There are a lot of people out there who think that the words toxic and masculine are synonymous.
I’d like to put an end to that.
The label “toxic masculine” was not intended to be used in the way it’s being used — to diminish and marginalize men, or to make men appear to be aggressive haters of women.
It was intended to portray a problem in our culture. That problem was: Boys being emotionally repressed, leading to them being angry, aggressive, toxic men.
In other words, the idea was to highlight that we need to be more sensitive to how boys are raised into men.
However… anyone who hears the phrase, “toxic masculinity” and doesn’t know the history, will think it means that men are inherently toxic.
Right? Have you felt this as a man?
The name here IS the issue. If we want to shed light on what happens when we emotionally repress boys, we need to name what happens to those boys, in a better way.
How about, “Un-Awakened Man Syndrome?”
Isn’t this more accurate? A boy who is cultured not to feel fails to awaken to his gifts and powers, and feels smaller and less significant than he is.
I think it’s time men release themselves of any identification with masculinity as inherently toxic, and see that the “awakened masculine” is the direction of healing.
How does this land for you? Tell me your thoughts, feelings, experiences on this topic.
3 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Toxic Masculinity…”
This is the first time I see the definition that you provided. Since the term is being used by the feminist movement — to me and everyone I know it really “means that men are inherently toxic.”
I think the whole toxic masculinity issue has gone way too far in that guys have become so much more feminine that they don’t know how to be men. Being a man doesn’t mean being an overbearing bully or a jerk. Being a man means you’re steady, have healthy boundaries, and become angry or forceful if it’s absolutely necessary. By absolutely necessary, I mean if it happens to be some kind of extenuating circumstance or condition where that kind of behavior is warranted. For example, if you’re in a potential violent situation where harm can come to you or your loved ones. A man also has to be able to laugh and have fun and eat that big steak if he wants it. There’s nothing at all wrong with being a man and being masculine. It only becomes a problem when it turns into bullying or forcing something onto someone that’s harmful in some way.
Interesting article and thoughts about masculinity. I think that the label is not important, it is the issue that it is talking about that is and needs to be dealt with. As a rule in our society men are taught to be “tough” to “suck it up” and be strong, yet strong in an unhealthy, unexpressed way(s).
There is power in taking action, being bold, having a plan, creating new things and reality. There is power in making others and women feel safe, feel protected, feel heard. Yet boys and men are not generally shown or taught how to be these ways in healthy forms. And it doesn’t help when almost every external source of input shows things to do with men and masculinity in a negative light.
Feeling emotions is natural and when used correctly can be markers to show what direction to take, or what needs to be changed. Even anger can be a healthy emotion. I have spent many years working on myself and cultivating healthy ways to respond, rather than react. I grew up with an unhealthy role model as a Dad who was physically violent in expressing his anger. There are still times when my dark side just wants to burst out and react in a violent and physical manner, yet I have grown to not fear that part of me and accept that part of me and who I am as a complete being. I notice it now, yet choose to respond in different ways that do not involve physicality. Like shutting down, walking away, and then taking time to just come down off the mountain top of anger by consciously breathing until I feel I have released the tension. Emotions are like the weather, ever changing and i have realized that for some time now.
The other part of me is in touch with all my emotions and is not afraid to feel them and express them. I am also working on cultivating and listening to my intuition. It takes awareness to change anything. That is the 1st step and many men are still unaware- which is not necessarily their fault if they have not had any positive role models in their life (either now or growing up). It is people like you Karen that are doing great work to spread awareness far and wide, one person, one soul at a time and you are making a great difference in the world because of it.
Those are my thoughts on the subject. I hope that they speak to and touch those who need to see them and take them in. We are all spirits here to have a human experience which sometimes can be messy, confusing, and uncomfortable at times, yet they are experiences none the less and ones that can help us to evolve too.