What is Toxic Masculinity?

It's real and it's making men sick.

. Whether they agree with it or not, whether they adhere to it or not, every man knows what it means to "be a man".

"Be a man."

"Stop with the tears, stop with the emotion."

Salon.com writes about the many researchers who have studied the overwhelming pressure that our culture places on men

one in ten men suffers from a mental illness but fewer than half seek out helpWhy would they, if they've been told over and over again that they can't show weakness?

and die by suicide 3.5 times more oftenIs that really a surprise, when men's self-worth is constantly under attack and men's feelings are constantly dismissed?

perpetuates rape culture and homophobiaOf course men would distance themselves from anything other than 'manly', because there's only one way to 'be a man'.

Let's break down the expectations the above video listed as "masculine".

This isn't an exhaustive list of course, but these tend to be common, universally recognized indicators of masculinity and power that feed into the toxic messages that help cause some of the problems listed above.

1. Get a lot of girls.

Instead of demanding why women won't pay attention, we should be asking instead why female attention is seen as a status symbol. Why are women the objects that make someone a "real man"?

2. Have a lot of muscles.

Instead of telling boys and men to "man up", instead we should be asking why physical strength is so important. Why is the ability to hurt someone else more important than honesty, intelligence, loyalty, or diligence?

3. Have a lot of money.

Wealth often means power, and instead of fighting to be able to control other people, we should be asking why we think it's not just acceptable, but desirable, to be able to force other human beings to do whatever you want.

Let's talk about "the man box".

Where are the places that you see influencing male behavior- or your own behavior? How does it make you feel when you hear things like "man up", "don't cry", "hold your head up", "don't be a pussy", or something similar? What do you think we can start to do instead?

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