Toxic masculinity, for anyone who perhaps hasn’t heard of it before, is a term used to describe social and cultural norms, often considered to be traditional, which have the ability to negatively impact all people. I think a lot of folks hear ‘toxic masculinity’ and assume that it is strictly affiliated with males, but this simply isn’t the case. Toxic masculinity involves ideologies and things we perceive to be norms that encourage harmful and damaging constructs, some of which are subtle, and others, monstrous.
A classic example of toxic masculinity is the belief that men shouldn’t show their emotions, meaning they shouldn’t shed a tear when they’re in the presence of other people, as it goes against the idea of being manly, or tough.
There are many facets involved in perpetuating toxic masculinity, but one, in particular, I find to be commonly repeated, and usually subconsciously, or without intent, is implying that men aren’t worthy of being with attractive women unless their physicality is on par with the woman’s appeal. When I say this, I’m making reference to the fact that a lot of guys, and girls, for that matter, will heckle their buddies, and even guys they don’t know overly well if they happen to be in a relationship with an attractive woman. They will make joking jabs and comments suggesting that said guy isn’t good enough for her, whether it be in a physical or emotional sense, and will often say to said guy comments like ‘how did you ever manage to land this one?’ even if the gentleman is exceptionally good-looking.
I despise this form of toxic masculinity, and it affects a lot more men than we realize. It is an issue, and an unnecessary one at that, and it is one deserving of conversation and advocacy in an attempt to diminish its commonality.