The term ‘Toxic Masculinity’ really sucks and its heaping more hurt upon men.
I never liked it and I think that I have now come to hate it.
Masculinity is not toxic, being a man does not make you toxic. What is toxic however, is the culture in which boys and men grow up. How we treat them, what we teach them. How we discriminate against them and the expectations that we lay upon them.
It is not all about how men treat men, it is not all about Alpha Male syndrome and all that. Men live mostly to serve, protect and provide for children and women and many of our troubles come from trying to meet those expectations of women.
Our culture of shaming or blaming, accusation is becoming more and more toxic to men. Social isolation is toxic to emotionally suppressed men.
A culture where we tell men that they must not lash out in anger, is toxic to men who know no other form of emotional expression. Take away that one avenue of emotional expression and you create a pressure cooker of emotional suppression.
A culture where we expect men to fight their natural instincts to provide, protect, to lead.
It is our culture and it are our societies that are toxic, that need to change. We (all genders, all people) need to create a new culture in which men can thrive as men and as authentic people, authentic men, not men that are more like women but men who are more like people.
We need to stop this denigration of masculinity. This growing culture where the achievements of woman and only the transgressions of men are splashed across the media is becoming more toxic to men.
We need to look at why men hurt people. Why they murder. Why they rape. Why men are over represented in our prison populations, and suicide figures. Why boys are failing at school and why males are stepping away from universities.
It is not masculinity that is toxic. It is not just masculinity that is causing men to act like this.
Toxic cultures. Toxic societies.