Cultural Definition Of Toxic Masculinity

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Toxic Masculinity The current cultural definition of masculinity has generated many discussions in America. Men’s advocates in the 1990s coined the phrase “toxic masculinity” to describe a specifically negative manifestation of masculinity, one which focuses on the performance of maleness, rather than its inherent reality. This performance-based toxic masculinity is a narrow, restrictive list of acceptable beliefs and behaviors that is created and enforced by men. (Nerdlove) It praises men who behave selfishly, lauds those who are violent, and brutally punishes those who defy it. Many feminists claim that toxic masculinity is misogynistic—that it hates women. This is true. Nearly all the tenets of toxic masculinity are oppositional; …show more content…
Behaviors like objectifying women, bullying those weaker than themselves, and unwarranted sexual aggression are proofs of toxic masculinity, something to be bragged about. Denigrating those who are less manly--or gender policing--as a method of increasing one’s own masculinity is a common practice. Toxic masculinity is a zero sum game; for one man to have it, another must not. It must be taken.
While toxic masculinity is difficult to obtain, it is very easy to lose. All one need do is defy any of the stereotypes. Female-coded behaviors, anything that isn’t on the toxic masculinity checklist of ideal traits, are a threat. (Nerdlove) A man who expresses emotion is weak. One who decries violence is less than a man. Even not being masculine enough can be a transgression. Other men are the dominant voices enforcing these limits, and their negativity crosses the line into misandry.
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The personality and practices of an ideal toxic man are antisocial behaviors. He suppresses his emotions, and reacts to opposition with violence. He is objectified by other men; his individual personality is subsumed into some imaginary construct of masculinity. He is violent, both verbally and physically. He is emotionally repressed and depends on others to process his feelings. His sexual appetite is insatiable and indiscriminate. He is self-centered. (Nerdlove) Engaging in behaviors that demonstrate these traits are likely to garner praise, or at the very least to fulfill expectations. The construct of toxic masculinity believes the worst about men, and rewards those who behave at their worst. Both the objectification of the “perfect toxic man” and the negative beliefs about his sex meet the definition of misandry

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