Masculinity is Not Toxic

The lack of it is.

Comments (15)

(9) Chaya, August 15, 2018 3:15 AM

Too black and white

This piece is a bit too black and white, stereotyping men as well as women. As mentioned, we all possess some “male” and some “female” tendencies, and each of us has a composite of traits that no one else in the universe possesses. The key to developing into our fullest selves is to celebrate our uniqueness and channel each of our attributes to bettering our lives and the lives of those around us.

(8) richard stachowski, August 10, 2018 1:54 PM

soo true

getting more and more like that all the time.

(7) Rachel, August 8, 2018 4:27 AM

You’re confusing an adjective with a noun

Toxic refers to a certain type of masculinity , not to masculinity itself. Toxic anything is bad for us— toxic air, toxic opinions, and yes, toxic masculinity. I also wonder at the apparent division of labor by gender. When my husband was unemployed, I financially supported our family. He didn’t apologize and I would have yelled at him had he done so, because it’s OUR family, with both of us giving our all. When my father was ill at the end of his life, my mother bristled at being called the caregiver. “I’m not his caregiver, I’m his WIafE” she said. My son is entering a previously feminized profession, nursing, where he will use his intellect, physical strength and compassion to care for patients, including other men. He’s a normal red blooded American man who dates women. He learned from the first woman he ever knew that men and women are both responsible for creating and nurturing a family. He learned the same from his father. I don’t want men to be more feminine. I do expect men and women to striv to be more responsible, more caring, less grasping,less violent. That’s how my sisters apI were raised, that’s how my husband and his brother were raised, and that is how we brought up our daughter and son. Not a murderer nor rapist in the bunch, and I think every one of us would fight against injustice.

John Niederreiter, August 10, 2018 1:31 PM

Who defines "Toxic"?

If we are to talk about "toxic masculinity", we must also be willing to discuss "toxic femininity". There are very nasty traits that are more typical to women. We could call those traits toxic... but we don't! I wonder why that is. Personally, I wold never legitimize a term such as "toxic femininity". True femininity is beautiful and glorious and is absolutely essential for the wellbeing of humanity. Only the rejection or break down of true femininity is toxic, and that is NOT femininity. So calling it "toxic femininity" is a misnomer that can only drag women into guilt and shame. In the same way, the term "toxic masculinity" has nothing to do with masculinity and should thus not have the word "masculinity" in it.

Thania, August 10, 2018 1:55 PM

There was once toxic femininity.

Once upon a time, society pushed women to be feminine. They softened their voices, pushed in their waist and wore thick, full skirts that reached the ground. They deliberately emptied their minds of all deeper thinking because it was considered too masculine for them to think about the mens' world of politics and science. This was toxic femininity.
Times have changed. Women no longer face as much pressure to be feminine. Men face more pressure to be masculine. Toxic masculinity is when the pressure to be masculine causes men to suppress their true selves and adopt dangerous or inappropriate behaviors. Like the way women in the past would wear corsets that did not allow them to breathe, men in the presents smoke cigars that cause cancer in order to "prove" that they are man enough. Ironically, women face some of the same pressure to exhibit masculinity, but unlike men, they can't be too masculine.

Tova Saul, August 12, 2018 5:17 AM

very well said!

I would add that IMHO, toxic femininity would be caring a lot more about fancy clothes, fancy homes, fancy cars, make-up, jewelry, cleaner than clean homes, than steering their children, husbands, and others toward compassion for all creatures. When you wrote "absolutely essential for the well-being of humanity"...........The sages in the Talmud wrote that the Messiah will come in the merit of righteous women in that generation. It seems to me that the only antidote to the "toxic masculinity" (aggression ultimately ending in nuclear war) is positive feminine energy. Lord knows, we need an outpouring ocean of it. But meanwhile, women in our times are striving to be everything men represent.

