We hear plenty about toxic masculinity. It is easy to blame everything from a misogynistic presidency to the latest mass shooting on toxic masculinity.
In fact, if you find excuses for it, you are obviously not paying attention as life on earth continues to suffer from all that conquest, exploitation, sexism, and racism, relentlessly push us toward in our spiraling death throes down the drain of doom.
That said, (we’re all going to die, in case you missed it) it’s still important to celebrate magnificent masculinity along with our ever-wary attention paid to the destructive kind.
Stand up and be a man
It turns out, much to the dismay of some, that the word toxic is an adjective. It turns out, that like bad skin, or good skin, or red pills, or blue pills, the word before the noun is an adjective. It is something inserted to describe just what kind of masculinity we are talking about.
If you are human being, you more than likely suffer from toxic masculinity. However, just like you may well have good skin on your left thigh, and still have a patch of bad skin on your right thigh, you will experience both.
You also can benefit from the magnificent kind of masculinity.
The good kind give us bold assertiveness. It helps us all, especially those of us who grew up as Tom Boys, to feel okay about scrapping our knees, scuffling with the neighbor kids, playing in the dirt, being an explorer of forests and mountains, being a logger, and rock mover, and a knife wielder, and someone who sweats with glowing pride, rather than humiliating embarrassment.
Conversely, it is toxic masculinity that also insisted that little boys — AND girls — felt guilty about having feelings, dressing up, playing with dolls, or experiencing any of the following insults: “You are a prissy, a wuss, a pussy, a wimp, a homo, a sissy etc.” Worst of all, if you are still thinking it is not meant as an insult: “You play (or throw, or run, or act, or ad nauseum) like a girl, a lady, or a woman,” you are not looking at the bigger picture.
We need to see how both magnificent behaviors, and toxic behaviors, affect us all.