If you are social media savvy, especially if you use a lot of your time on YouTube, you probably already heard the term toxic masculinity. But is it actually bad? or just the majority of our society is being too sensitive that many masculinity enthusiasts out there are pointing out a lot of things about the bad effects of modernity and feminism in our society? Well, this article will help you to know a lot and might wake you up to reality.
What is masculinity?
Masculinity (also known as manhood or manliness) refers to the characteristics, behaviors, and roles associated with men and boys. Masculinity can be conceptualized as a social construct, and there is evidence that some masculine behaviors are influenced by both cultural and biological factors. It is debatable whether masculinity is influenced biologically or socially. It differs from the biological male sex definition in that anyone can exhibit masculine characteristics.
Manliness or masculinity standards differ across cultures, subcultures, ethnic groups, and historical periods. In Western society, masculine characteristics include strength, courage, independence, leadership, and assertiveness. When women’s labor participation increased, some men became less confident in their masculinity because it became more difficult for them to reaffirm their role as breadwinner.
People of any biological sex can exhibit masculine characteristics and behavior. Androgynous people exhibit both masculine and feminine characteristics, and feminist philosophers have argued that gender ambiguity may blur gender classification.
What is toxic masculinity?
Cambridge University defines toxic masculinity as the ideas about the way that men should behave that are seen as harmful, for example, the idea that men should not cry or admit weakness. They also defined it as being too violent and showing dominance towards other people around him. And they also defined it as an act of sexualizing and harassing women.
History of toxic masculinity
The term “toxic masculinity” was born out of the mythopoetic men’s self-improvement movement in the 1980s and 90s. This movement approached masculinity from a psychoanalytic perspective and described toxic masculinity as the behavior of “immature” males (Longwood, et. al., 2012).
While the mythopoetic movement was relatively short-lived and based on theory rather than scientific studies, it made an important contribution by recognizing that while masculinity is not toxic in and of itself, masculine norms can end up promoting toxic behavior. Toxic masculinity has evolved over time to its current definition: harmful social norms about how men should behave that lead to misogyny, homophobia, violence, and mental health issues.
Is It Bad Or Not?
Toxic masculinity is mostly used to describe men that have too much aggressiveness and hate towards females or homosexual commission. But in social media, the term “toxic masculinity” is being abused by these stupid people, especially on TikTok. They use the term on every guy that hurts their feelings or reputations even if that guy is just pointing out the truth about them. It was like they are using this term to describe every man that they hate, which is wrong.
Toxic masculinity is also mostly a buzzword to blame all issues men face on men, regardless of if the commenter is contributing to it
A good example would be award-winning feminist professor Mary P. Koss stating that she does not believe men can be raped or sexually assaulted by women. She, and many other feminist supporters, will then comment that men not being believed as victims of rape and sexual assault is a result of “toxic masculinity”. Men making fun of the appearance of other men is considered “toxic masculinity”, but women doing the same thing to other women are not given a similar treatment.
Before accepting a word or phrase such as this, you have to check and see if the people using it apply it to themselves. “toxic femininity” is not an accepted term, even if you just switch the genders of the perpetrators and victims. so “toxic masculinity” isn’t fair either. It only perpetuates a double standard on how we should treat issues of gender inequality.
See Also: How To Be More Masculine
Anyway, always remember that being too masculine is actually bad and can lead to big problems. Make sure that you always think about what is the right thing before doing it and avoid showing some sort of aggression just to show your dominance, you can always show that you are a man without violence.
Toxic Masculinity is still considered a big agenda, especially when they point out that being homophobic is one of the traits of a toxic man. In my opinion, being homophobic is just any existing phobia or natural hate out there and it shouldn’t be considered toxic.