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Greatshield17
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01 May 2020, 4:20 pm

Today is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, so I figured today would be an appropriate day to ask this question, what is toxic masculinity?

Some conservatives accusatively claim, that toxic masculinity is "formerly known is masculinity," and thus even positive forms masculinity, such as chastity, courage, diligence and the like are "toxic masculinity."

Other conservatives view toxic masculinity as referring to immoral behaviour typical among men, such as lust, drunkenness, aggression and the like; but still criticize the term. I fall into this category, my form of criticism goes like this: it's akin to how Calvinists describe humanity as "totally depraved" or having a "sinful nature," there are indeed immoral behaviours men are more prone to fall into then women; but to use the term "toxic masculinity" is to imply that these immoral behaviours are part of the nature of the human man. As a Catholic, I believe human beings, male and female are created good, and thus, these immoral behaviours are defects in the nature of men as human beings with a fallen nature that is not what it's meant to be.

But I want to hear what feminists and the left have to say about this, what is your definition of "toxic masculinity?"


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IsabellaLinton
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01 May 2020, 4:26 pm

I don't identify as a feminist. I'm an egalitarian and I believe everyone's rights are equally important. Men's and women's, and everything in between.

To me, toxic masculinity is the cultural belief that men must have certain characteristics according to their gender.

It's not that the characteristics themselves are toxic, because any person is free to have or not have those traits. But, it can be toxic when men are shamed for not meeting these expectations or for having a different personality. It's toxic to their psyche, just like it's toxic for women to be typecast in specific roles.



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01 May 2020, 4:36 pm

Toxic Masculinity, as far as I’ve understood it, on the left tends to mean (or at least originally meant) men engaging in attitudes and behaviours that are traditionally thought of as masculine to such an extreme extend that they endanger their own physical & psychological health by doing so.

So a guy insisting on lifting and carrying heavy furniture on his own because he would find accepting help an admission of “unmanly” weakness, and damaging his back in the process would be displaying a toxic masculine attitude/behaviour.

Ditto a man who had mental health problems but insisted on blanking them out with liquor and then starting fights rather than see a therapist or a priest and admitting his internal pain.

Or one of my wife’s friends who is a very gentle, sensitive guy: but plays the role of a hard as rock emotionless tough-guy... until it all gets too much and he’s round at ours crying on the sofa because he can’t cope with what that act makes of his life.



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01 May 2020, 4:36 pm

Toxic Male Syndrome -- a.k.a., "Toxic Maxculinity -- is a specific model of manhood geared towards dominance and control; features of which include, but are not limited to:

• Abusive, Loud, and/or Rude Language (i.e., Insults, Profanity, and "Hate Speech")

• Bullying (i.e., Blaming, Intimidation, Physical Assault, Scapegoating, Sexual Assault, Shaming, Taunting, et cetera)

• Contempt for Intelligence and Knowledge (i.e., Devaluation of Educated People, especially those who reason from facts and/or who can think for themselves)

• Contempt for Real or Perceived Differences in Others (i.e., Opinions, Skin Color, Religion, Politics, Ideologies, Brand Loyalties, et cetera)

• Contempt for Real or Perceived Failures or Weaknesses in Others (i.e., Devaluation of People who are Disabled, Ill, Imperfect or "Ugly", Injured, Kind, Law-Abiding, Physically Smaller, Patient, Peaceful, Physically Weaker, Self-Controlled, Shy, Temperate, Timid, et cetera)

• Creation of and participation in Hierarchies that benefit others; but only as long as those other provide a beneficial quid-pro-quo

• Denial of toxic male behavior as "bad"

• Extreme Risk-Taking (i.e., alcohol, crime, drugs, fights, tobacco, et cetera)

• Extreme Self-Denial (i.e., Denial of His Own Flaws, Illnesses, Injuries, Pain, Suffering, Toxic Behavior, Weaknesses, et cetera)

• Extreme Self-Reliance (e.g., "Individualism")

• Extreme Stoicism (i.e., the Stifling of His own Emotional Expression)

• Homophobia (e.g., Devaluation, Subjugation, and Physical Assault of LGBTQs)

