Unlearning toxic masculinity can be difficult. Here are a few role models who can help.

We talk a lot about toxic masculinity.

It seems like people are starting to confound the meaning of the term.

“Oh, so you’re saying that masculinity is TOXIC, ” they say. “That’s SEXIST against MEN, ” they say.

To them I say: Stop being willfully obtuse.

If I said, “Whoa, that’s a rabid prairie dog, ” would you intentionally misunderstand me and yell at me for being a dingbat who thinks that ALL prairie puppies are rabid?

I didn’t say that, bro.

When I refer to “toxic masculinity, ” I’m not labeling all masculinity as toxic. Just like when I tell, “Oh shit, there’s a rabid prairie dog coming at you, ” I’m not saying that all prairie dogs are rabid.

But I am saying that some prairie puppies are clearly foaming at the mouth, means that something could be spreading through the colony — and sometimes you can’t tell the sick ones merely by looking at them.

Same thing with men .

So listen up 😛 TAGEND

No , not all forms of masculinity are toxic. But yes, some are.

Here’s what can look like 😛 TAGEND

Repression of impressions like sadness, fear, insecurity, and the related behaviours like crying, concealing, or talking about feelings. Example: “Boys don’t sob! Be a man! ”

Over-expression of indignation through behaviors that are violent, erratic, and intended to dominate. Example: “What’d you say? You can’t talk to me like that!* punches *) ”

Need to be strong, dominant, and alpha, and fear of carrying “weakening” impressions or behaviours like affection, vulnerability, tenderness, kindness, gentleness, heartbreak. Example: “My wife simply had a newborn. Whatever, let’s close the deal.”

Sexual entitlement and violence. Instance: “You know you want this.”

Transference of responsibility for impressions, actions, and outcomes to women. Example: “You just made me so mad.”

Mocking or rejecting men who do not adhere to these “dominant, ” “alpha male” standards of behavior. Example: “Don’t be a fag, Mike. Hey, everybody, look at Mike — he’s all butthurt like a little girl.”

Extreme fragility, because a man is told his sense of ego is dependent on the idea that he is dominant rather than the idea that he is inherently valuable just for being who he is.

Passing on these behaviours and postures to their children. Devastatingly.

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