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laylalex

How to Fight Toxic Masculinity

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I thought with all the discussion we've had on here recently about women and feminism and women's reproductive health, it might be a good opportunity to talk about gender expectations from another point along the spectrum, specifically the straight male as there seem to be quite a few of you in here. :) I purposely chose a provocatively titled article to get this going. I am not so sure I am a believer in toxic masculinity (and I happen to think it's an unhealthy term because it causes people to get mad rather than talk about things), but I think there ARE unrealistic expectations for men as there are for women, but men just don't seem to be able to talk about them as much as women. I say this as a straight woman who loves men, genuinely loves to be around them and talk to them and share my life with them. But I have also seen in both the men I love/have loved in my life how "traditional" expectations of what a man ought to be has caused them to shut down, or to be in genuine pain and feel unable to talk about it without risking their "man card." 

 

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Now, there is a difference between traditional masculinity and toxic masculinity: There is nothing toxic about working hard, providing for one’s family, winning at sports, or being loyal to friends. Most importantly, there’s nothing toxic about wanting to be respected. All humans want to feel respected—we all want to know we are valued, recognized, and affirmed.

 

While there’s nothing toxic about needing respect, taking desperate and extreme measures to force what looks like respect (but is actually fear) is a direct result of toxic masculinity. Men who don’t feel respected may make up for it by dominating others.

 

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-fight-toxic-masculinity/

 

So talk to me. I don't bite! (Much :lol: )

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To me, it is an article written by a woman with a high opinion of herself, hence the term savvy psychologist as opposed to her academic credentials,  perhaps this is her toxic femininity bubbling out. Some of what she talks about is typical of baby boomer men stereotypes, some seems like observations, some seems like conjecture

Edited by Randyandyuni
Can't spell

 

 

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   While I often approach this from the legal or social aspects of how we act, what is expected and how we sort of fit in to regulatory norms of expected behavior, I do think some people, especially psychologists tend to push to far. Part of it is the tendency to overlook how much we are driven by biology and essentially by evolution. I don't think any approach can actually change that.

 

   Males today are basically what males always were and likely always will be. If you were to break down the contrived social constructs that confine us, we would very quickly be back to where the biggest, strongest and probably youngest male in the group is keeping the rest in line, until they are no longer able to do that. Respect actually was earned by fear and force. Usually by brute strength, sometimes by brains, and often by both. Until eventually the battle was lost with time and someone else took over. 

 

  For the most part, we act in certain ways because we understand the repercussions of not doing so. Perhaps also because it was drilled into us from childhood that this is the right way to do things. Sometimes because we learned the hard way that it was the wrong way to do something. I think it's all fine to approach it from those angles because we can certainly understand how behaviors can be modified. When we start looking for ways that human nature itself can be easily changed, we are probably on a fools errand. 

 

  


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1 minute ago, Randyandyuni said:

To me, it is an article written by a woman with a high opinion of herself, hence the term savvy psychologist as opposed to her academic credentials,  perhaps this is her toxic femininity bubbling out. Some of what she talks about is typical of baby boomer men stereotypes, some seems like observations, some seems like conjecture

 

    Using the term "toxic" wasn't helpful in starting any sort of discussion. 


995507-quote-moderation-in-all-things-an

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47 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

By raising sons that are decent people. 

It helps us better understand your meaning if you quote the person to whom you are responding.  Otherwise, your sentence fragment has little meaning.

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Now, there is a difference between traditional masculinity and toxic masculinity: There is nothing toxic about working hard, providing for one’s family, winning at sports, or being loyal to friends. Most importantly, there’s nothing toxic about wanting to be respected. All humans want to feel respected—we all want to know we are valued, recognized, and affirmed.

 

While there’s nothing toxic about needing respect, taking desperate and extreme measures to force what looks like respect (but is actually fear) is a direct result of toxic masculinity. Men who don’t feel respected may make up for it by dominating others.

 

All you really need to know here, is that a female can delve so deeply into masculinity and toxicity, and suffer no feedback. Imagine a researcher who is also a man doing this, delving into toxic femininity. His career would be over. He would be castigated, possibly suffer death threats, and probably couldn't even be hired in a minimum wage job afterwards.


 

-

“He’s in there fighting,” the president said. “Boris knows how to win.”

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6 hours ago, Randyandyuni said:

To me, it is an article written by a woman with a high opinion of herself, hence the term savvy psychologist as opposed to her academic credentials,  perhaps this is her toxic femininity bubbling out. Some of what she talks about is typical of baby boomer men stereotypes, some seems like observations, some seems like conjecture

I thought it was a pretty poorly written piece, to be honest. I wanted to find something that wasn't too highly emotional, or too long, or too overwrought, because I wanted to open up discussion among ourselves. :)

 

6 hours ago, Steeleballz said:

 

    Using the term "toxic" wasn't helpful in starting any sort of discussion. 

I agree -- I really don't like the term itself. I think there are more productive ways to talk about masculinity without saying "well, this is doing masculinity wrong" -- there's no black/white about it. What I'm interested in knowing is how/whether men see certain cultural attitudes they carry within themselves as being necessarily good or bad.

 

For example, my ex and my fiance -- we'll call them J and A, respectively -- are both "men's men" -- they make a big deal about taking care of the women in their lives and solving problems. But J's attitude is that women necessarily need protecting, and often from themselves, from putting themselves in problematic situations, or from having to make difficult decisions. I think it's a little warped, but he does it out of a sense of chivalry (though it's really about control). For A, he worries about me and his mum and sister, but he will not step in unless he thinks intervention is required. He might caution me against something he thinks is foolish, but ultimately he lets me make mistakes without getting in the way. I feel protected, but I don't feel restricted. 

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2 hours ago, ALFKAD said:

It helps us better understand your meaning if you quote the person to whom you are responding.  Otherwise, your sentence fragment has little meaning.

Pretty sure she was speaking to me. :D 

 

1 hour ago, Boris Farage said:

 

All you really need to know here, is that a female can delve so deeply into masculinity and toxicity, and suffer no feedback. Imagine a researcher who is also a man doing this, delving into toxic femininity. His career would be over. He would be castigated, possibly suffer death threats, and probably couldn't even be hired in a minimum wage job afterwards.

Toxic femininity isn't a thing, sorry. I know it gets thrown around out there in some MRA circles (are you in one? :P ) but it's not a real thing.

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19 minutes ago, laylalex said:

Toxic femininity isn't a thing, sorry. I know it gets thrown around out there in some MRA circles (are you in one? :P ) but it's not a real thing.

So the females get to determine whether toxic femininity exists or not also? Very nice.


 

-

“He’s in there fighting,” the president said. “Boris knows how to win.”

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10 hours ago, laylalex said:

"Female" isn't a noun when it comes to humans, unless you're a cop. We are women or girls, thanks.

Huh?


 

 

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   Further reading. Let grammar girl clear it up for you. 

 

   

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It's my recommendation that you use female as a noun only when you are speaking about animals or writing scientifically. When you are talking about female humans, the favored nouns are woman and women. Likewise, when you're talking about male humans, the favored nouns are man and men.

 


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