Toxic Masculinity Is A Cancer On Society...
If I were to highlight one thing about men that is a cancer on society, it would be the plague of toxic masculinity. It’s not only harmful and demeaning to women, a negative influence on our children, but it’s also dangerous and destructive for men.
But what is “toxic masculinity”?
Put very simply, it’s a cultural attitude that punishes men for having what society believes to be “un-masculine” traits and interests.
It’s in every “you ______ like a girl” flung as an insult.
It’s in every “men don’t cry” admonition.
It’s every time a man has to hide the things the things that bring him joy because they’re not “manly”.
What does that teach us? Teach our sons and daughters?
That vulnerability is a bad thing. That admitting weakness is to be discouraged.
That men don’t feel emotions outside of anger or aggression and that violence is the solution to every problem.
This needs to stop.
Too many men struggle silently with depression in order to ‘look tough’ when they’re dying inside.
Too many men engage in violence against women and children because they have no idea how to process their emotions in a healthy way.
Too many men self-medicate to deal with the conflict within their souls.
And far too many men take their own lives because of the guilt and shame of not being “man” enough.
Toxic masculinity shows itself in subtle ways, too, like in the photo at the top of this post. Kimmel is being openly mocked for having emotions and empathy.
The toxic response to this is to compare him to a woman… as if that’s an insult.
Instead of responding with anger or violence, Kimmel responded in the best way possible.
He simply showed that efforts to insult him, his emotions, his empathy, by calling him a ‘girl’ are laughable.
He responds with a smile and the universal symbol for “whatever, dude”.
May we all laugh in the face of toxic masculinity so that it forever loses its power.
I originally wrote this piece on Medium in October 2017...