• Institutionalized Misogyny (e.g., Devaluation, Subjugation, and Sexual Assault of Women; especially in the context of Pornography)

• Justification of toxic male behavior as "good"

• Justification of Violence Against Others (i.e., Physical, Sexual, and Verbal)

• Narcissism (i.e., His Way is the Only Way; His Way or "The Highway", Nothing is Ever His Fault, et cetera)

• Obsession with "Objects of Power" (i.e., Big Dogs, Firearms, Knives, Swords, Big Trucks, Power Tools, Obnoxious "Bling", et cetera)

• Obsession with "Symbols of Power" (i.e., Flags, Uniforms, Tattoos, Totems, and Geometric Designs favored by oppressors, such as Stars, Swastikas, et cetera)

• Obsession with Control, Dominance, Power, and Victory over others

• Obsession with Impressing Others (i.e., Body-Building, Bragging, Bravado, Swagger, et cetera)

• Obsession with Status (i.e., Pursuit of Influence, Popularity, and Power)

• Pride in the magnitude and frequency of the pain and humiliation they inflict on others.

• Primacy of Conformity Over Diversity (i.e., Skin Color, Religion, Politics, Ideologies, Brand Loyalties, Team Loyalties, et cetera)

• Primacy of Cultural Identity over all others cultural identities.

• Primacy of Self Over Others.

• Primacy of Work and Career over Relationships and Family

• Promiscuity (okay for toxic males, but not okay for females)

• Racism

• Rage (e.g., Anger and/or Violence that is out of proportion to their triggering events)

• Sexism

• Xenophobia (e.g., Devaluation, Subjugation, and Physical Assault of Foreigners and Immigrants)

This is not an all-or-nothing issue; instead, the more of these behaviors that a man displays on a regular basis, the more likely he is to have Toxic Male Syndrome. Unfortunately, it is also more likely that he will force himself upon women, and then intimidate them into silence; thus concealing his toxicity from those who could intervene.

Toxic masculinity has nothing to do with religion or politics. To politicize or "religicize" toxic masculinity is fallacious and detrimental to open discourse on the topic.


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IsabellaLinton
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01 May 2020, 4:45 pm

Fnord wrote:
Toxic Male Syndrome -- a.k.a., "Toxic Maxculinity -- is a specific model of manhood geared towards dominance and control; features of which include, but are not limited to:

• Abusive, Loud, and/or Rude Language (i.e., Insults, Profanity, and "Hate Speech")

• Bullying (i.e., Blaming, Intimidation, Physical Assault, Scapegoating, Sexual Assault, Shaming, Taunting, et cetera)

• Contempt for Intelligence and Knowledge (i.e., Devaluation of Educated People, especially those who reason from facts and/or who can think for themselves)

• Contempt for Real or Perceived Differences in Others (i.e., Opinions, Skin Color, Religion, Politics, Ideologies, Brand Loyalties, et cetera)

• Contempt for Real or Perceived Failures or Weaknesses in Others (i.e., Devaluation of People who are Disabled, Ill, Imperfect or "Ugly", Injured, Kind, Law-Abiding, Physically Smaller, Patient, Peaceful, Physically Weaker, Self-Controlled, Shy, Temperate, Timid, et cetera)

• Creation of and participation in Hierarchies that benefit others; but only as long as those other provide a beneficial quid-pro-quo

• Denial of toxic male behavior as "bad"

• Extreme Risk-Taking (i.e., alcohol, crime, drugs, fights, tobacco, et cetera)

• Extreme Self-Denial (i.e., Denial of His Own Flaws, Illnesses, Injuries, Pain, Suffering, Toxic Behavior, Weaknesses, et cetera)

• Extreme Self-Reliance (e.g., "Individualism")

• Extreme Stoicism (i.e., the Stifling of His own Emotional Expression)

• Homophobia (e.g., Devaluation, Subjugation, and Physical Assault of LGBTQs)

• Institutionalized Misogyny (e.g., Devaluation, Subjugation, and Sexual Assault of Women; especially in the context of Pornography)

• Justification of toxic male behavior as "good"

