Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy What are the methods through which toxic masculinity is propagated? Reply To: What are the methods through which toxic masculinity is propagated?

Yash Tiwari
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Toxic masculinity is the way most men are taught to act by society, even if no one told them to do so. Society often teaches men not to show their emotions, and that being aggressive or dominant means being a “manly” man. Toxic masculinity seems to be mainly propagated through social expectations, as well as through media content targeted towards straight men. It is also present in the ways that women are portrayed, and the way that members of other groups are sometimes mocked and stigmatized. A study on toxic masculinity by the sociologist Michael Kimmel suggests that contemporary masculinity is a product of socialization and that men learn it from the beginning in their childhood, as well as the essentialist view of gender differences attribute to humans the natural features associated with maleness.

The methods through which people are socialized into toxic masculinity are threefold. The first method is through the so-called “selfish culture”. What I mean by that is that the values of this culture, such as the need to be more successful than others, only care about oneself without regard for others, etc., emphasize traits that correlate with toxic masculinity. These are characteristics that allow a man to be successful in a competitive or dog-eat-dog environment. The culture of toxic masculinity is most commonly propagated through the family structure and the entertainment industry. In many cases, children are unconsciously taking in this type of behavior as they interact with their fathers, brothers, authority figures and through the media they consume.

Toxic masculinity is bad for everyone men are forced into rigid roles, men are often hurt by other men (and sometimes women), and women are often blamed for men’s abusive behavior. It’s part of a larger cycle that reinforces patriarchal structures while also putting pressure on the gender non-conforming and those who don’t believe in traditional gender roles. There are a couple of ways that toxic masculinity can be spread, especially online. It can be spread through memes shared on Facebook or through posts from social media accounts, such as Twitter. Toxic Masculinity can also follow certain ideologies and be propagated by interactions among people in groups. As a result, there are several hostile groups online that perpetuate the behaviors of toxic masculinity. Imagine a 10-year-old boy who sees his father as the primary breadwinner because his mother is a homemaker.

Toxic masculinity is so pervasive it’s likely most people have absorbed it in some form. Men are trained to identify themselves through the eyes of others, to be emotionally detached and physically tough, to be unemotional yet sexually aggressive and dominant, and to live up to a certain idea of what it means to be a man. Toxic masculinity has been used as a concept to describe the behavior of abusers, profiled by psychologists and criminologists in cases of violent crime. But it has also been used to explain the psychological influences on other men who witness this behavior perpetrated by others and yet still fail to speak out.