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The Influence of Pop Culture on Spreading the Idea of Toxic Masculinity

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“Boys don’t cry”, “don’t be such a baby”, “be a man-get over it” are all stereotypes that sets a standard for what a male behaviour should be. This discourages men showing displays of emotion and allowing each man to be their own unique personality. By using these phrases promotes that anyone that doesn’t t achieve this arbitrary definition of masculinity is abnormal. Even as a child, boys who express feelings are compared to a girl in a negative context this results in boys being pressured into become the ‘ideal male’ that has no emotion, provides for his family and is the king of his home. This rigid stereotype of what it means to be a man will be hard to change but “accusations reinforce rigidity even in people who want to grow.”

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Traditional masculinity had and will always been apart of my life as a male. Social pressures along with influences like movies and tv shows. For example, I remember watching home and alone as boy. Instead of calling the police he believes that its his duty to protect the house because he is a man. During the film Kevin also displays many manliness actions like putting on aftershave as well as flexing in the mirror. As a young boy seeing this film made me believe in what a man should be like protecting their home and not showing any emotion.

A Street Car named Desire when it was written illustrates toxic masculinity depicts toxic masculinity in the play. Throughout the entire play Stanley consistently demonstrates how he is the king, and everyone must do what he says. For example, Stanley demands Stella “[He hurls a plate to the floor], That’s how I clear the table [he seizes her arm.] Don’t ever talk that way to me! This quote highlights how Stanley’s character must never be spoken down to and does what he wants and not what his wife wants him to do. This is a classic portrayal of toxic masculinity as not only is he putting down women ability to have a say but also getting physical and asserting dominance that way. Tennessee Williams has captured what masculinity was in the 1950s but may not be so relevant in today’s society.

Daddy by Sylvia Plath describes her feelings of oppression from her childhood and the struggle many women face in a male dominated society. The conflict of this poem is the male authority versus the right of a female to be their own unique personality and be free of male domination in her life. This poem has a strong representation of toxic masculinity Sylvia describes the right to be who she wants to be and do want she wants to do. After writing this poem Sylvia Plath committed suicide at age 30 by sticking her head in an oven at her London home. This shows the extent of the problem that women face and how women feel trapped with no way out. 

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