• Justification of Violence Against Others (i.e., Physical, Sexual, and Verbal)

• Narcissism (i.e., His Way is the Only Way; His Way or "The Highway", Nothing is Ever His Fault, et cetera)

• Obsession with "Objects of Power" (i.e., Big Dogs, Firearms, Knives, Swords, Big Trucks, Power Tools, Obnoxious "Bling", et cetera)

• Obsession with "Symbols of Power" (i.e., Flags, Uniforms, Tattoos, Totems, and Geometric Designs favored by oppressors, such as Stars, Swastikas, et cetera)

• Obsession with Control, Dominance, Power, and Victory over others

• Obsession with Impressing Others (i.e., Body-Building, Bragging, Bravado, Swagger, et cetera)

• Obsession with Status (i.e., Pursuit of Influence, Popularity, and Power)

• Pride in the magnitude and frequency of the pain and humiliation they inflict on others.

• Primacy of Conformity Over Diversity (i.e., Skin Color, Religion, Politics, Ideologies, Brand Loyalties, Team Loyalties, et cetera)

• Primacy of Cultural Identity over all others cultural identities.

• Primacy of Self Over Others.

• Primacy of Work and Career over Relationships and Family

• Promiscuity (okay for toxic males, but not okay for females)

• Racism

• Rage (e.g., Anger and/or Violence that is out of proportion to their triggering events)

• Sexism

• Xenophobia (e.g., Devaluation, Subjugation, and Physical Assault of Foreigners and Immigrants)

This is not an all-or-nothing issue; instead, the more of these behaviors that a man displays on a regular basis, the more likely he is to have Toxic Male Syndrome. Unfortunately, it is also more likely that he will force himself upon women, and then intimidate them into silence; thus concealing his toxicity from those who could intervene.

Toxic masculinity has nothing to do with religion or politics. To politicize or "religicize" toxic masculinity is fallacious and detrimental to open discourse on the topic.


Aren't those also toxic traits for women and non-binary people? I've never heard of men being "taught" that crap.

Of course some men behave that way and so do some women, by the nature of their upbringing and their interests. Sure, the media promotes war as more of a male thing but there are many women serving the military for every country.

I don't see all of those characteristics as personalities that are expected of boys or men. Some, more than others maybe ... but not all. Maybe half.

Intolerance can grow for anyone who doesn't educate themselves or care for others.

Just to clarify I've known pigheaded, racist, sexist, homophobic families who perpetuate this BS attitude to their daughters, whether they are stinking rich snobs or ..... the opposite (no stereotypical terms inserted).

It's shameful either way.



Last edited by IsabellaLinton on 01 May 2020, 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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01 May 2020, 5:24 pm

@IsabellaLinton: Did you read the second-to-last paragraph?

Quote:
This is not an all-or-nothing issue; instead, the more of these behaviors that a man displays on a regular basis, the more likely he is to have Toxic Male Syndrome...
And while these behaviors are not taught in a formal setting, they are taught by cultural infusion -- a boy being raised in a toxic male-dominated society, where women are slandered, insulted, beaten, and practically enslaved is more likely to grow up to be a toxic male than a boy raised in a culture in which all women are valued as equal partners, while the their rights -- which are the same as men's rights -- are acknowledged (and even promoted).

Unfortunately, women have been suppressed for millennia under male-dominated religions, and still are even in so-called "civilized" nations of both the East and the West. Some of those have even elevated dead female images to be worshiped, while simultaneously denying living women the right to lead their religious services or hold positions of leadership. Such religions are on the wane, even while their adherents raise their voices against progress, science, independent thinking, and equal rights for women.


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01 May 2020, 5:30 pm

Fnord wrote:
@IsabellaLinton: Did you read the second-to-last paragraph?
Quote:
This is not an all-or-nothing issue; instead, the more of these behaviors that a man displays on a regular basis, the more likely he is to have Toxic Male Syndrome...
And while these behaviors are not taught in a formal setting, they are taught by cultural infusion -- a boy being raised in a toxic male-dominated society, where women are slandered, insulted, beaten, and practically enslaved is more likely to grow up to be a toxic male than a boy raised in a culture in which all women are valued as equal partners, while the their rights -- which are the same as men's rights -- are acknowledged (and even promoted).

