In the battle for equality, a lot of feminists ignore the nexus between Feminism and Toxic Masculinity. It is like, “Men are strong enough to fight for what they believe in.” Technically, this invalidates the basis of what they stand up for.
Three months ago, I had a verbal disaccord with a Coursemate. He said, “Gods willing when I have a son, He must play football.” It was a Monday and Mondays are my quiet days.
It is a practice I do purposefully and I call it “Just do the listening”. But that statement was too good or rather terrible to stroll without an argument.
Then I ask him “peacefully” why his son MUST play football? Why football? What happened to everybody making his own choices? What if he doesn’t like football?
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To his defense, he said, “Is He mad? Why won’t he like football? Every right-thinking boy loves football and the love for football runs in my bloodline.” Toxic masculinity!.
Toxic Masculinity is a conventional male gender role that stigmatizes and impede the emotions and actions boys and men may comfortably portray whereas, accepting anger as the only emotion “a real man” should have.
Be strong, be tough, don’t be a sissy, be a man! In other words, be toxic. It emasculates a man, telling him, “Don’t find interest in personal looks, cosmetics, dressing up and fashion.
Don’t be emotional, don’t express emotion, never crying.
Don’t appreciate “frivolous” things such as sugary “girly” drinks, romantic styles, cute animal videos, rom-com flick.
Don’t try to understand women, stop being sympathetic,
needing help, and not-knowing.”
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Toxic masculinity teaches boys that they cannot be victims of abuse and if they are, it is shameful to declare their hurt. It teaches boys the matter-of-fact that Real Men are profoundly enthusiastic about sex, wanting to have sex, and are ready to have sex most if not all times.
Little wonder they look at women more as sexual beings, not humans, not equals, not intellectuals, but vessels of sexual pleasure!
A year ago, an acquaintance said, “It is disgraceful for me to say women are as important to men.” Then quickly I reminded him that the people topping my department, his department and half of other the departments in my school were girls.
And yet again he said “at their best, they’ll end up in a man’s house or they would still use and dump them at the end!” prior to this, I had extolled a boy who said he was resolute about keeping his virginity till marriage.
And a group of boys said, almost in a chorus with lots of dismay, ‘boys cannot be virgins, those are feminine principles’.
These toxic ideologies are not inborn, it is fostered and proselytized by the norms of a society which has rejected social change.
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Society allocates gender roles to men and women. ’Women are and can only be mothers, sisters, wives, emotional wrecks, and second in command to men.
No wonder even marriage is no longer a partnership, rather a solely owned enterprise of a man. This limits undervalues, derecognizes, and marginalizes the importance of a woman.
Men, on the other hand, are ought to be strong-willed, tyrants, demigods, possessive, emotionless, tough, and so on.
Have you ever wondered why girls are taught to be more homely? Have you wondered why they get more education about sex?
It is so because it is believed that boys are savages and girls are the flawless utensils to accommodate the boy’s friable ego. And desolately, a lot of people are contented with this code.
As earlier stated, gender roles are influenced by social beliefs and generalization. In this century, there are different gender classifications that people go by, such as, agender, gender fluid, Omni gender, and bigender. Hence, gender roles are no longer clear cut categories that can be applied to everyone in a society.
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Men who are entirely soaked in toxic masculinity and its vibes, excluding women who are also entirely comfortable being second class materials, how can feminism thrive? As a feminist, I support the rights of both men and women to be who they are, who they want to be, and how they want it to be, so long it doesn’t go contrary to good conscience and in turn, trample on the rights of others. Speak Feminism, speak against toxic masculinity.