why women in your feed are calling this abusive, ask yourself why. We recognise the red flags of coercive control and know what it leads to," Mcllvenna pointed out in her tweet.



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Due to the effects of the patriarchy, many men feel the need to exhibit power over women, especially women they are in relationships with. Rather than expressing his feelings and needs respectfully and healthily, Hill chose to exert coercive control instead, disguising it as "boundaries."


Mcllvenna encouraged anyone who may feel that they are in a relationship with someone that is trying to "extinguish" their light to seek a way out. 

"If you’re with someone who tries to extinguish the light you bring into this world by making you become something they’re more comfortable with, you need to leave," Mcllvenna urged. "They will not get better. Your life will become very miserable very quickly. Walk away."

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.