Unfortunately, women have been suppressed for millennia under male-dominated religions, and still are even in so-called "civilized" nations of both the East and the West. Some of those have even elevated dead female images to be worshiped, while simultaneously denying living women the right to lead their religious services or hold positions of leadership. Such religions are on the wane, even while their adherents raise their voices against progress, science, independent thinking, and equal rights for women.


I get your point Fnord and I'm not trying to argue against it. I'm just saying that unfortunately some females have (some / up to half of) these horrible characteristics as well. You wouldn't believe some of the girls and women I've met in my lifetime who are almost as deplorable. I know it's less likely that those are cultural expectations for the girls but many families breed it nonetheless.



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01 May 2020, 5:35 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Fnord wrote:
@IsabellaLinton: Did you read the second-to-last paragraph?
Quote:
This is not an all-or-nothing issue; instead, the more of these behaviors that a man displays on a regular basis, the more likely he is to have Toxic Male Syndrome...
And while these behaviors are not taught in a formal setting, they are taught by cultural infusion -- a boy being raised in a toxic male-dominated society, where women are slandered, insulted, beaten, and practically enslaved is more likely to grow up to be a toxic male than a boy raised in a culture in which all women are valued as equal partners, while the their rights -- which are the same as men's rights -- are acknowledged (and even promoted). Unfortunately, women have been suppressed for millennia under male-dominated religions, and still are even in so-called "civilized" nations of both the East and the West. Some of those have even elevated dead female images to be worshiped, while simultaneously denying living women the right to lead their religious services or hold positions of leadership. Such religions are on the wane, even while their adherents raise their voices against progress, science, independent thinking, and equal rights for women.
I get your point Fnord and I'm not trying to argue against it. I'm just saying that unfortunately some females have (some / up to half of) these horrible characteristics as well. You wouldn't believe some of the girls and women I've met in my lifetime who are almost as deplorable. I know it's less likely that those are cultural expectations for the girls but many families breed it nonetheless.
I know that kind of woman all too well -- I was married to one for 12 years. But this thread is about "Toxic Masculinity", not "Toxic Women".


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01 May 2020, 5:40 pm

Fnord wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Fnord wrote:
@IsabellaLinton: Did you read the second-to-last paragraph?
Quote:
This is not an all-or-nothing issue; instead, the more of these behaviors that a man displays on a regular basis, the more likely he is to have Toxic Male Syndrome...
And while these behaviors are not taught in a formal setting, they are taught by cultural infusion -- a boy being raised in a toxic male-dominated society, where women are slandered, insulted, beaten, and practically enslaved is more likely to grow up to be a toxic male than a boy raised in a culture in which all women are valued as equal partners, while the their rights -- which are the same as men's rights -- are acknowledged (and even promoted). Unfortunately, women have been suppressed for millennia under male-dominated religions, and still are even in so-called "civilized" nations of both the East and the West. Some of those have even elevated dead female images to be worshiped, while simultaneously denying living women the right to lead their religious services or hold positions of leadership. Such religions are on the wane, even while their adherents raise their voices against progress, science, independent thinking, and equal rights for women.
I get your point Fnord and I'm not trying to argue against it. I'm just saying that unfortunately some females have (some / up to half of) these horrible characteristics as well. You wouldn't believe some of the girls and women I've met in my lifetime who are almost as deplorable. I know it's less likely that those are cultural expectations for the girls but many families breed it nonetheless.
I know that kind of woman all too well -- I was married to one for 12 years. But this thread is about "Toxic Masculinity", not "Toxic Women".


Fair enough. I needed to have one of my equal opportunity rants. :twisted:



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01 May 2020, 5:53 pm

When I see those words I sum it up as machismo: a strong or exaggerated sense of power or the right to dominate. It shows up in all cultures, more common 20-30 years ago.



