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Is all Masculinity toxic or do you just get toxic Masc and then non toxic organic homegrown Masc?

 

The reason I ask is because I noticed one of my favourite YT'ers posting something on Twitter about masculinity being a "mask" for scared boys to act big, and I do not quite agree with that. Granted you get guys who are total chauvinistic pigs and who confuse THAT with being masculine. But masculinity to me is something completely different. And what I find troubling is that it seems completely okay to make another person feel wrong for liking what they like, or being the way they feel is most comfortable. My approach to this is simply, if you do not like what the other person does / is or act like... move along. Plenty of fish in the sea.

 

What do you guys think?

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Masculinity is just a way to make men seem horrible. In reality making them seem toxic is just a way to control them. Really the ideal man for most of the feminazis these days is just a slave.

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There are all sorts of ways to act shitty. Some people act shitty in ways that leverage masculinity and its place in society to act exceptionally shitty with impunity. That's what I think perhaps people mean by "toxic masculinity." Other people conflate that with "all masculinity is toxic", which I think is a shitty thing to do in its own right. I think it's a particular flavor of shittiness-meets-masculinity that's objectionable, and which is unfortunately rather common.

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Male-bashing is all the rage these days.  It seems that you rarely even see the word "masculinity" without the modifier "toxic" preceding it.  There is a small but very vocal clique of man-hating über-feminists who seem hell-bent on eradicating men altogether.  These are the ones pushing ideas like the only acceptable role model for boys being the weak, effeminate, "sensitive" man, and whole-heartedly rejecting traditional (and biologically programmed) male traits like strength, competitiveness, courage, and stoicism.

The best comment I've seen on this subject came in the aftermath of one the recent hurricanes.  The person posted a photo showing rescuers -- all men, of course -- wading through chest-deep flood waters, carrying people to safety.  The comment that went with this photo was "I think now would be a good time to have that conversation about toxic masculinity." 

Sure, men can be bullies and pricks.  But they also can be heroes.  We still need heroes.

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On 4/6/2019 at 1:09 AM, BigSteve6ft3 said:

traditional (and biologically programmed) male traits like strength, competitiveness, courage, and stoicism.

While I understand where you're coming from with your comment, I have to call BS on this generalization. It may be true that these traits are statistically more frequent in men than in women (I don't have any data but this might be true), you're doing a total disfavour to your point by stating this as if those traits were common to all men and in equal measure. No, they are not. If you want to fight the generalization that all masculinity is toxic, do not generalize on what "male traits" are, unless you want to go over to saying things like "if you're not X and don't have Y, then you're not a man, even if you have a penis and the right set chromosomes", which I really hope you're not going for.

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9 hours ago, equus said:

While I understand where you're coming from with your comment, I have to call BS on this generalization. It may be true that these traits are statistically more frequent in men than in women (I don't have any data but this might be true), you're doing a total disfavour to your point by stating this as if those traits were common to all men and in equal measure. No, they are not. If you want to fight the generalization that all masculinity is toxic, do not generalize on what "male traits" are, unless you want to go over to saying things like "if you're not X and don't have Y, then you're not a man, even if you have a penis and the right set chromosomes", which I really hope you're not going for.

That's not what I was saying.  I'm not saying you have to have those traits "to be a man."  I'm objecting to the vocal people who actually claim those are bad traits, that they should be discouraged, and that, essentially, all the problems of the world are caused by these "traditional" sorts of men.  We, as a species and a society, need masculinity.  It's not  a bad thing. And I'm saying this as someone who grew up as a  painfully skinny nerd who  was the opposite of all that .  But I'm actually grateful to the bullies I had to contend with back then.  They taught me valuable lessons.  "That which does not kill you makes you stronger" and all that;  it's actually true.   

I never said those traits were "common to all men" and I most certainly didn't say "in equal measure."   Where did you get that???  In fact, I didn't say  any of the things you're accusing me of.  It does a total disfavor to your  point to read things between the lines that aren't there, and to so completely mischaracterize what I wrote.  Read what I wrote.  I didn't say those things.  

