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8 hours ago, equus said:

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.

I really like that one. To be remembered.

I think you make two very important points here.  One, the experience of the (lucky and hardworking) guys who outgrew their bullies almost assuredly helps with recovering from the stings of the past. Two, I think each individual's experience and the nature of the bullying itself probably makes a big difference in how easy it is to overcome.  For those of us who are a few years older, it seems like bullying mostly involved maybe some nasty comments and maybe some physical confrontation that may have been painful and embarrassing, but usually not resulting in significant or permanent injury.  Now, it seems like more often than not in addition to whatever physical bullying people must endure, they can also be subject to having their lives and embarrassments spread on social media . 

Of course, this doesn't really reflect on the topic of masculinity vs. toxic masculinity.  I don't think being masculine and being sensitive have to be mutually exclusive. If you don't consider women people, then maybe you have a bad case of toxic masculinity. 

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4 minutes ago, Kymuscleboy said:

Now, it seems like more often than not in addition to whatever physical bullying people must endure, they can also be subject to having their lives and embarrassments spread on social media .

That's so very true. I'd hate to be a kid nowadays for this exact reason.

6 minutes ago, Kymuscleboy said:

 I don't think being masculine and being sensitive have to be mutually exclusive.

In theory, no. In practice, I believe there is an expectation that you shouldn't express this, not too much at least, and/or you should make up for this by having other masculine traits, especially physical ones, stronger. I think the idea that guys have the same rights for expressing sensitivity as women is a very modern one and would be contested by many people for whom the idea of masculinity is important.

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