Recently, the term “toxic masculinity” has become increasingly popular.
It is a pattern of behavior that has arisen by teaching men to suppress their emotions, to behave like brave macho, to be aggressive and to use violence to prove their influence and power.
And, without a doubt, toxic masculinity can harm anyone.
The term “toxic masculinity”, or what academics prefer to call “hegemonic masculinity,” has been around for some time.
This concept emerged in the late 1980s as part of the mythopoeic male movement of the 1980s and 1990s, in part in response to the second wave of feminism.
Sociologist Raewyn Connell at the time wrote about how gender stems from relationships and behavior, and how typical male ideals, such as social dignity, physical strength, and sexual potency, become toxic when standards are set that cannot be met.
As a result, boys and men may become insecure, which may lead them to rely on more aggressive behavior to create a sense of control.
Women in this frame of mind are considered utilitarian –
They must give me sex, attention or respect
– not as people who should have the right to agree or disagree with an intimate relationship, the right to express their views and the right to fight for their equality.
Manifestations of Toxic Masculinity
Men may be more susceptible to toxic masculinity if they lack a male role model as they grow, which could help break down toxic masculinity stereotypes by modeling healthy qualities such as showing care, love, and respect to women.
Also, a risk factor is a culture or community that encourages toxic masculinity. For example, in many cultures, there is a belief in machismo, which encourages men to be proud of their emotions of aggression, resilience and strength.
These beliefs are detrimental to future generations, creating unrealistic and harmful cultural norms.
Growing up with beliefs rooted in toxic masculinity can lead to long-term mental and emotional problems that hinder relationship building. Toxic masculinity can take the following forms:
- more common mental health problems, such as depression, drug use or other abnormal behavior;
- aggressive behavior such as chauvinism;
- physical aggression;
- sexual abuse;
- partying, mobbing;
- emotional abuse;
- they may humiliate women and be sexually insistent because they believe it is their right to treat women with disrespect and to behave like superiors.
Toxic Masculinity Red Flags
Many warning signals can tell you in time that toxic masculinity may affect your date or relationship. According to experts, these are some of the most common signals
He has difficulty expressing his emotions
Toxic masculinity can lead to untreated mental health problems, childhood trauma such as abandonment, emotional or sexual abuse, oppression. And addiction can make it worse. It’s a way to deal with depressed emotions and untreated injuries.
He does not accept a refusal
The biggest red signal is a partner who forces you to have sex when you don’t want to. It can take the form of barely perceptible pressure that turns into anger or worse. If you encounter a partner who is persistently trying to squeeze “yes” from you, no matter how many times you refuse, you are in a problematic situation.
They root this warning signal of toxic masculinity in narcissism. In extreme manifestations, daffodils treat others as utilitarian rather than full-fledged individuals. I think this is a problematic form of narcissism, because the dominant culture justifies it.
He shows little interest in your thoughts or ideas
A date or life partner who shows no interest in your interests, desires, education or career goals may struggle with toxic masculinity.
Daffodils want people to reflect in their lives what they want to see, which is really their own “reflection.” Anything else, such as your hopes and dreams, is worthless.
He humiliates you
Men affected by toxic masculinity can humiliate or despise your feelings. If you express your feelings about how you are treated, such men despise or deny your experience.
I believe that this reaction is most common when a man’s attitude or worldview is challenged.
How to deal with a toxic masculine partner
Whether you’ve met a guy who wants to have a fight at a bar or a partner who constantly makes sexist “jokes”, it’s hard to deny that the negative effects of toxic masculinity are everywhere, including often alone affects our romantic relationship.
But it is possible for any man to confront it and cure its consequences. It is very important to remember that there are many other ways of masculine expression that do not involve oppression of the partner.
We have many examples of other forms of masculinity that do not involve harm to ourselves and others. Toxic masculinity is not a disease or something that a person is born with.
If toxic masculinity appears in your relationship, visit a couple therapist who can help you and your partner address problematic beliefs and behaviors.
However, always remember: You must carefully consider whether your partner is capable of change, and if not, it might be the right time to end this relationship.
Some signs that tell if your partner is ready to do anything to change
- he takes responsibility for his own behavior;
- he is patient and understands your views and feelings, shows empathy and support;
- he takes the first step to identify the problem and begin the path to healing himself and his partnership.
After all, men who want to get rid of toxic masculinity can adopt healthy masculinity, such as hard work, good values, taking care of themselves and others.
Ideally, all people should get rid of the concepts of masculine and feminine stereotypes because they are just social constructions.
All beings have both masculine and feminine energy, and it can embody all the qualities of strength, power, concern, and emotional intelligence.