If a man behaves in a negative or destructive manner, it is often put down to ‘toxic masculinity’. This is something that a feminist on TV can come out with, as well as someone who isn’t a feminist.
Now, it could be said that this is because feminists have a good understanding of what is going on in the world – they have their finger on the pulse, so to speak. Another way of looking at it would be to say that it is simply due to the fact that they are often the kind of people who are given a platform.
Consequently, this gives them the ability to define how a large part of the population perceives the world, with this being why one doesn’t need to be a feminist to think like one. However, it wouldn’t be right to put all feminists into the same box, as they don’t all have the same views.
There are going to be some who are well-adjusted and rational human beings, while there will be others who aren’t. The trouble is that the ones who are unbalanced often give the ones who aren’t a bad name.
But what can be hard for some people to understand is how a feminist, or anyone else for that matter, can use the term ‘toxic masculinity’. The reason for this is that it is not uncommon for a feminist to say that men and women are the same.
Thus, if they are the same and there are no differences, how can negative or destructive behaviour be put down to their gender? Surely, if men and women are the same, it would be far more accurate to use the term ‘toxic behaviour’.
This would also be a term that is ‘gender neutral’, with this being something that is important to a lot of feminists. Also, by using the word ‘masculinity’, it can create the impression that negative and destructive behaviour is something that is inherently male.
Not only is this a complete falsehood, but women possesses both the masculine and the feminine within them. So, as equality is so important, would it not be better to focus on what is negative and destructive and to leave masculinity out of it?
Something that a lot of feminists fail to realise is that bashing all men is not a great approach to take when it comes to changing the world. It will be a lot easier for men and women to get on when they work together, and blaming one gender for everything is clearly not the solution.
To say that ‘toxic masculinity’ is the problem is naturally going to make a lot of men defensive. Even though women, as well as men, posses both masculine and feminine energies, this is not something that is widely understood.
Back To Reality
Through hearing about ‘toxic masculinity’, a man could say that some women are an example of ‘toxic femininity’. This can then be a woman who doesn’t take responsibility for her life and manipulates others, among other things.
Yet, while a woman can behave in this way, a man can also who behave in the same way. But as both genders are made up of the same energies, this is not going to be much of a surprise.
A Different Perspective
What is clear is that if a man behaves in a destructive manner, he has issues, and the same could be said when this relates to a woman. To say that a man behaves in this way due to ‘toxic masculinity’ doesn’t take into account what he has gone through in order to behave in this way.
Now, this is not to say that this means he is not responsible for his behaviour. His behaviour is then going to have nothing to do with masculinity and everything to do with the fact that he is carrying trauma and/or has something wrong with this brain.
‘Toxic masculinity’ is often seen as the reason why men don’t express how they feel, and men are often told that they need to do this. This is seen as one of the ways for men to longer kill people with guns or to murder others, for instance.
In and of itself, it could be said that it is vital for men to be in touch with their emotions and to feel comfortable enough to express them. This is something that applies to both genders; with their being plenty of women in the world who need to hear this.
The Modern Day World
The western world is all about repression, and it could be said that this comes down to the minds need to experience pleasure and to avoid pain. This kind of behaviour could be seen as the norm as opposed to the exception.
Thus, to say that this is something that only applies to men overlooks the fact that women are often just as repressed. But to say that emotional repression alone is what causes a man to murder someone has to be way of the mark.
A Closer Look
When a feminist, for instance, believes that women are in touch with their emotions and men aren’t, and that both genders are the same, it will be up to men to simply change their behaviour. To let go of their ‘toxic masculinity’ and to spend more time talking about how they feel.
This approach will be based on the belief that the only reason men behave in this way is due to socialisation, meaning it won’t have anything to do with their being innate differences between men and women. For example, it has been said that women experience greater levels of oxytocin when they talk about their feelings.
If this is the case, and if men are generally more goal orientated than women, for instance, it is going to be far less appealing for a man to open up. Even so, the need to look strong and invulnerable is something that affects both genders.
When a man hides how he feels, it can be the result of how other men have responded to him, as well as how women have responded. Fortunately, the right assistance is out there if a man does want to develop a strong connection with his emotions and to find a way to express them in the right way.
He might also need to develop the ability to contain how he feels; which will stop him from having to repress how he feels or to act in a destructive manner. This assistance can be provided by a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.