(6) Sharona, August 8, 2018 4:24 AM

We need both male and female traits in this world. We just need to channel the traits properly so they are used for good

(5) Nigel Spier, August 7, 2018 10:10 PM

Propaganda

This is probably the most profoundly disturbing and sexist piece of reverse propaganda I have ever seen from Prager U (or Aish), both of which are organizations I have tremendous respect for. There are so many false a priori assumptions made it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the presenter. No coincidence that it’s a woman. Because, of course, if it’s a woman who is being the apologist for toxic male macho behavior, that makes this whole nauseating piece more acceptable, right. Which brings us to the second problem: who exactly is trying to make men more like women? Snowflake liberals? Is that the subliminal message here? I think so. This is a political propaganda puff piece looking to frame macho narcissism that seems to be spreading at a dangerous and, yes, toxic level in Western society and in certain regions of political discourse and opinion. There is a HUGE difference between strong masculinity and toxic macho tribalsitic dominance. It is the latter that is the correct characterization that is associated with the bad behavior described. By conflating it with an argument in support of masculinity you have diminished the importance of former for the sake of elevating the latter, which I find offensive and deeply disappointing. The subliminal message and agenda is clear: Trump is a good leader because he is a strong masculine type and not a wimp. Shame on you for putting this kind of slick and sick propaganda out there. Real men aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, and to call out a despot and a dictator when they see one. Even if he appears to identify with their ideological positions. Bad behavior is bad behavior. It’s not masculinity that needs to be “channeled” or redirected. It’s sociopathic behavior that belongs in a psyche ward or in jail.

Shelley, August 7, 2018 11:04 PM

Thank you for this comment

There are many kinds of men and women. Some fit the mold of what people stereotype them as. Others may have men be more feminine or women more masculine in their roles. For instance all my life I was never good with children, I was never social, I don't wear make up, I make the most income in the house, I play video games. I am married to a husband who is great with children and is more outgoing and when he had off from his teaching job, he was a stay at home dad for the summer and my daughter really bonded with him.

When we say toxic we mean nasty jerks. Last I checked, women committed heinous crimes as well. A man can naturally be more in touch with his feminine side and women may gear towards being more masculine without the "scary liberals" forcing them to. I am not against men being more masculine and women feminine either. That is actually normal.The book Circle, Arrow, Spiral: Exploring Gender by Miriam Kosman says it best that ever since Adam and Eve conceived children, since the children get from both parents something masculine and feminine due to the parents being a man and a woman, a child will never be fully 100 percent male or female in character traits. So occasionally we can see one gender manifesting traits that is stereotypically associated with the other gender.

Nancy, August 8, 2018 11:43 AM

To Nigel Spier and Rachel

Both of you write so eloquently!! The two of you are absolute proof that one can disagree with a viewpoint WITHOUT resorting to name calling. If you don't mind, I plan to take a page from each of your books. I mean that 100%!

Anonymous, August 10, 2018 1:44 PM

Then leave out "masculinity"

"Bad behavior is bad behavior"... so keep the term masculin out of it; it OFFENDS me that it is included in the term.
And, btw, never was the Trump mentioned in this piece or even alluded to. Wen reading the article, I didn't think about him once so your presumption that this article was obviously refering to him is in your mind.

(4) Greer, August 7, 2018 8:21 PM

Look up to?? While I don't disagree with most of what she's saying, I can't agree with this part. Equal rights, equal responsibilities, neither looking up nor down.

(3) Carol, August 7, 2018 6:45 PM

Agree with the point. Also, all individuals must be strong.

Agree firmly with the points made. There is room, and need, for all individuals - men and women - to be strong. One being strong does not preclude the other from being strong. Strengths are not identical but are each uniquely valuable. Strengths can be fully developed in each - strengths are complementary and should not become oppositional. Each must respect the unique strengths of the other. A society of strong, constructive individuals is a healthy society.

(2) Nancy, August 7, 2018 4:52 PM

True non toxic masculinity

A REAL and masculine man is one who shows RESPECT for women in all environments. It starts in preschool when we teach both boys and girls to keep their hands to themselves. When these children are grown and have entered the workplace, the women do NOT want to hear remarks about their bodies/looks from their male colleagues. They would much prefer that a man compliments their intellectual contributions. Finally, a truly masculine man speaks up when another man is physically abusing/verbally harassing a woman.

(1) Tova Saul, August 7, 2018 1:39 PM

What their next video on this subject should be

This is great. Their next video should be about how it's up to mothers to teach their sons compassion, and what it means to be a hero---- defending and rescuing the vulnerable. Women need to take their natural tendency for compassion and ignite it in their sons. This will help them know how to channel all that testosterone.

 

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