Let's Talk About: Toxic Masculinity

So to really get this conversation started we should first discuss what toxic masculinity is. The Good Men Project defines it as “A repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. The idea that manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; while supposedly “feminine” traits- which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual can mean your status as a “man” can be taken away.” Now if you’re anything like me you’ve probably just stared at the screen and acted like you understand anything that was just said. So let’s break it down to where we can actually understand it.

Since I was a kid I’ve heard the phrase “real men don’t cry” in movies, television and in my day to day life. We teach young boys at a young age that showing their emotions makes you less of a man. Weird flex, but go off I guess.

This saying and the way we treat men from a young age when it comes to showing emotions can later be the reason behind why many men tend not reach out for help. Men tend to suffer with depression, anxiety, alcoholism and many more mental disorders behind closed doors because they believe that asking for help makes them less manly.

Let’s break down how toxic masculinity isn’t just affecting men, but it is also affecting women’s lives. When you have a man who believes the way to define his manhood is through aggression and sex, you get a man who looks at women as nothing more than a sexual being. Men who live toxic masculine lives go about life with such aggression and can take it out on the women in their lives because they believe that sitting around and talking about your feelings makes you feminine and a “sissy.” So what do they do instead of talk through their issues? Scream, yell and throw things.

Men, let’s all take a moment to agree on the fact that catcalling doesn’t make you a man. It makes you a dick. You don’t have to yell across the street that a girl is pretty. She knows, thanks though. Stop sexualizing women to make you feel more like a man. You don’t have to be hypersexual to define your manhood.

Let’s talk about the men in today’s age that are helping to fight the stigma around toxic masculinity and the men who believe expressing their emotions and feelings makes them as much as a man as the guy who eats protein powder shakes and doesn’t “do emotions.”

Did you know men are walking the red carpet in dresses and makeup? Gasp! Men are also wearing floral prints and painting their nails. OMG, the world is ending!!!!! Some men in today’s age aren’t letting societies standards for men dictate how they live their lives and express their emotions.

If you need a good idea of what toxic masculinity is I suggest you take a look at Gillette razor commercial called The Best Men Can Be. Also can we please stop giving the excuse “boys will be boys”, no, boys will be respectful adults, so start raising them to do so. Start holding you sons, brothers, husbands and friends accountable for their actions. Also men, having a skin care routine isn’t feminine. Stop washing your face with a bar of soap and washing your hair with 3-in-1, Jonathan Van Ness would be so disappointed in you. 

“I definitely think in the last two years, I’ve become a lot more content with who I am. I think there’s so much masculinity in being vulnerable and allowing yourself to be feminine, and I’m very comfortable with that. Growing up you don’t even know what those things mean. You have this idea of what being masculine is and as you grow up and experience more of the world, you become more comfortable with who you are.”- Harry Styles

“I want to say you can be whatever you want to be. There isn’t a specific notion, or jean size, or muscle shirt or affectation, or eyebrow raise, or dissolution, or drug use that you have to take part in to be masculine.” -Timothee Chalamet