Toxic Masculinity Reinforced by the Social Norms

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Early masculine ideals display a fear of being viewed as feminine which leads men to compete with others for dominance and become aggressive. As explained in the video about toxic masculinity, these views are learned throughout life, no one is born this way (McIntosh, 2016). Not everything about masculinity is harmful. Traits that are masculine such as, leadership and confidence should be used in a positive way and not as a way that is detrimental to others. These behaviors are also only associated with masculinity, and these do not generalize all males. There are no behaviors and attitudes that are specific to gender. Toxic masculinity has been socialized and the behaviors have become normalized. These behaviors have been socialized through pop culture, social media, and entertainment. Men who are poorly socialized will not be equipped to use their masculinity realistically and constructively.

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The movement at The Huddle shows that although masculinity is fragile, it can also be very toxic. The movement allows men to share their meanings of the differences of healthy masculinity and hypermasculinity. The men explain their self-destructive behaviors as younger men that led to deep depressions. The men speaking in The Huddle make us consider that most of their problems come from society and the way that they were raised. There is value in this movement because toxic masculinity is damaging to women just as much as men. This is shown in everyday life through social stereotypes in the media. Some of the men had shown their masculinity by trying to establish dominance by using destruction and bullying tactics to gain control over others.

Societies and cultures reinforce dominant, but harmful ideals of masculinity at various levels (Attard, p. 158). Living in a patriarchal society, men and women all try to fit in, but men are hurt in different ways; such as aggression and violence. Men are nearly forced to practice self-destructive behaviors in order to fit in and make themselves more deserving of attention and respect from their male peers. Parent, Gobble, and Rochlen (2019) stated that believing and attaching to toxic masculinity may promote engagement with many negative interactions since a component of toxic masculinity is a need to dominate interactions. Topics such as; sexuality, homophobia, rape, and suicide should show how young boys are being raised on out-dated concepts. If more of them can learn to reject the limits set on men then they can learn new identities and behaviors.   

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