The traits of categories of people fall into probability distributions, bell-shaped curves with means and standard deviations.   It is useful, and accurate, to speak of groups in terms of their group mean, even if it's not accurate to say that mean applies to every member of the group; there will always be outliers, in either direction.   You can say, for instance, that men are physically stronger than women, and that is an accurate generalization about those two groups as a whole.  But it is not correct to take that generalization to automatically conclude that George is stronger than Sally;  George may be a weaker than average man, or Sally may be a stronger than average woman, or both, and Sally might easily be stronger than George.   And that does not imply then that George is a not a man or Sally is not a woman.    So, when I say that traits like competitiveness are biologically programmed in males, I am saying that as a group males do indeed exhibit these traits in greater measure than females (and this is true from a very early age, as numerous studies confirm) ,  not that every male is more competitive than every female, or that a non-competitive male is not a "real" male.   

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8 hours ago, BigSteve6ft3 said:

And I'm saying this as someone who grew up as a  painfully skinny nerd who  was the opposite of all that .  But I'm actually grateful to the bullies I had to contend with back then.  They taught me valuable lessons.  "That which does not kill you makes you stronger" and all that;  it's actually true.

That's a very interesting way of processing your experience. I wish I had a similar one.

8 hours ago, BigSteve6ft3 said:

Read what I wrote.  I didn't say those things.   

You're right, I did a fair bit of misinterpretation of your words., sorry. Looks like they hit a sensitive point. :)

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1 hour ago, equus said:

You're right, I did a fair bit of misinterpretation of your words., sorry. Looks like they hit a sensitive point. :)

That's okay.  Maybe my reaction was a bit overdone.   But thanks for re-reading. :)

 

1 hour ago, equus said:

That's a very interesting way of processing your experience. I wish I had a similar one.

I could do another rant about bullying, and how today's parents are far too worried about it.  I suppose in my case it helps that I ended up out-growing every one of my old school bullies, by quite a lot.  Knowing that now, if it ever came to it, I could  easily beat the crap out of any of those guys probably makes it easier for me to be philosophical about the past. ;) 

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Having gone through my own "outgrowing my bullies" experience, I have to admit that that DOES make it easier to put the agita of the past to rest.  I feel like I've matured/evolved/ grown from my skinny weak awkward and geeky adolescent years into a mature male.  That's a big thing in favor of bodybuilding and exercise in general - the strength and competencies you develop do a great deal to help your self confidence, as well as your physical being.  Strength training and other life experiences in overcoming adversity did a lot to make me the man I am today.

I totally agree with BigSteve6ft3's point about "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger".*  

 

*Note: the quotation is paraphrased from Nietsche.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche  He was a proponent of the super man.

More to the point of this thread about "toxic masculinity", he also said,

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

 

 

 

 

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I never know how much engaged to get in conversations like this, because outgrowing my bullies is not my experience, and I don't want to get excessively negative. Scrawny kid,/teen, scrawnier-than-average adult, in spite of numerous and ongoing attempts to change this. Well, OK, I did build _some_ muscle and strength thanks to weight training and other sports, but not enough to make any real difference in comparison to an average adult guy. And there's little one can do about height, sigh.  All in all, from a purely physical point of view, my chances against my ex-bullies would be nowadays the same as they were 20 years ago. This does not help with putting the past to rest. ;)

I am not particularly fond of the "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger " saying. I find it a bit, hmmm, unnuanced. People process their experiences in different ways, and what one may find strenghtening, another will find completely debilitating. What one will recover from in weeks, another will need years for. And some others never fully recover from the same thing. There isn't one way of processing or reacting to negative stuff that happens to us. And of course there's extremes, such as severe traumas, which pretty invariably leave people more scarred than strengthened, even if technically one survives ("which does not kill us") such an experience.

10 hours ago, Mdlftr said:

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.

I really like that one. To be remembered.

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