Toxic masculinity: it’s real


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A yellow floor sign warning about toxic masculinity, the idea of manliness as being defined by domination, homophobia, and aggression

Toxic masculinity, whether you believe it or not there is at least a little truth to it. It affects all men and even women. You always hear about women having expectations that aren’t possible, but if you pay attention men do too. Invalidating emotions, creating sexist environments and making aggression more prevalent. This has been going on since the very beginning of earth but now attention is finally getting brought to it. Sophia O’Connor a Psychotherapist states “Masculine scripts tell men to be “rugged” and endure hardship without complaint, to be forceful when interacting with women and prioritize sex over emotional connections, and to always seek control and assume leadership.”

Why should you care? Children are being raised into it, not knowing any different. Thinking it’s normal for males to hide their emotions and showing aggression. It all gets knocked off by “they’re being boys”. Even that sets an inequality for girls at such a young age. Take off the shades and start to pay attention. Think how you might be a part of creating a culture, where toxic masculinity is so prevalent.

Most people have seen this culture as a child, when a boy gets hurt he needs to suck it up. But when a little girl gets hurt she needs safety in arms and a feeling of rescue.  You can already see issues developing, creating an unsafe environment for males’ emotions. Because they were always taught to suck it up. “… society expects men to be stoic and unemotional, many men find their concerns and feelings invalidated by others.” Sophia O’Connor states. This leads to men avoiding their problems altogether instead of solving them. Using language like “you make me feel” instead of “I feel”.

Yes, women do not understand how men process emotions. And yes, this is different for men. But it still is a problem when society creates a culture that invalidates their emotions.

Toxic masculinity also can lead to being very aggressive, a lot of the time directed to a partner. This aggression can be vocal, physical, assault and other forms. “Men tend to keep so much bottled up inside. This includes all the traumas and heart-breaking moments.  At some point there has to be a release. And too often that is in an explosive way.” Ron Blake, Social justice activist, public speaker. As stated above, when these emotions get bottled up they can turn into anger and become abusive. “Whatever the cause, the response is [almost] always a form of violence…Sometimes this violence is outwardly expressed through physical dominance or aggression. Other times it is inwardly expressed, through depression, addiction, or suicide,” East wrote.

Women aren’t the only victims of abuse, men are also victims, they are less likely to come out about it. Toxic masculinity is a leading problem of males that are an assaulter. 

Sexism is also a result of toxic masculinity, and has created a culture that puts men above women. Toxic masculinity supports the way the patriarchy was set up and the roles given. In that system men have received  privilege. “It shapes sexist and patriarchal behaviors, including abusive or violent treatment of women. Toxic masculinity thus contributes to gender inequalities that disadvantage women and privilege men.” Michael Flood, Professor of sociology

Sexism has always been a problem and always will. Raising children under an idea that makes men better, will teach sexism to both boys and girls.

Toxic masculinity is harmful to everyone. It creates a world that invalidates mens emotions, creates aggression and sexism. Whether you want to believe it or not, there is an issue that needs fixing. The first step is taking a step back from your pride and admitting there is a problem. Take a stand when you see these negative things happening, don’t be a bystander, make a change.