Toxic Masculinity — What is it?

Rachel Lu:

Feminists are now in love with the term “toxic masculinity,” but interestingly, it doesn’t seem to have originated with them. It was coined in the 90s by men’s advocates (such as the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement) who were looking to contrast a normal, healthy masculinity with more negative manifestations of manliness. As more and more boys grew up without fathers, and as their struggles were continually overlooked by a world anxious to promote the welfare of women, the stereotypical hyper-aggressive and sex-crazed man became more common and more feared.

This is the essence of “toxic masculinity.” It is emotionally stunted and obsessed with sex and violence. Toxic males seek the thrill of danger and shun responsibility and commitment. Since they lust after women but don’t want to marry or love them, their attitude towards the other sex tends to be offensively objectifying, and can easily turn misogynistic if (as often happens) they experience rejection. When a young man is unable to talk to girls, and vents his frustration by killing them instead, toxic ideals of manhood are clearly in play.

Listen to some RAP or Hip Hop for awhile and you’ll see what she means.  Rachel Lu points out that very few men fit the above description.  That’s nice but such a perversion of what it means to be a “real man” is distressing, even if the great majority of males don’t embrace it. Our grandfathers thought manliness was the ability and the instinct to care for all who are weaker such women, children and old people.  Then, a men’s identity would be in crisis if his place as protector and provider were ever in doubt.

Rachel Lu seems to understand that a healthy society needs manly men (“manly” in the old fashioned definition) a lot more than it needs radical feminists who wouldn’t know a real man if they tripped over one.

Read the whole thing.

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