Not long ago I watched a documentary about toxic masculinity and how it harms boys and men called “The Mask You Live In”, and a particular segment really stood out to me. Interviews with K-12 teachers and counsellors made a point of emphasizing how around pre-adolescence, friendships between boys tend to shift from being emotionally genuine, generally indistinct from close friendships between girls, to being more restrained and guarded — essentially when boys begin to internalize that close emotional bonds and connections between (straight) men are socially unacceptable. The result is that the vast majority of men grow up emotionally stunted, unable to be healthily vulnerable with others, isolated with their own trauma. That this stifling of healthy emotional growth happens so young broke my heart. And now the world is run by emotionally stunted men who cannot face what they’ve done to themselves, and so instead gaslight us into thinking their toxicity is not only normal, but desirable. Ugh, I am so glad to be a woman, even though I still struggle to recognize my own internalized misogyny and fear confronting how much it has infiltrated my concept of self. Thank you for the article, and looking forward to reading more of your work!