Toxic Masculinity — Part 1
Introducing my photographic project
What is toxic masculinity?
Toxic Masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood as defined by violence and sex, status and aggression. It is the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are weakness, where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine traits” — which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual are means by which your status as “man” can
be taken away.
In a more physical and psychological view, Mr Roger Kirby, in his article ‘Toxic masculinity’: The Problem with Men, says that men have this type of behaviour as; “The molecule responsible for these attitudes is testosterone, whose imprint on the foetal brain and soaring levels after puberty account for ‘maleness’, reinforced by upbringing and cultural influences”.
The question is how do we (as men) get influenced in such behaviours? The typical idea of being the hero and showing your strength and hide your weakness has all got to do with judgement. Fear of being judged and shame them for their weakness and be compared to homosexual men, thus resulting in so many psychological problems. As Andrea Waling says in the article; Problematising ‘Toxic’ and ‘Healthy’ Masculinity for Addressing Gender Inequalities “the suppression of men’s emotions leading to emotional and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and the deterioration of men’s physical health”.
What I find interesting in Mr Wailing’s article is the fact that he is trying to detach from the idea of toxic masculinity to healthy masculinity. The notion of seeing this problem of toxins to trying to convert the term as more hopeful. I totally agree with this phenomenon as open-minded people, we must be able to teach men how to “rationally and consciously reject oppressive regimes of manhood and masculinity in order to support the dismantling of unequal gendered power relations”. Moreover “‘Healthy masculinity’ is focused on men engaging their emotions, rather than remaining stoic during times of emotional vulnerability.”
On the other hand, I also like what Ms Niobe Way a developmental psychologist says on this subject matter(link below). Let men be simply human. We are all human at the end of the day with the same characteristics and emotions and the desire to have relationships. The fact repressing our emotions will result in loneliness What makes us different is gender but other than that we are only human. “They are just disconnecting from a core part of their humanity. We’re born human and we’re born with the capacity and the need to connect to others to have community and have positive relationships and then we raise boys in American culture to disconnect from that need to pretend…. they are not emotional, to basically fake it. To fake, they are not fully human.”
Article — Problematising ‘Toxic’ and ‘Healthy’ Masculinity for Addressing Gender Inequalities — Andrea Waling
Article — ‘Toxic masculinity’: The Problem with Men — Roger Kirby
Toxic Masculinity in boys is Fueling as Epidemic of Loneliness — Video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbX76n6A160 — Niobe Way