Toxic Masculinity

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by SacredWarrior, Mar 29, 2016.

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  1. What is everyone's thoughts on this theory that some people have been spreading as the cause of some things like mass shootings?

    Personally I think it's bullshit and if I go into detail why, it'll take forever. I just don't understand why this theory even exists and why some people even use it. Then again double think is never easy to understand.
  2. Something something THE PATRIARCHY something something OPPRESSION something MANSPREADING blah blah.. Same old song..

    Demonize masculinity and you get feminine men who lack the willpower and back bone to see things through or think for themselves without caring about every other persons feelings.

    There probably is something toxic about too much masculinity. First thoughts are frat guys who pounce on any pussy that limps into their field of view. Maybe the military, which combat is probably inherently masculine. It's a man's world. They just don't want it to be.

    But do people really want to see thousands/millions of years of biological programming undone? Some do.
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  3. I wasn't aware I had suddenly become toxic because of my chromosomes. Neat.

    I'm not saying femininity is weak, but it's certainly different and I don't think you want to be deliberately raising feminine men. We have our niche, women have theirs, and sometimes they overlap. But purposely taking that away, or forcing kids to grow up differently, will only damage them and society in the long run. Don't force a girl to be who she doesn't want to be, and don't do the same to boys.

    Besides, if masculinity is toxic, then so is femininity; have you seen sorority girls?
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  4. I don't think the entire concept is grounded in bullshit. There are expectations, whether they are healthy or not, based on gender people enforce on others and/or their selves. Of course, when the term 'toxic masculinity' is used, it's often used to demonise. This I think you need to be extremely aware of. I'm going out on (not very much of) a limb and assume you're talking about it in terms of 'shit SJWs and feminists say.'

    What I do want to say, though, is that it's very easy to lump every person using the term into one single group, whereas the definition greatly varies from group to group or even person to person. For some, toxic masculinity is all behaviour they associate with masculinity. For others, toxic masculinity is masculinity driven to an extreme. Some people don't even associate toxic masculinity with having a penis anymore. To understand is to question, even if you disagree with the answers you're given.

    I put up a thread regarding how people feel about masculinity and it's role in society a while back. If you're interested what various people had to say, check it out.

    As for me, I associate mass shootings with people suffering severe issues that go far and beyond culture.

    Using the mass shootings to push an ideologue is an asshole thing to do, which I guess you're aiming at. So, yeah. It's hardly a new and/or exclusive tactic, that, though. I really don't wanna be the person who says NAFALT, but you and I know that many genuinely believe they're fighting for the right thing.
    #4 Kestrel, Mar 29, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
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  5. Was the first thing that came to mind...
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  6. 2 busy asphyxiating preschoolers with AXE body spray to reply
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  7. "Today at 11:30pm, a man assaulted his child. Today let's talk about Toxic Masculinity"

    "Today at 11:30pm, a woman assaulted her child. Today let's talk about Mental Illness"

    Are you fucking kidding me?
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  8. Well, men typically tend to fight more often and for the purpose of exerting dominance. Even if infanticide is a predominantly female crime, men are typically viewed as more aggressive because their natural disposition to a greater frequency of aggression. Mass shootings have male perpetrators because it's a way of men trying to have an effect on the world around them. Equally deranged women on the other hand, would sooner drown their own children in the privacy of their own home. Both are disturbing acts. I agree it doesn't make sense when you look at it from an 'all people are equal' perspective and from that ideological standpoint, it doesn't add up to much more than a double standard. However, because deranged men sooner seek some sort of societal acknowledgement of their actions, they, well... Are more successful in getting just that. For the better or worse.

    That doesn't mean I support different treatment of the sexes, or even that people who do judge others based on sex understand this concept. It just, well, is the way it is.

    Your train of thought is a venomous poison.
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  9. Toxic masculinity is about as factual as the tooth fairy. The worst you get are ocd insecure dude Bros who talk the talk real loud to cover up the fact that they can't walk the walk. To imply causation of violence via masculinity is even more extraordinary and ridiculous a claim than claiming that video games cause sexism or violence. Mainly because you just upped the generalization from a sum total of millions to billions of people. It also asks other questions.

