Toxic masculinity is a concept frequently used to describe those negative aspects and behaviors of exacerbated masculine traits. It is a term that has been present in society for centuries and has undergone an evolution over time. Its use has a place both in everyday discourse and at the academic level.
Frequently using the expression of toxic masculinity can cause misunderstandings by some people about the concept itself, leading to conflicts and communication problems. And it is that the meaning of the term is not quite clear for certain sectors of the population. To find out all about the toxic masculinity, what it is, examples and how to overcome itat oneHOWTO we recommend that you continue reading this article.
What is toxic masculinity and its origin
Although the definition of toxic masculinity has been changing over time, there is a consensus in establishing it as the constellation of socially regressive masculine traits and that serve to promote the devaluation of women, the domination of men, senseless violence and homophobia.
In today’s society, the population uses this term to describe the exaggerated masculine traits accepted by many cultures and even glorified by the majority. It’s about a harmful concept of the masculinewhich gives a remarkable importance to masculinity that is based on strength, self-sufficiency, lack of emotions, sexual virility and dominance.
According to the values derived from traditional toxic masculinity, the man who does not exhibit or sufficiently demonstrate these traits falls below the category of “real man”. An overemphasis on masculine traits leads to detrimental imbalances in subjects who try to live up to those expectations, with behaviors that include:
- sexual assaults
- Aggression or loss of control.
- Suppress emotions.
- Tendency to violence.
- Control or dominate others.
- Lack of empathy.
- Sexism and chauvinism.
The concept of toxic masculinity has its origins in the mythopoetic men’s movement during the 1980s. Founded by men for men, its goal was to offer men an outlet for their manhood. Members of this movement believed that if they could not act on these masculine traits, they would ultimately manifest as aggression towards women or chauvinism.
Examples of toxic masculinity
Television, social behaviors and many everyday situations give rise to examples of toxic masculinity such as the following:
- boys don’t cry: repression of emotions in men, relegating the emotional to women and being weak for it.
- Blue clothes and football: boy things. The boys are the ones who play football at recess and wear blue clothes.
- untouchable sexual desire: Another example of toxic masculinity is the model of the virile man whose manhood is valued by the number of sexual relations and conquests.
- Ladybug, mariconez and sissy: first class and second class men. Use everything related to the feminine and homosexual to discredit.
- Co-responsible man, soft man: This example of toxic masculinity focuses on the decision to share housework, the man who does the shopping or carries the child’s cart is weak because he does not impose his authority. The woman takes advantage and abuses this weakness.
Consequences of toxic masculinity
Any young man or man whose view of the world is through a very narrow lens such as that provided by toxic masculinity will come to feel the need to live up to exaggerated masculine traits in order to gain false social acceptance.
Now, how does toxic masculinity affect? Without any type of control and the behaviors derived from this term, a series of consequences can occur, such as the following:
- Lack of discipline at school.
- Harassment or bullying.
- Commit crimes that carry prison time.
- academic problems.
- sexual assaults
- Domestic violence.
- Risk behaviors.
- Psychological traumas.
- Lack of friendships or genuine connections.
As a result of the consequences of toxic masculinity described above, physical health can suffer. Exacerbated masculine traits prevent certain men from asking for help to solve some health problemsas well as other potential problems.
And it is that, for men with exacerbated masculine traits, seeking help generates feelings of weakness, inadequacy and, ultimately, a perception of being less of a man.
How to overcome toxic masculinity
Although some social, religious and political groups can provide guidelines to promote a healthy form of masculinity, the best thing is that the man adheres to his own definition, unless he harms others or himself.
A new definition of what it means to be a man should include general human experiences such as the following:
- Experiencing a wide range of emotions openly.
These values do not imply that all traditional masculine traits have to be abandoned, since include certain characteristics such as adventure and strength they can contribute to the definition of a masculinity of their own for some people.
If you found this article on toxic masculinity interesting, we recommend you take a look at our post on Types of feminism.
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Toxic masculinity: what it is, examples and how to overcome it – Discover its origin and consequences