Toxic Masculinity, Patriarchy, Roles, Cultural Doctrine
Usually we think of the impact of patriarchy on women because it is believed that men perpetuate the system that they benefit from.
But what if, they too, don’t benefit from it?
💖The Bread-Winner Identity: From an early age, men are prepared to earn that daily bread, to never have his family needing for anything, to do his best to excel so he may ‘win’ in the big bad world with finite resources. A lot of identity is drawn from the doing of things, from gaining employment, from financial stability. That is a lot of responsibility for one person to shoulder. The critical inner voice in the head is not one’s own but rather society’s shame-laden voices unified. Not surprisingly then, worth is attached to ability to provide. Does it leave space for other identities that are more, if not equally, important? Absolutely untrue.
💖Soft Feelings: the toxic masculinity that preaches that men are only man enough if they embody certain specific characteristics stops them from experiencing the whole range of human emotions openly, sometimes. Fear, sadness, hurt, pain, vulnerability, guilt, love, tenderness are all part of the human experience and yet there is shame and embarrassment if these are experienced publicly. So when we do experience the softer emotions, it feels uncomfortable and is often suppressed under more acceptable emotions.
💖 Rigid Idea of a Man: “Men are always strong, dominating, aggressive and winners!” is often the subtext of every movie plot/ book/ song and other representations of men, who are almost always cis-het. It seems there is no other way of being a man. But there is. Getting very caught up in the idea of what a man should be, does not let a man just be. There is no one way to be a ‘man’. Your gender is your expression of your unique self.
I want to hug all the men in my life and tell them they don’t have to be and do everything.
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