    --What about violent people who aren't masculine?
    --What about violent women who are masculine?
    --Where do transgenders fall in this?
    --How is it that the most excessively masculine dude Bros of all time, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who make an entire career out of being the most muscular masculine uber tanks ever conceived of by mankind, turn out /not/ to be overly violent?
    --What about most school shooters? Who are skinny, insecure, and who generally possess a lack of masculine traits? How do you explain them with toxic masculinity?
    --What about cultures with non-western approaches to masculinity? Can they be toxic?
    --How do you physically measure this "toxicity?" Do we measure it in Thetans?

    I could go on, but I think I've made my point.
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  10. I think I've been living under a rock or something. Maybe my mountains of textbooks, but this is the first I'm heard of it o.o I'm not even sure I fully understand what it is from the very brief comments about it so far.
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  11. Tldr: It's the belief that you can take masculinity too far, and that it results in said person (typically male) becoming ultraviolent and sexist. The worst possible monstrous traits a human can possess.

    It's essentially a thinly veiled, politically correct misandry against an entire group of people based on their gender. I wish I could say it was something else, but in practice, it really isn't.
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  12. Wow. . . *shakes head*
  13. Might as well ask me what I think about my increasing consumption of Poutine influencing the melting of glaciers. :P
  14. >_> Woah, apparently I've missed some things, because my understanding of "toxic masculinity" was always pretty far off from what's being discussed here.

    My understanding of "toxic masculinity" has more to do with things like saying "men don't cry" -- raising boys to think that they shouldn't be emotional or that any traditionally feminine trait is "weak" and that they shouldn't be associated with it. Toxic masculinity encourages boys to pick a fight rather than talk it out because that's how MenTM settle things. Toxic masculinity encourages boys to go after the girls they desire -- regardless of the girls' feelings on the matter -- because a man should be able to claim his prize. Toxic masculinity encourages men to be more dominant and controlling in relationships because dude, bro, you're gonna let your girl tell you what to do like that?? Oooooooh pussy whipped!

    Note: I am not saying that this means that all men (or even most men) are contributors to violence or rape culture just because of their gender, nor am I saying that masculine traits are inherently harmful, or that there's even anything wrong with hyper-masculinity. My understanding is that "toxic masculinity" does not mean "masculinity is toxic" -- rather, it's a term used to describe a more complicated problem than simply "XY is evil" (lolol, see what I did there?). Just like how the term "toxic chemicals" does not mean all chemicals are toxic, but rather refers to something more specific -- "toxic masculinity" does not mean that all masculinity is toxic.

    In part, I see "toxic masculinity" as the concept of socializing boys to believe harmful things just because they're boys -- not just harmful to others but also themselves, as well. Again, something like "boys don't cry" can make boys feel the need to bottle up their emotions in unhealthy ways. If a boy happens to be more empathetic and less aggressive than other boys, but his peers deem this as him being "weak" and "girly" and "not a man", this can also be damaging. On the flip side, toxic masculinity can take boys who are already aggressive or who pursue women in creepy and "rapey" ways and reinforce their belief that it's ok to act that way -- because Men are tough and don't take shit from nobody, and if the girl of your fancy isn't into you, then it must mean you aren't trying hard enough to impress her. Keep perusing her, and you'll win her over in the end. That's what Men do.

    ^ These are the ideologies that I associate with toxic masculinity. Note: I'm not trying to say that we should be blaming all mass shootings and rape entirely on toxic masculinity, or that all men should be assumed to be brainwashed just for being men. I see this as a more complicated and nuanced problem than that. That said, I do think that toxic masculinity, under this definition, is a problem that should be addressed. Not because it's the main cause of horrible things in the world -- but because I think the things we teach to young boys can create a less-than-ideal social climate overall.

