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Masculinity; What is it? Is it bad?

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I didn't read all the responses so maybe I'm treading old ground, but can I just say something?

 

I think the term "toxic masculinity" is misused constantly by almost everyone who uses it. Somehow it has morphed into a single term when it is and has always been meant to be taken the way it is written; an adjective and a noun. Toxic masculinity shouldn't mean that all masculinity is toxic just as "broken machinery" doesn't mean all machinery is broken.

 

I know this definition as a single term came from crazy tumblr feminists originally misusing the term and the subsequent pushback, but it irritates me to no end when someone says "now we're told masculinity is toxic" and defends the concept of masculinity from something that was never meant to be an attack on the entire thing. This isn't entirely sparked by this thread, just if I see one more response to a mention of toxic masculinity that proceeds to bitch that men have it much worse because look at the young male suicide rate, I might freak.

 

There are many positive traits that are traditionally seen as masculine. Courage, strength, ambition, competition, rationality, assertiveness and protectiveness are fantastic masculine ideals men are expect to aspire to. But in some ways they are also mandatory. You can't lose so you must win, you must not avoid risks whether they're dumb or not, you must ignore emotions in favour of indifferent rational thought, protectiveness becomes obsessiveness, assertiveness become domineering and you must not show weakness. These traits are not inherently toxic but societal pressures and expectations can warp them and when this happens they become toxic masculinity. This can lead to men viewing these traits as having more rights than others, ignoring mental and physical health problems and not accept it when their ambition and competition for social status isn't rewarded to their expectation.

 

It's easy to forget in the world of 4chan, reddit and tumblr that these buzzwords like "toxic masculinity" or "patriarchy" exist for a reason and merit consideration despite their dogmatic followers. Patriarchy exists and it hurts men too. That rise in young male suicide rates? That's the work of toxic masculinity right there.

Edited by TrueNeutral
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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Masculinity depends on the context of culture and time, if John Wayne were to imported from his prime he'd be called a skinnyfat and told to do starting strength. It could absolutely be toxic, just consoder the example of Wayne being a possible homosexual, such a thing is today considered feminine and would have been even worse back then. If this was the case, it would have caused Wayne a lot of grief. For a more modern example consider the toxic effect virginity has on men over 16, I challenge you to look at various incel forums or /r9k/ and then make an argument that failing to meet percieved standards of masculinity is not harmful.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

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Masculinity depends on the context of culture and time, if John Wayne were to imported from his prime he'd be called a skinnyfat and told to do starting strength. It could absolutely be toxic, just consoder the example of Wayne being a possible homosexual, such a thing is today considered feminine and would have been even worse back then. If this was the case, it would have caused Wayne a lot of grief. For a more modern example consider the toxic effect virginity has on men over 16, I challenge you to look at various incel forums or /r9k/ and then make an argument that failing to meet percieved standards of masculinity is not harmful.

 

My favourite subversion of expectations of masculinity and the homophobia it sometimes comes with was a joke I heard Brian Posehn make in a stand-up bit. "Really, they're the weak ones? We need soft, small women with round shapes! They **** MEN!"


The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Masculinity depends on the context of culture and time, if John Wayne were to imported from his prime he'd be called a skinnyfat and told to do starting strength. It could absolutely be toxic, just consoder the example of Wayne being a possible homosexual, such a thing is today considered feminine and would have been even worse back then. If this was the case, it would have caused Wayne a lot of grief. For a more modern example consider the toxic effect virginity has on men over 16, I challenge you to look at various incel forums or /r9k/ and then make an argument that failing to meet percieved standards of masculinity is not harmful.

 

My favourite subversion of expectations of masculinity and the homophobia it sometimes comes with was a joke I heard Brian Posehn make in a stand-up bit. "Really, they're the weak ones? We need soft, small women with round shapes! They **** MEN!"

 

 

Sounds like he's stolen Steve Hughes' bit.

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Hmm, I wonder what this red button does...*pushes button*

 

Imo, societal masculinity has an inverse relationship with technology.

You know I think you're wrong here. I hear a lot of men discussing their computers, smart phones, tablets, apps, etc in much the same tones you or I might have discussed our cars in back in the '80s!

 

I don't know what Gfted1 was referring to, but when I see a statement like that I don't think of computer-y tech. I think of things like very reliable birth control, medical care that prevents a lot of childbirth-deaths (and is better at preventing death in general), culture that doesn't feel/have a need to have 6+ children to help work the farm/hunt-gather/earn money, food preservation/distribution, relatively safe housing, things like washing machines that save physical labor time-spent so ppl can focus more on other things, and so on.

 

In terms of "masculinity" - maybe because I'm a woman - everything I can think of, that is not just a consideration of actual biological/physical differences or outward fashion choices, would also apply (ideally) to women. eg, decisions and actions based more on rationality/objectivity vs. an utter lack of impulse/emotional restraint, independent/confident, responsible (both to others and in terms of contributing to "providing"), has follow-through, so on.

 

Everything else (hunter/provider, strength/defense/courage, more defined gender roles etc) is more directly related to if/when societies didn't have those modern tech aspects.

 

"Toxic" is when certain desirable traits become exaggerated/overcompensated (machismo) or no longer necessary within a current culture/society, as TrueN already went over.

