What is Toxic Masculinity?

Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Toxic masculinity is men abusing their wives/girlfriends.

Toxic masculinity is men murdering their wives/girlfriends.

Toxic masculinity is incels believing that women owe them.

Toxic masculinity is ignoring the women who die at the hands of their spouses and boyfriends by invoking, “but what about the women who abuse men?” argument. By using false equivalencies to avoid having the much more difficult conversations that need to be had. By failing to address the social acceptance of toxic behavior by many of the men in our very own lives.

Toxic masculinity is men murdering scores of people in public places.

Toxic masculinity is men murdering each other for trivial purposes.

Toxic masculinity is the driving force behind gang violence.

Toxic masculinity is the driving force behind hate, bigotry, and racism.

Toxic masculinity is the driving force behind America’s gun problems.

Toxic masculinity is men being bullies and teaching their kids to be bullies. It’s teaching young boys that it’s okay to be sad and pathetic little men who are compensating for something instead of addressing their flaws; their weaknesses. It foments an environment of fear and loathing toward others.

Toxic masculinity is men grooming young girls and preying on them.

Toxic masculinity is men talking down to women showing no respect.

Toxic masculinity is men believing they are superior to women.

Toxic masculinity is R. Kelly and Louis C.K. and Harvey Weinstein, and Ted Nugent, and Alex Jones and so many more just like them. All bark and no bite.

The women who support toxic masculinity because they benefit from it are traitors to all the progress we’ve made for women's rights over the last half-century. The betrayal of women apologists undermines all of the work of those who came before us throughout history. It’s sad to see.

Listen, we can be men, masculine men, without being any of these things. We can be better men, real men, by standing up to the toxic pieces of shit we all have in our lives. It’s time. It’s been time and we need to start now.

When I watched the Gillette ad, I suddenly felt less alone. I felt validated in some ways and it felt good. I know I’m probably going to catch some flak for this, but you know what? It’s about time someone stirred the pot on a large scale. And yes, I am aware that Gillette stands to benefit from this. But I’m still happy to see them use their reach and marketing power to say what needed to be said; by calling out the toxicity that NOT ALL MEN put out there.

Also, stop with the “not all men” nonsense. I’m one of them and I don’t feel it necessary to constantly put that out there because it is assumed. The Gillette Ad didn’t call out ALL MEN either. So stop it. The message was clear. Stop being babies about it. Your faux outrage has done nothing except validate everything about the messaging of the ad, and of men like me. You are proving just how important the need to have this conversation is.

Oh, and if you think we’re weak for speaking out against male toxicity.

Fight us.