    Actually, hell, it's not even about what we teach to young boys -- it's what we teach to everyone. You could argue that a mindset like "men can't get raped" falls under the category of toxic masculinity, because toxic masculinity says that men can't be weak, men can't be victims -- it says that men have to be strong and in-control, and, if they aren't? Well, that's just weak and girly. I think toxic masculinity takes boys who aren't very masculine and discourages them for it (as if there's something wrong with having slightly more feminine personality traits) and takes boys who are already masculine and gives them ideas that, if they don't have the common sense to debunk, might cause them to do some not-so-great things (because, yeah, it should be common sense to stop and think "a woman is not a prize to be won and I shouldn't feel entitled to 'winning' her", but, unfortunately, common sense ain't so common). And, it places certain expectations on men that just aren't realistic -- expecting them to always take charge and be in control and never show emotion, even though not all men are like that. Hell, almost paradoxically, you could even say that toxic masculinity is the reason why we expect men to be perpetrators of domestic violence moreso than women -- because men are "supposed" to be the violent ones. It's why domestic abuse and rape are so often framed for being things that can only happen to women, because we expect men to be aggressive and unable to control their sexual urges. And we don't expect men to ever be victims of these things because we don't expect men to sometimes be the weaker ones.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I see "toxic masculinity" as being the toxic mindsets that come out of what we expect from masculinity. Which is precisely why I wouldn't use toxic masculinity as a reason to condemn half the population and call them all monsters and slaves to their penises. Because even if you only ever associate toxic masculinity with the idea that boys are socialized to believe certain things, that still stems from the idea that they're expected to be aggressive just for being boys, and that a boy not being aggressive is abnormal. Which means that if you assume that a man is aggressive (such as assuming that domestic abusers or rapists are always male), and find it abnormal for a man to not be aggressive (such as assuming that men can't be victims of either of these crimes), then you are contributing to the problem -- because whether we're talking about the ways that boys are socialized or the ways that we assume men are more likely to be violent, it's still a case of making harmful assumptions based on someone's gender.

    So... Yes, I do think toxic masculinity is an issue, at least in the sense that I think implying that all males (at any stage in their life) are violent and sex-obsessed is an issue.
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  15. @Kaga-kun See, though, I don't buy this. I don't buy the whole "men are taught not to cry" bandwagon because it would fly in the face of our entire culture. It flies in the face of every single artist, writer, and musician. It flies in the face of our culture's empathy toward soldiers. It flies in the face of the millions and sometimes outright billions we spend on charity and medical care, even in cases where we know such spending is outright futile. It flies in the face of everything I know to be Western Culture.

    There are literally so many examples against the idea of "teach men not to cry" that I'd be completely at a loss to even try to cite an example: They're literally everywhere. Just listen to some music for a while and you will inevitably come upon music infused with sorrow, sung by a man. Read books, you'll find men crying in tons of them. Play video games, you'll find intense sorrow even in the most adrenaline soaked murder shooters.

    I hate to pull the gender card, but this is something I think men tend to grasp better than women. (In the same way women tend to grasp elements of femininity better than men.) Men aren't taught not to cry ever: They're taught to control their emotions and know when and where to cry. We (men) are taught to control and dominate our own negative emotions like anger and sorrow because a man who loses control of such emotions is little better than a beast of the wilds. They'll only hurt themselves and other people, because nobody gives a shit when a man falls apart. If you don't believe me, then feel free to explain this. If a man is emotionally wounded, he can only help himself, and it's important that it's taught that way: Because men cannot depend on anyone else to help them, save the closest of loved ones. Even then, though, you can't put all of your emotional burdens on loved ones, because that's not how equal relationships work. So men have to control their sorrow and anger: Because nobody else can, or will.

    Nobody tells a soldier who just lost his best friend to the bullet of an AK-47 not to cry ever. They tell that soldier to keep himself together until the battle is over, and then grieve when nobody else is depending on him. Because traditionally, we've been society's burden bearers, and you can't have the warrior, or the sentry, or the leader of anything you can imagine, falling apart and crying on a regular basis. Survival was dependent on a man's ability to control their negative emotions, and it was often more than just their own survival on the line. This still applies to the modern world, even: Nobody is going to bail out the businessman who fucks up and loses all of his money just because he started crying. Nobody's going to care. Therefore, he has to pull himself up by the bootstraps, overcome his own sorrow, and try his damn hardest to survive... And that first requires that he knows how to control his sorrow: Control when and where he cries.

    Men aren't taught not to cry. They're taught when and where to cry, and it's infuriating that some people still think this is a black and white issue. It's not. It's grey. Only complete fucking morons demand people never feel emotions. That has nothing to do with masculinity. :ferret:

    As for stalking and rape...

