What Toxic Masculinity Is and Why Men and Their Loved Ones Suffer From It

The difference between men and women exists, but it is not as great as you think. And, of course, these differences are no reason to say that one sex is better than the other. In most cases, gender bias is related to women, but men are also discriminated against.

Saying that “boys don’t cry” is just one example of toxic masculinity – a set of rules for men that continually prevents them from living life to the fullest.

We are sure the time has come to change our ideas about how a man can and cannot behave, and now we are going to describe what is wrong with the “code of a real man.”

We will illustrate these points with images from the Renaissance Youth Leaders Forum photo project. Its aim is to eliminate gender stereotypes.

What Toxic Masculinity Is and Why Men and Their Loved Ones Suffer From It
© SURYLF / Twitter

The desire to be a “real man” often means taking risks, dominating, and never showing emotions and feelings. But these are signs of weakness that hurt both men and their loved ones.

Those who share traditional beliefs about masculinity find it more difficult to maintain trusting relationships with their spouses and children.

And your inability to always be the best leads to mental health problems like depression and stress. These men prefer to ignore the signals of their own body and endure the pain, forgetting to call a doctor.

This leads to the fact that the lifespan of a man is, on average, shorter than that of a woman.

What Toxic Masculinity Is and Why Men and Their Loved Ones Suffer From It
© SURYLF / Twitter

Still, the image of an alpha male is favored by many people, regardless of gender. And vice versa: if a man tells his son that he loves him or is crying because of a moving movie, you can expect to hear that he “acts like a girl.”

Those who openly express their feelings and emotions face ridicule and even contempt. And they have to make a choice: either wear a mask of “a tough guy” or “not be a man.”

What Toxic Masculinity Is and Why Men and Their Loved Ones Suffer From It
© SURYLF / Twitter

However, traditional gender roles that label a man as a belligerent winner and head of the family and a woman, a gentle and fragile guardian of the home in need of protection, are gradually becoming obsolete.

Men continue to feel that they can make decisions not under the pressure of social norms, but of their own choosing.

There are countries where the state encourages exemption from stereotyped roles, such as Sweden and Norway, for example, where 3 to 18 months of maternity leave must be taken by the second parent.

Men all over the world have realized that we are in a time of change and are finding more and more support. Dinner parties for men are gaining popularity, serving as a place where they can discuss topics that they tend to avoid, even with close friends.

The British project “The campaign against miserable life” teaches them to seek psychological help. Project ManKind male community psychologists and volunteers help them understand the cause of their assault, recognize their emotions, and express their feelings.

And the American Psychological Association has published guidelines for psychologists working with boys and men to help them develop new and healthy forms of masculinity.

What Toxic Masculinity Is and Why Men and Their Loved Ones Suffer From It
© SURYLF / Twitter

At the heart of this new masculinity is the notion that any discrimination is unacceptable. We all experience feelings and have desires, and no one can be limited in their right to express them. Any prejudice against those who are different must be in the past.

What do you think of men who openly express their feelings and emotions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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