Been thinking about this topic for a while... would love to hear your thoughts!
Toxic masculinity may be a touchy topic for certain people, and it can even be perceived as an insult. However, the expression “toxic masculinity” is not meant to insult a person or group. It refers to some “masculine” behaviors that may damage both others and men themselves.
What exactly is toxic masculinity?
If you’ve ever heard someone say, “boys will be boys,” or “be a man,” the chances are that toxic masculinity is undoubtedly at work here. Toxic masculinity is characterized as a collection of cultural and social masculine standards that promote physical violence, aggressiveness, emotional suppression, homophobia, and sexism as the way men are “supposed” to act.
Toxic masculinity has an incredibly negative impact on males. Men are more likely than women to commit suicide, are less likely to seek mental health treatment, and are less likely to visit the doctor for preventative care. Then there’s the issue of guys not feeling free to express their feelings because they’ll be condemned for it.
This is not to claim that all males behave in this manner. Men’s peer groups, socioeconomic conditions, and upbringing all have a role. It’s a societal issue, not a problem with individual men.
How To Spot Toxic Masculinity?
If you’re not sure if someone is showing signs of toxic masculinity or not. We’ve listed the following examples to give you an idea of what those ‘toxic’ masculine traits might seem like:
Threatening or using violence
Attempting to appear tough
Harassment and bullying
Refusing to seek assistance while in need (mentally or physically)
Everyone experiences nasty, aggressive thoughts from time to time. We’re not arguing that being furious or having a night of heavy drinking now and then are indicators of toxic masculinity. But when a person establishes a constant destructive behavior (such as those mentioned above) over time to themselves or people around them, it becomes a problem.
So, is masculinity itself a negative trait?
There is nothing inherently wrong with masculinity or femininity or a desire to fulfill certain male features, such as caring for one’s family or being chivalrous — these may all be great attributes. However, if that masculinity becomes poisonous and is utilized to gain power and control over others, it may become a problem.
It’s also important to realize that certain masculine features do not belong only to males, just as certain feminine traits do not belong solely to women. Women are determined and hardworking, just as males may be emotional and express emotion – and neither is wrong.
Toxic masculinity is so pervasive in society that almost everyone is affected by it at some point in their life. However, that does not mean we should let it mold us into being just that. You may aspire to be a macho guy who strives to be an authentic version of yourself every day. You’re doing good as long as you’re happy and comfortable in your skin and attempt to do as little harm to yourself and others as possible.