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  • Showing only topics with the tag "masculinity". Back to normal view
    1. How do you distinguish between masculinity and toxic masculinity?

      This has been a thread I’ve wanted to make for a while but I’ve hesitated to for fear of it going badly. Recent events, however, have made me think it’s a topic that’s we can’t really afford to...

      This has been a thread I’ve wanted to make for a while but I’ve hesitated to for fear of it going badly. Recent events, however, have made me think it’s a topic that’s we can’t really afford to ignore.

      When people read the phrase “toxic masculinity”, some see a clear collection of bad behaviors or mindsets that exist independent of men as a whole, while some see an indictment of an entire gender or identity. I’ve talked to men who have admitted to not knowing how to be masculine without being “toxic”because they can’t see a clear line where one ends and the other begins.

      Thus, I’m interested in exploring what specifically gets defined as “toxic masculinity” and how we distinguish it from neutral or positive masculinity.

      Part of what has kept me from asking this is that I see in people here two different experiences that I fear might collide in bad ways. I know we have people here (myself included) who have been directly harmed by behaviors and mindsets that would fall under the umbrella of “toxic masculinity”. Likewise, I know we have people here who have been harmed by an over-application of the phrase — being seen or treated as “toxic” simply for being men and thus being denied the dignity of their own identity. Giving credence to one experience can feel like it overrides the other.

      Even just the phrase itself is the kind of thing that often divides people into camps and causes conflict, and I’m hoping we can avoid that here. (Though, to be honest, Tildes always impresses me with how we handle difficult topics, so I’m not sure where my worry is coming from). My goal for this topic is for everyone to have the opportunity to speak openly to convey understood truths and lived experiences in ways that maintain dignity for everyone involved.

      The guiding question is about distinguishing masculinity from toxic masculinity, but answers don’t have to be limited to that. I’m interested in hearing about people’s relationship with masculinity in general, both in people who identify with it and those who don’t.

      29 votes
    2. How do you define your masculinity/femininity?

      In lieu of the recent Gillette ad, and seeing as the conversation around it has stirred the pot quite a bit, I wanted to propose a conversation where we start from the very beginning: Without yet...

      In lieu of the recent Gillette ad, and seeing as the conversation around it has stirred the pot quite a bit, I wanted to propose a conversation where we start from the very beginning:

      Without yet talking about subsets, variants, or interpretations of masculinity/femininity (toxic or otherwise). How do you define it for yourself: what makes you masculine or feminine, or what parts of you would you describe as such, do you feel that those things go as universal descriptors or are they specific to your case?

      There may also be some deeper questions in here about where you think you gained this conception (your family? your immediate circle of contacts? Role models?) or who you think best embodies your ideal definition of your gender.

      23 votes
    3. Thoughts on male relationships

      Right now, the number one post on my personal Reddit feed is this: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/9bryj8/straight_guys_of_reddit_whats_the_most_intimate/ Reading through this made me...

      Right now, the number one post on my personal Reddit feed is this: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/9bryj8/straight_guys_of_reddit_whats_the_most_intimate/

      Reading through this made me feel quite a few different emotions, but I would say that my biggest takeaway is disappointment.

      I'm pretty young, being in my late twenties, but I know that the largest Reddit demographic is younger than me. And it terrifies me to see that people who are probably less than 15 years younger than me appear to be far more stricken by toxic masculinity than I was when I was their age. Right now the top response is a story about someone scratching his friend's back during a military deployment. He later mentions that his comrades gave him a hard time for it. Is the idea of machismo so fragile that we cannot take simple actions - even to provide relief to a friend?

      I'll be the first to admit that a single AskReddit thread is not going to be an accurate representation of the levels of intimacy men actually give each other. But the simple fact that it's full of jokes, to me, makes it appear that they are using humor as a defense mechanism.

      The fact that young men have so many barriers preventing them from building bonds with other men in a society often partitioned by gender deeply concerns me. I worry that this is the beginning of a societal issue in the same vein as racism was for our parents and grandparents and will only cause more problems as we age and gain political sway.

      I'm bringing this up here because I would like some perspective on this. I've always been very sympathetic to other people, and my views as a gay man are obviously going to be different from straight men. Where is this toxicity coming from? Is there a way we can stop it, or is it already ingrained in the collective psyche?

      29 votes