What Toxic Masculinity Really Is

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Toxic Masculinity has been a major topic of concern in recent times, since the terrible acts of some celebrities and people in powerful positions have been exposed. This has caused society to draw more attention to the topic, with so many campaigns about the act springing up around the world.

In the past, women have majorly been thought to be the only ones on the receiving end of this terrible act. However, in recent times, it has been seen to go beyond just women, to gay men and even children. Toxic Masculinity was formerly academically defined as the oppression faced by marginalized groups (women, gay men and working class) from white, middle aged-men in power. This definition has evolved into things beyond just oppression, to things like; competitive aggression, improper sexual behaviors and intolerance of people.

One of the most recent viewpoints comes from companies like Pixar and Gillette who have both addressed the issue creatively in separate videos. While Pixar’s video was widely accepted. Gillette faced heavy criticism due to the fact that their video seemed to suggest that men should be taught from a young age about certain behaviors and its consequences.

In truth, Toxic Masculinity goes beyond men in power because almost anyone could exhibit the traits. Celebrity sexual harassment issues have been classified as toxic masculinity, high school aggression, sexual and derogatory remarks to women too. Men also experience toxic masculinity because they are somehow forced by the society to believe that there is a certain way a man should act.

The recent backlash against Gillette seems to be coming from a set of people who believe that believe that; when male behaviors are considered to be toxic, “boys will not be able to be boys”. This is quite a shallow point of view which establishes that men are meant to be aggressive and domineering.

The solution to such a school of thought is an increased understanding that “there is no right way to be man”. Instead, participating in toxic activities, everyone needs to evolve into an agent for change with an understanding that there is no new war on men.