I am a man. To my great shame, I finally confess my sin of toxic masculinity. I have, throughout my adult life, lorded my masculinity over the girls and women around me, thereby contributing to the rape culture that is destroying our society. Though I understand that ignorance is no defense, I further confess that I did not know the error of my ways until the social justice warriors of the left opened my eyes. According to The Odyssey Online, toxic masculinity is defined as:
Socially-constructed attitudes, mindsets and (yes) boundaries that tell men that there is only one possible way to embody their (also socially-constructed) gender, and women that they should be looking for (and submissive to) a violent, sex-obsessed, controlling, unfeeling, all-around-unresponsive person.
There are several examples of behaviors that constitute toxic masculinity. The Good Men Project identifies even the male need to provide for his family as of the main characteristics of toxic masculinity.
Even expressions of theoretical selflessness – the idea of “a real man provides”, for example – are at their core aimed at maintaining their masculine credentials rather than caring for the wellbeing of one’s spouse and family.
My masculine need to make sure my family has everything they need has driven me since the birth of my first child. I work hard to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Little did I know that my need to provide is only a futile attempt to “maintain my masculine credentials.” It has nothing to do with the fact that I love my wife and children.
Most men believe that they work so hard because they love their wives and children. It is truly a crushing blow to discover that it is actually nothing more than a patriarchal lie designed to keep us from becoming our true gender neutral selves. Fortunately, the left-wing social justice warriors are here to reveal the truth: men need to focus less on providing and more on the well-being of their families, as those two elements are clearly unrelated. After all, who needs food and shelter when you have love?
The Good Men Project also reveals that toxic masculinity involves painting women as the “antithesis of men.” This is why you hear men rebuke one another for being too “girly.”
A key component of toxic masculinity is defining “man” in opposition to “woman.” When women are the literal antithesis of men, everything that diverges from “manly” becomes suspicious at best and dangerous at worst. It takes the idea of a man who has traits that aren’t coded as “male” – not being sexually aggressive, being passive rather than violent, expressing his emotions or even simply not following the cultural narrative of what a “man” does with his life – and turns them into signs that he’s been corrupted, emasculated. In other words: acting like a woman.
For reasons unknown to most of us, normal people erroneously subscribe to the asinine theory that men and women are not the same. Though I am shamed to admit it, I too have fallen for this lie. Since I have both male and female children, I have been guilty of raising them differently. I try to teach my son to be tough and encourage him to engage in boy activities. We watch shows for boys on Netflix. I even play catch with him on the weekends like many other fathers. Most of us are unaware that when we teach our boys to play sports and watch television shows tailored to boys, we are harming them.
While I would like to think that my disgraceful behavior ends with my son, it doesn’t — apparently, my toxicity knows no bounds. I do not treat my daughters the same as my son. I shower them with hugs and kisses. I call them cute nicknames like “princess” or “cupcake.” I even watch “La La Loopsy” with them and pretend I’m interested. I now understand that these actions threaten their femininity and prevent them from growing into well-adjusted women — or men — or whatever they choose to be.
Why do so many engaging in these types of toxic behaviors? Is it because they are inherently flawed, or could there be another reason? Is it possible that men are masculine because we are created to be masculine? Could it be that masculine traits are not something to be ashamed of, but rather something to be celebrated? The left’s attempt to push the myth of toxic masculinity would then be nothing more than an insidious way to convince us that men and women are essentially the same. By their way of thinking, gender is nothing more than a social construct meant to oppress us.
The problem with the left’s idea of toxic masculinity is that it holds up the worst types of men and portrays their behavior as being indicative of all men. Brown University explains this on their website:
The harm and violence that men inflict is not strictly contained to the self-harm mentioned previously. Men will often resort to violence to resolve conflict because anger is the only emotion that they have been socialized to express. Unfortunately, the way that young men are conditioned to view sex and their need to be dominant and have power over others also contribute to instances of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence on college campuses.
The left seems to believe that men are violent, angry and overly sexualized people who must adopt femininity to become decent human beings. Some leftist publications have even linked our masculinity to mass shootings. What they fail to realize is that the majority of men in the western world do not see these horrific actions as something they wish to emulate; indeed, if you ask most men what they think about rapists, they’re likely to tell you that rapists should be thrown under the prison and left to rot.
The left attacks manhood by insinuating that the average man is more similar to murderers and rapists than we think. In order to convince us that masculinity is fundamentally flawed, they need to make us believe that it is the source of all atrocities in human history.
Unfortunately, many people subscribe to this flawed perception of masculinity. The left has managed to convince them that all masculinity is toxic masculinity. This is how they plan to redefine masculinity so that men will be forced to conform to the left’s idea of manliness. For men to have a healthy view of manhood, we need to protect them from this attack on their male identity. We must teach our boys that being masculine is not shameful. The best way to cultivate a healthy masculinity is to make it acceptable for men to be men.
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