Toxic masculinity is a set of beliefs and behaviours that are traditionally associated with men and boys, such as dominance, aggression, violence, competitiveness, and stoicism. These traits are seen as socially desirable in many societies and can lead to men feeling pressure to fit into this narrow definition of what it means to be a man.
Unfortunately, these behaviours can have serious consequences for both men and women. For example, toxic masculinity can lead to higher rates of violence against women. Men who adhere to these norms are more likely to view women as inferior or objects for their sexual gratification. This can lead to sexual assault and domestic violence. Moreover, these attitudes can prevent men from seeking help when they need it or expressing emotions in a healthy way.
At the same time, toxic masculinity affects women in numerous ways. It reinforces the idea that women should remain subordinate to men in all aspects of life, thereby perpetuating gender inequality in areas such as the workplace, politics, and education. Additionally, it can make it difficult for women to stand up for themselves against men who enforce these norms without fear of consequence or backlash from society at large.
The good news is that we are starting to recognize the damaging effects of toxic masculinity on both men and women and are beginning to challenge it in various ways. For example, campaigns such as HeForShe seek to engage men in conversations about gender equality and encourage them to become active allies in dismantling oppressive systems like patriarchy that perpetuate discrimination against women. Additionally, some organizations have begun offering support groups for men who want to change their behaviour but feel unable due to social pressures.
Ultimately, challenging toxic masculinity requires both individual action and collective effort at all levels of society – from government policies that promote gender equality down to everyday interactions between individuals where we strive towards creating a more inclusive environment free from stereotypes based on gender roles or expectations. It’s only through this concerted effort that we will be able to create lasting change around issues related to gender inequality and toxic masculinity so that everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of their gender.