Updated: Jun 24, 2022
First of all, what IS Toxic Masculinity?
According to VerywellMind.com they say "Toxic masculinity involves cultural pressures for men to behave in a certain way. And it’s likely this affects all boys and men in some fashion. Toxic masculinity refers to the notion that some people’s idea of “manliness” perpetuates domination, homophobia, and aggression."
Key word from the above quote that stands out to me is "certain way". Domination, homophobia, and aggression as stated above are most definitely negative things or traits that men learn from society, family, other influences etc. Homophobia in any context is extremely harmful to not only the LGBTQ community, but those who may be your friends or family who are still not "out". Domination and Aggression however can be positive or negative things. Domination when it comes to ruling over family, other men or women for reasons of entitlement or stereotypical patriarchal beliefs keeps men (and society) stuck in a perpetuation of trauma, fear, and isolation (men die by suicide 3-4 times more often than females.) Toxic Masculinity keeps men from realising their full potential as healthy masculine men. Domination as a form of healthy masculinity I think is the domination of your own mind. Being able to dominate your life in a way that lifts up men and women and encourages openness, caring, honesty and vulnerability is one of the hardest thing a man can do. That's what always amazes me about toxic masculinity, it's the easiest thing to be, hell, men are even rewarded for it. Aggression when it comes to defending the un-healthy traits I mentioned above can be seen as an admirable quality to have. Aggression as it coincides with domination for the sake of domination however, are considered toxic, Vladamir Putin anyone?
Healthy Masculinity and Why you Should Care.
Firstly, men and women are different. We just are, but we're also similar in so many ways. I think that as a man evaluating masculinity it can be confusing and it can be hard. Who do we look to to tell us which behaviours, thoughts, actions, are good or bad? "I didn't think something I did or said was bad but someone told me it was." If you've ever had these thoughts or feelings you're not alone. It can take time to unlearn things, it can take time to evaluate your actions, and it is a hard thing to do but constantly evolving I believe is the key to a worth while life. Since this is my first post I'm going to keep it relatively short. I could write hundreds of pages on masculinity and what I think it means but I'd love to hear from you, what you think is "healthy masculinity". Drop a comment below and thanks for reading!