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01 May 2020, 6:39 pm

Kind of feels like most of it has been said already, but I want to clarify that it really is more than a buzzword that many on the right seem to think it is. At its base it is masculinity that is considered toxic, but does not at all refer to all masculinity. One can still act like a gentleman, but if they treat a woman like a child, that is toxic masculinity. A man can be interested in men, but if they treat a woman as only like a sex object, that is toxic masculinity. A man build muscles and be very physically fit, but if they keep on trying to use that fitness to intimidate others or start fights, that is toxic masculinity. A man can believe in strong mental fortitude as a dependable person and like to stay calm, but if he prevents himself from feeling emotional, giving affection to those he cares about and make fun of other man for being emotional, that is toxic masculinity.

I am a feminist, which I think has an oddly high amount of people outside of feminism deciding for me what that means, or even that a "man" cannot be a feminist, and that itself is just a bit of toxic masculinity, it does not necessarily need to come from a man either. If you are trying to force weird ideas of masculinity onto a man, you are probably displaying some level of perpetuating toxic masculinity, as well as possibly toxic femineity when pushing harmful ideas of what it can mean to be feminine. There is both, but just that masculinity, like when you listen to some conservative housewife who says the job of a woman is to find a man and make him babies, just that masculinity has been places as more powerful, domineering, and can be attributed to things like rape culture and men living shorter lives.

The sort of thing where a man would refuse to have a yogurt because it is too feminine, but fine when a weird masculine label has been put on it, such as with fire and calling it something like gut thunder blueberry.


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01 May 2020, 7:06 pm

I had a small example of what is being discussed used against me just a few hours ago. I usually carry my IPAD with me in a bag slinked against my side. It is a habit from when I lost my speech due to a tongue cancer operation. It was a way to communicate if something happened to me. Passinger in a car yelled at me a couple of times “Are you a man or a women?” I wearing all black. The bag is aqua, not stereotypical female colors. But guy with bag was equivalent to trans to this jerk.

Rightly or wrongly I was never worried the guy was going jump out of the car and attack me.

I said nothing and the driver drove away. The thought occurred to me later I could have told him I identify as coronavirus, funny but most likely a bad idea.


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01 May 2020, 7:55 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
But guy with bag was equivalent to trans to this jerk.


I'm sorry that happened. :(

I've never understood why men aren't "supposed to" carry a handbag. Don't they also have wallets and keys and sunglasses and devices and chargers .... or other assorted miscellanea? I don't carry cosmetics but I still need to have a small handbag so I'm not cluttered.



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02 May 2020, 5:31 am

I think one thing that's missing here is that toxic masculinity is not usually considered something that any individual man "has". Rather, it refers to expectations of conformity.

In feminist theory, the expectation that women should be passive and docile, or that women should do more of the housework, is seen to hold women back. Men are generally given more allowance to be rude, angry, demanding, competitive, and independent. This benefits men in at least some areas.

Toxic masculinity is when either:

1) the extra license granted to men to be angry, demanding, independent, etc., hurts men or others.

2) men are placed under social pressure to not occupy the space typically occupied by women, such as being the primary carer for a child.



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02 May 2020, 6:46 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
But guy with bag was equivalent to trans to this jerk.


I'm sorry that happened. :(

I've never understood why men aren't "supposed to" carry a handbag. Don't they also have wallets and keys and sunglasses and devices and chargers .... or other assorted miscellanea? I don't carry cosmetics but I still need to have a small handbag so I'm not cluttered.

Seems to be an American thing (if you ever watched Seinfeld, there's the episode with "it's not a purse, it's European") - here guys carry backpacks, messenger bags or "saddle" bags, and everybody has one of these (usually carried on the shoulder, like a handbag):

Image

Granted, it's the kind of place where I could go out sporting a flamboyant pink purse and nobody would bat an eye :lol:


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02 May 2020, 6:57 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Aren't those also toxic traits for women and non-binary people? I've never heard of men being "taught" that crap.


I suspect the difference would be if the environment encourages such behaviours as being "manly" or excuses them as "boys will be boys" - I've been in such environments in my youth but these things are very different for my son now - fortunately!

I can't stand gender roles of any kind and I'm glad to see them go in more progressive environments :)


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