Toxic Masculinity: What Is It & What Can Men Do To Eliminate It?
Toxic masculinity is a term that has been widely used in the last decade to describe masculinity in terms of violence, sex, status and aggression. This definition of masculinity has harmful consequences for all genders and society as a whole. So the question arises: What can men do to reduce toxic masculinity?
1. Stop trying to be male
Masculinity is something that society has invented to dictate how men should behave in their everyday lives. While some male norms can be positive and healthy, there are also a lot of harmful male attributes. Some of these attributes can include hiding emotions, expressing "harshness" through unwanted aggression, showing "dominance" by verbally or physically hurting others, or oppressing other genders and/or sexualities through sexist or homophobic views.
2. Learning to be vulnerable
Vulnerability is not something that is normally associated with masculinity. In fact, vulnerability through a masculine lens is equated with weakness. Being vulnerable with our emotions does not necessarily mean weakness. In fact, it is very healthy, shows emotional maturity and shows confidence in the true self.
3. Educating other men and setting a good example
If you really want to help society to free itself from poisonous masculinity, then you must educate other men in your life about the harm it can do to others. You can lead in a way that is neither male nor female or representative of any gender role, but in a way that is inclusive, supportive and healthy for all.
4. Intervene when you see it
Action! If you see other men staging poisonous masculinity through aggression, sexism, oppression or in any other way, stop and call them out! Let them know that no man should treat another man in this way, no matter what sex he is. You do not need to use your fists to achieve this. You can write about it, talk about it in your group of friends, teach your sons, your students, your teammates, your colleagues, your neighbors, etc. Make your voice LOW when you say that you will not tolerate this anymore so that we can have a more acceptable society that is not defined by gender roles.
Was this article helpful? 17 Posted by: 👨 Helen J. Lind