Edited by LadyCrimson
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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Addendum:  I often think, in some cultures/societies, sex appeal gets somewhat mixed up with masculinity/femininity. Being physically appealing (symmetrical beauty, signs of good health etc) as an early potential mate attractant and the long term social/personality behavior that most think makes a "good human being" or "long-term mate" (which same things can apply to either gender) are, imo, generally separate things, altho they do bounce off and around each other.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Masculinity depends on the context of culture and time, if John Wayne were to imported from his prime he'd be called a skinnyfat and told to do starting strength. It could absolutely be toxic, just consoder the example of Wayne being a possible homosexual, such a thing is today considered feminine and would have been even worse back then. If this was the case, it would have caused Wayne a lot of grief. For a more modern example consider the toxic effect virginity has on men over 16, I challenge you to look at various incel forums or /r9k/ and then make an argument that failing to meet percieved standards of masculinity is not harmful.

My favourite subversion of expectations of masculinity and the homophobia it sometimes comes with was a joke I heard Brian Posehn make in a stand-up bit. "Really, they're the weak ones? We need soft, small women with round shapes! They **** MEN!"

Sounds like he's stolen Steve Hughes' bit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5VliEjyohM
I dunno, it could be possible. how old is that show? I saw Brian Posehn in 2005 at the Comedy Factory Festival in Holland. It's hard to say, they're both active as comedians since 1994. I'd go and guess it's not clever enough that only one person could come to the same conclusion.

The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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I'm of the masculine persuasion, I own a gas testing kit and its never gone off merely due to my presence so if i'm toxic it's not airborne. I also regularly give blood and no one has yet been poisoned by it so i'm calling poppy**** on the whole toxicity label.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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No you're not. Here's the reality, you're on a board of a company that is famous for games based on and inspired by PnP games. Beta is mandatory.


The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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I will not cry!


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Real men take bubble baths

 

It's not that real men take bubble baths, its that real men take bubble baths without worry because they're secure in who they are... so don't stress what others might think about it.

 

 

Also..  This: http://www.artofmanliness.com/


"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Hmm, I wonder what this red button does...*pushes button*

I don't know what Gfted1 was referring to, but when I see a statement like that I don't think of computer-y tech.

 

What I meant by the first sentence is, this topic seems righteous for some serious triggerin yo, and non-conformist opinions really gets the hurt train chugging, so I was pressing the launch sequence. :p

 

And baths are dumb. I don't fit in a standard tub nor do I like to sit around in my own swill water. :lol: But who shares their bathing habits with others that they would fear being judged?


image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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Okay, sideline anecdote over something that amused me.

 

Some years ago I was at a party and a couple of guys had been chatting with me on and off for a chunk of it, and then my girlfriend of the time arrived and I gave her the general hug and kiss. The two guys who had been amiably bantering with me paused, looked at each other and then did this whole.. "Oh, we've been flirting with you to see who could pick you up and you haven't acted offended or scared, so we really thought you were gay. Are you like, bi or just really secure in your masculinity?"

 

This was then spoiled when the gf did this "Oh no, he's polite, charming, a bit of a flirt in general when its for fun, but totally oblivious to people hitting on him in seriousness."


"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Aren't the world's most masculine men gay though? I'm looking at Wentworth Miller, you'd never know he was gay with his egotistical demeaner, deep voice and manly plans of action but yet he came out a couple years ago.

 

I always read that a man who is not afraid to get in touch with his femanine side is less likely to be gay than a fromting full-fledged man. I mean, as a married man with kids I can get how this can be true. After all, if you're into a girl, you start getting to know her interests and if you fall in love with her, you love what she loves and likes what she likes. Goes the same with daughters...

 

I seem to remember when Taylor Swift had a concert wherewhich men who dared to wear high heels got themselves + their daughters in for free. I highly doubt any of them were gay but a single man may look at that with homophobia because they simply haven't matured enough to understand.

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Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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There are a few classic pictures of the Marines in crisp uniform who made time to sit down at their daughters "tea party" ..

 

ht-Love-What-Matters01-hb-170417_4x3_992

 

479773a47b82973024a7f7c63ad8406b--marine

 

cc483b471de731dc2685b7cb1366d6f0.jpg

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Knowing how to kill people inspires self confidence.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Knowing how to kill people inspires self confidence.

Way to ruin a feel good thing. Hope you have enough tact to know not to say that in front of actual soldiers.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Knowing how to kill people inspires self confidence.

Way to ruin a feel good thing. Hope you have enough tact to know not to say that in front of actual soldiers.

 

 

How does that ruin a feel good thing ?  :p  Firstly it's their daughters but also they, being soldiers, know they're hard. They don't need to worry about being perceived as such.  I've said as much in front of my soldier buddy and he's cool with it as it makes sense, likewise with the one who's done MMA, really.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Knowing how to kill people inspires self confidence.

Way to ruin a feel good thing. Hope you have enough tact to know not to say that in front of actual soldiers.

 

 

How does that ruin a feel good thing ?  :p  Firstly it's their daughters but also they, being soldiers, know they're hard. They don't need to worry about being perceived as such.  I've said as much in front of my soldier buddy and he's cool with it as it makes sense, likewise with the one who's done MMA, really.

 

Most of the ones I've met aren't so keen to be described as killers directly, you can joke about it but addressing it directly digs up unpleasantness. But then again my mates were on the GI bill to get through college and might not have had the same mindset as your buddy. Or people are just different I guess.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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