Men Shouldn't Cry
"In the social sciences, toxic masculinity refers to traditional cultural masculine norms that can be harmful to men, women, and society overall; this concept of toxic masculinity is not intended to demonize men or male attributes, but rather to emphasize the harmful effects of conformity to certain traditional masculine ideal behaviors such as dominance, self-reliance, and competition.Toxic masculinity(later can be referred as TM) is thus defined by adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger. It is marked by economic, political, and social expectations that men seek and achieve dominance (the "alpha male").
We don't even realize, that so early on kids already have an idea, of how a girl and a boy should act and behave. For some reason they are taught, that boys should only play with cars, and 'boyish' things like that, and Barbie dolls, dresses, make ups were only for the girls. But let me ask you, what could possibly go wrong with a little boy trying out 'girl games' and figuring out alone what he actually wants to play with?
Why do we think that him playing with a Barbie is going to change his whole identity, turn his world upside down, and somehow mess with his head? Didn't we ever think, that forbidding things, is only gonna make them even more curious, just maybe next time they are going to be afraid to ask?
Children are taught from a very young age, that certain colors are girly, and others are for the boys, but what's the harm in a boy wearing a pink T-shirt, if that's what he wanted to wear? Same with make-up, and nail polish, why couldn't they just try it out, and see if they like it or not? Let me tell you, no make-up or nail polish is going to change his sexual preference, or gender identity, but making him feel like he's done something wrong, is really not the right way about this.
TM in relationships
Man-Up, don't cry like a little girl!
We hear this phrase so much, from fathers to sons, but why is it so damaging, and wrong?
Boys are told from as early as they can remember, that crying is for girls, and they should just suppress their emotions, and 'suck it up'. Well, this may does not seem like a lot, but it actually affects their whole life, including relationships and marriage.
They become extremely emotionally unavailable, and emotionless to the outer world, and unfortunately most women can't stick around much with a man who can't open up about his feelings.
TM also affects their view on how a 'real man' should look like, all buffed up, strong, only muscle. Let me tell you, women who are looking for a serious relationship in most cases don't really care about how much you can lift, or if you have abs or not, these things just become so insignificant, when someone finds a person who loves them, and makes them happy.
There are also so many old, rigid ideas of how a family should look like. Mom should stay at home, cook, clean and take care of the kids while dad is making money for the family, because he is the so-called 'homemaker'. This can be very sustainable, and great, when both parents want this, and agree that this 'model' is what works best for them, and the woman actually wants to stay at home, but we also need to understand, that everyone should do what makes them happy, and what works for them. Dads can also stay at home with the kids, cook, and clean, it shouldn't automatically be the woman's job.
We didn't even talk about chores in a family, and how everyone should do their part. Even in movies and Tv-Shows we often see dads sitting with a beer in their hand, watching a game or something, meanwhile the woman of the house is cleaning and cooking, and basically doing everything, so that the man doesn't have to do anything, just relax and have fun. With every bone in my body though, I religiously think, that a relationship, or marriage is a partnership, in which everyone should be equal, and do everything equally, as partners. I think that teaching little girls an boys as well, that houseworks should be done by everyone who lives in that house, is essential, to teaching them that there are no differences between male and female other than what body they were born into, which we all know, they can not control.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Lili Zoltai