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Toxic Masculinity: Is It Tolerable?

A psychology buff who really admires Sigmund Freud. His favorite book is "The Interpretation of Dreams" and his most hated chapter is none.

A Masculine Man

A Masculine Man

Being masculine is one of some men's main dream. They wanna look cool and reliable. They wanna look astonishing in front of their honey by looking 'strong.' We quote it because they hold tears when they supposed to flood them. Is it actually healthy or is it not is still a big question mark for some people.

It's like a knife that you can view as a negative or useful thing. Factly speaking, everything actually has its own positive and negative sides, but what to keep in mind is its tendency. Why knives are still sold massly is because statistics tell us that knives give benefits to majority of people while why weeds are prohibited here and there is because they have that great statistical tendency to be used as addictive negative substances rather than medicines.

Toxic masculinity is a term of masculinity which is too over. Generally it states that a man must be so tough that he can't cry. A man should do everything on his own. A man should not give up on everything they want. It's actually good on some cases, but we must see deeper about its effect whether its tendency is positive or negative. Let's see the facts below!

1. Masculinity Can Be Treated That Positively!

Masuculinity without toxicity is something wonderful. It gives men the ability to get up independently when they feel low, the strength to lift something physically when women can't so that men can be good leaders in the family,and the resistance to work on something difficult when they have to. Researches even had proven that masculinity had positive association to hope: A man that is masculine tends to feel more hope eventhough he feels darkness is surrounding at the moment. Besides that, a research from Promundo even had proven that masculinity had a positive effect on reducing the rate of sexual violence in an area.

For that being said, we can conclude that actually masculinity is positive if we do it wisely. We can process the feeling of strength, independence, confidence, and dominance in a more directed way so that we can gain a lot more benefits from it and spread positivity from it. It's not strength that makes masculinity bad, it's the tendency to be over strength, it's not independence that makes masculinity harmful, it's the feeling of wanting to do literally everything alone, it's not confidence that makes masculinity seems so arrogant, it's over confidence, and it's not dominance that makes masculinity seems to weakening other people, especially women, it's wanting to be dominant in all aspects, even if it's not a man's right.

That's why mascculinity can be applied in daily life, except..

3. It's Toxic. Toxic Masculinity is Not Appropriate for All Reasons

We can call it toxic masculinity if a man want to be masculine but not caring about his limits. He wants to be the star, he wants to be the sun, he wants to be the planets, but he doesn't want to be the moon that receives the light from the sun. He wants to do everything alone, he wants to rotate around others, and he wants to be the spotlight in the dark.

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Those mean that men with toxic masculinity traits spark arrogant aura while arrogancy is not allowed. If you argue that it can be positive, like to motivate people, no things intended to show people is felt so sincere. The feeling of arrogancy must be felt eventhough it's just a little. You have a big project to be done and you publish it to social medias to show it as an achievement is a form of arrogancy where you try to show your achievement to others and even if you unintentionally try it, you must have unpleasant feelings, even if it's just a subtle feeling of hard to post. A person with an intention to show off is different from a person who really has an intention to educate. A person with the intention to show off will show every of its achievement, while a person with the intention to educate will only show his achievements that have the relationships to educating or positive things.

In addition, if we look at researches, we can see that toxic masculinity gives the holders negative effects such as:

4. Toxic Masculinity Increases The Holders' Tendency to Practice Violence and Aggression

Based on the research that was published by Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, men had the tendency to assert power over another in their adult ages, particularly when masculinity was threatened. Besides that, a research titled "Masculinities in Motion Latino Men and Violence in Kentucky" that was published by Men and Masculinities journal concluded that some men tended to perform violence to women when they felt that they lost power or the women gained power. Those mean that violence or agression are possibilities to be performed by men who had toxic masculinity mindset(s).

5. Toxic Masculinity Increases The Chance for A Man to Suffer from Depression

Depression is the darkest type of sorrow. It can lead people to physical symptomps that may harmful for they everyday lives. A man can feel unenergized, headache, stomach ache, etc. If it's been unbearable anymore, it can even lead to the motivation of suicide. Depression comes from repressing feelings whether it's joy, sadness, or anything so that a person wouldn't feel that free and instead starts to collect sorrowness little by little. That's why toxic masculinity increases the chance for a man to suffer from depression. It considers expressing feeling for a man is a weakness.

6. Toxic Masculinity Encourages Misogyny

Misogyny is a term of hatred against women. When a man considers that everything feminine is bad, then he would feel that men are always right. Women are just weak creatures that can't stand by it's own. So, men in all aspects must be obeyed. The most extreme conditions of misogyny are misogynist terrorism and femicide.

Misogyny can be triggered by the over-perspective over masculinity which everything feminine is bad and that had been proven by researches, such as in a research conducted by School of Social and Culture Studies, Victoria University of Wellington about toxic masculinity where toxic masculinity had a postive correlation to mysogyny actions; research conducted by Paul J. Fleming, et al. which was published by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which had a conclusion that mysogyny came from a person with strict gender rules; etc.

7. Toxic Masculinity Makes Your Feeling Ability Blunt

Repressing feeling is one of toxic masculinity traits. Like a knife that becomes blunt if no longer used, feelings need to be sharpened by using it frequently. No matter it is a positive or negative feeling, it's needed to be embraced. It's needed to be felt completely, not to be avoided.

Psychologysts claimed that if a person represses its feeling a lot, it will hard to feel connections among people since it hasn't been used to feel personal connections eventhough its within itself and it's one of toxic masculinity traits to repress negative emotions and to be strong whatever the situation is.

That's why only considering us as humans not limited by non-sense gender rules is the way to live a life well and full of love. Cheers!

© 2022 Mohammad Robbani Ardyanto

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