Toxic Masculinity is a carelessly used term ,especially when its thrown in the mix of things without setting the context of the situation or the topic.
Lets start with science. Research highlights that there is barely any difference between a male or a female brain and that any behavior taken up by an individual ( male or female) is shaped by the rigid societal norms created around femininity and masculinity.
Recent anthropological data also refutes the evolutionary argument that men’s tendency to commit violence, including rape, was biologically transmitted. This evidence instead finds that violent men have trouble finding female mates who would want them and that the female mates they find and the children they produce are often killed by rivals to the men.
As one anthropologist summarizes the rape evidence, “The likelihood that rape is an evolved adaptation is extremely low.
Toxic Masculinity Definition
According the Good men website,
“Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual—are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.”
However, the forces that constrict toxic masculinity isolate those who do not live up to the societal norms and suddenly they are the odd man out.
Toxic masculinity definition entails to correct or coerce a male who is not behaving in a stereotypical male fashion. People blindly follow biotruths which dictates that biological traits are inherently good and they are rigid in defense of that belief.
This, in itself, is evidence of just how fragile toxic masculinity is; it only can work as the “standard” as long as everyone agrees to play by the same rules.
Toxic Masculinity Meaning
Conventionally, toxic masculinity meaning is to obsess and personify our animal traits. We are indebted to our most damaging traits, our insatiable sexuality, our poor impulse control and need for violence.
Intellect, passivity, emotional comprehension, compassion and sensitivity are all feminine coded traits and thus suspect.
There has been tonne of research that points out that men are not naturally violent or they have a brain that is skewed towards hunting for preys.
But in a culture that plays a constant crescendo dictating “how to behave like a man” there are bound to be certain adopters and males who feel they are inadequate.
For these particular males, toxic masculinity has created a vacuum in their lives that can be filled through violence and through the abuse of women.
Toxic Masculinity Examples
Toxic masculinity is when the quintessential example of what it means to be masculine becomes harmful and damaging.
Here are some of the Toxic Masculinity examples:
- The stigma that some males carry that prevents them to exhibit any feelings or emotions, the very essence that makes us human, leads to toxic masculinity.
We’re born into thinking that a man should be ‘tough’, and push his feelings aside because it isn’t ‘manly’ to talk or express feelings. Such traits when kept bottled up for long , leads to males suffering from other problematic behaviors.
One sees several failed relationships, all because some males chose to cling to this fallacy of being masculine
- In a common household set up, it has been observed that a father really says words of affection to his son, being it as he grows up or when he is an adult.
Similar behavior is then replicated by the son as he grows up chained to the unsaid rules of masculinity. It has also been seen that when some young fathers try and express their love for their kids, they are mocked by other males and coerced into behaving like a man.
- Another common example of toxic masculinity is when males indulge in objectifying females. This can vary from subtle comments to more graphic description of her physical appearance.
It get toxic very easily as guys who do not feel comfortable are expected to join in and contribute to the sleazy conversation.
- Some of the typical toxic masculinity advocates enforce that if as a male you are not drinking heavily, trying to shag everything that moves, living and breathing sport, solving problems with violence, competing with other men to be the ‘alpha’, then you’re not exhibiting masculinity and every thing else is feminine.
- Another toxic masculinity example is when males do not participate or contribute in housework and childrearing. They are seen feminine qualities and when asked to do a feminine task , it is often interpreted as an emasculating assault and provokes a masculine overcompensation response.
- Some males drive their opinion and discussion through their ability or propensity of domination. They go to an extent where the use of aggression both verbal and physical, online bullying, violence and other toxic traits are all justified for having their way.
This is a typical Toxic masculinity example.
- A key Toxic masculinity example is treating women as enemies and everything that a male cannot be.
So not being sexually aggressive, being passive rather than violent, expressing his emotions or even simply not following the cultural narrative of what a “man” does with his life, are all treated as being feminine or Being “a pussy”.
What does the stats say about Toxic Masculinity?
A survey conducted by Pew Research highlights that many men face at least some pressure to engage in activities that are sometimes associated with “traditional masculinity.”
- More than eight-in-ten say men face pressure to be emotionally strong,
- 41% say that men face a lot of pressure in this area.
- About six-in-ten (57%) say men face pressure to be willing to throw a punch if provoked,
- 45% say men face pressure to join in when other men talk about women in a sexual way,
- Lastly, 40% say men face pressure to have many sexual partners.
Overall, Americans see society placing less premium on femininity than on masculinity:
- 32% say most people in society these days look up to women who are womanly or feminine,
- 11% say society looks down on them;
- A majority (57%) say society neither looks up to nor down on women who are feminine.
Still, women are more likely to say it’s very important to them, personally, to be seen by others as feminine than men are to say the same about others seeing them as masculine.
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