The real definition of toxic masculinity

Yes, 'Toxic Masculinity' Does Exist

Centuries of men having to prove they're "man enough" is the proof

123
views

This article is in response to a recent publication of the Daily Aztec. One of their writers wrote an opinion piece where he deems that 'toxic masculinity' does not exist and is merely about the 'modern-day feminist's' preference for men. I'm not speaking on this to wage war with my institution's newspaper or even to argue with this article's writer. I'm writing this because there needs to be a space where conversations like this are broadcasted to the many, not just the few who take a women's studies class. There is information and perspectives that must become common knowledge in order for our society to grow and move forward.

The article refers to toxic masculinity as the shaming of men by today's feminists when that simply isn't the case. Toxic masculinity is not referring to men as a whole but the behaviors men learn from the media that harm both themselves and women. It is regarding the typical traits depicted in media that are deemed 'masculine.'

In today's world, there is a perpetuating cycle that men must be tough, physically strong, in control, show little emotion, be violent, objectify women, and teach their sons to do the same. All of these features derive from the way men are portrayed in movies, shows, and music videos. Those media outlets subconsciously shape the way we act. Calling attention to toxic masculinity is not an attack on men, it is a recognition of how they are hurt by patriarchy as well. Their idols and role models display these traits that are deemed masculine and trickle down to their viewers.

Toxic masculinity hurts women by the notion that in order to be man enough, one must brag about his sexual encounters, catcall women, talk over female co-workers, dismiss opinions of the opposite sex and view the female body as something to control/dominate. These are attributes that belittle women everywhere and it isn't just about hurting someone's feelings. These character traits (which are subconsciously taught) carry over into the workplace, into politics, and into the lives of our mothers, sisters, and daughters.

By creating the binaries that define masculinity and feminity, we create an entire set of characteristics that are withheld from men in order to maintain their 'man enough' facade. It is common for men to be shamed for showing emotion, being sensitive, affectionate, non-aggressive, insecure, weak, and hurt. Men go their entire lives thinking these experiences are not for them, that if they display any of the preceding traits they are not masculine.

So, you see that toxic masculinity hurts everyone. It is found in every "boys will be boys." It is built in every "don't be such a girl." Every rape case reeks of toxic masculinity. Every man carries it with them when they feel the shame of showing what is deemed a 'feminine' quality. Calling out toxic masculinity is not saying everything about being a man is toxic. It is saying that the way we have learned to define masculinity is harmful to both genders.

There needs to be a sense of balance. And it starts by calling out your guy friends when they do something problematic. It starts by creating spaces where men feel comfortable to be vulnerable in front of other men. It starts with learning from women (and not the media) how to treat your girlfriends, sisters, and mothers. It starts by listening and believing women when they say they've been hurt and standing beside them. It starts by shutting down "locker room talk." It starts by having male role models that challenge the norm and becoming those exact idols for their own sons, friends, brothers, and nephews.

Men, it starts by unlearning what it means to be society's definition of "masculine."

Justin Baldoni's TedTalk: "Why I'm done trying to be 'man enough'"

Popular Right Now

I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

829474
views

To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

In Case You Haven't Heard, My Body Means My Choice, So Deal With It

With all the political differences and laws trying to be passed, based on what a woman can do with her body, demonstrates how the United States decides to use their power and control others by the means of it.

316
views

Since the beginning of America, there have always been minority groups, which include African American, Hispanics, the disabled, homosexuals, and women. Such minority groups have made it their responsibility to fight for their rights and earn justice for it. However, there has recently sprung up a debate on abortion policies, attempting to alter and re-write the rules on Roe vs Wade per state to pursue when or if abortion is illegal based on certain circumstances.

Now, I am not writing this in any means to deter you from your individual opinion on this situation or your perspective, but I do believe that I have a voice in this situation since I am a woman and this situation affects me if any of you individuals like that or not. And most of all, I deserve to be heard.

Starting off, in no means should a man, government officials, or anyone for that matter be able to decide what is acceptable to do with my own individual body, EVER. How have we become a country that thinks it is more than okay to tell what others can do based on the decision of another person. See, we have this thing called bodily autonomy which means we have independence over our own body, or at least we should. A prime example of this is when an individual dies, a surgeon can not remove the person's organs (if they were an organ donor) until the designated power of attorney says it is okay to do so. However, it is apparently acceptable and illegal for someone who has become pregnant through rape or in general is unable to care for a child to receive an abortion and loses their bodily autonomy for the following 9 months. How does a corpse have more rights and bodily autonomy than a pregnant woman does today?

Currently, the state of Alabama has passed a bill that makes abortion illegal under any circumstances and committing this now known felony, can lead to a very long jail sentence. In fact, committing abortion in Alabama (for the woman or the doctor) can lead to a longer jail sentence than someone who raped another individual. Wow. How is that acceptable????

Many states are following in Alabama's lead and we need to put a stop to it before it becomes too far. We women, need to fight for achieving our bodily autonomy and band together and show America that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Related Content

Facebook Comments