    Nowhere in masculinity does it say "don't take no for an answer from women." Masculinity would spit opposite of that, even. Men are supposed to have confidence in themselves: Being a creepy stalker and demanding the attention of others implies the opposite. It's often seen as the difference between boys and men, even: Boys demand attention, men earn attention. If a woman doesn't want you, then you're supposed to respect that and move on to find someone who actually does want you. If you're still interested, and feel as though you can make a relationship work (ex: Classical "earn the right to her hand" medieval type bullshit that no longer applies to the modern world), then you're supposed to earn that favour, not demand it. Hell, society doesn't glorify men who obsess over women: It vilifies them. It depicts them as weaklings and cowards. It often describes them as unstable, craven, and emotionally out of control. If you don't believe me, then I have a challenge for you: Find one male character in any fiction that is depicted as a good or redeemable person who is also a rapist.

    Best of luck. They don't exist. You can find redeemable murderers, and redeemable thieves, but not redeemable rapists.

    Because nobody in their right mind degrades women to satisfy their own need for emotional security.

    Men are supposed to provide their own emotional security.

    The closest you get is the whole "player culture" but even that still requires women to go along with it. If a woman rejects the advances of a man, that's that: It's over. If that man calls the woman degrading names for refusing him, that just shows his own emotional insecurity and weakness. That's a bad mark on him, not her.

    Masculinity does not breed monsters, it breeds men. It's a failure to educate properly that creates fucked up results. And no, I'm sorry, but I absolutely refuse the idea of Toxic Masculinity being a thing when it's an absurdly small minority. For every man who is an emotionally insecure mess, that harasses women to get their emotional needs satisfied, there's dozens if not hundreds of men who refuse that same set of behaviours, who were taught to be masculine.

    I've never once seen calls to combat "toxic masculinity" actually be done in the name of ailing any of men's emotional issues. The only people who actually seem to give a remote fuck about how lopsided society is given this topic are men's rights activists, and they often get hit with every nightmarishly awful label imaginable by the very people who claim they want to help men against toxic masculinity.

    tl;dr: I reject this notion because I am masculine, was taught to be masculine, grew up becoming masculine, have a masculine father, and aspire to often masculine ideals. None of which has, at any point, caused me to become "toxic." The only examples cited of toxic masculinity by others are demonstrable examples not of masculine behaviour, but either of a mental disorder, or someone who has no idea what masculinity even means. Dude bros are still the worst I can think of, and that's mainly because they don't grasp it yet, but claim to. Even then, they are 99.95% harmless. Annoying, but harmless. :ferret:


    Actually, to be more productive, if you'd like to ask me questions about masculinity, or about issues afflicting modern men, feel free. I'm well educated on the topic.
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  16. Ok, you definitely raise a good point here. I suppose it was wrong of me to say that men are taught not to cry ever.


    The bolded part here is what really doesn't sit right with me. What do you mean men aren't able to turn to others when they're emotionally hurt? I think it goes back into what I was saying about men being told that they can't show weakness -- because... I just don't see why we should act like men can't have moments of weakness, too, when they need a shoulder to cry on. I don't think that anyone should be expected to hold themselves together without any support like that -- man or woman.

    Yes, obviously, losing control of one's anger and lashing out at others is a bad thing -- but wouldn't that apply to women, too? Women can also be aggressive. Women can also be abusers. Why is it seemingly acceptable that women can sometimes lose control of their emotions, but not men? Why are men held to a higher standard in that regard, and told they shouldn't need to count on others to comfort them? I understand that men are typically less emotional to begin with, but not every person fits the mold of what's typical for each gender. I don't think that a man should need to bottle up his emotions if it would be healthier to let some of that out -- I think it's good for everyone to have emotional support to turn to.

    I mean, yeah, I totally agree that a man losing control of his anger to the point of domestic abuse is definitely a bad thing -- but it's a bad thing when a woman does it, too. And "you shouldn't lose control of your anger and attack people" sounds like something we would teach to people in general, not just men. And, I'm pretty sure we do teach that lesson to kids in general, so... why are men placed at a higher standard? :/


    I'm... seriously unsure as to what you're trying to say here. o_o Are you saying that men who lose control of their emotions are abusers (and that the same doesn't happen when women lose control of their emotions), or that people just don't care when men lose control because they're seen moreso as monsters than women (hence why you cited the idea that domestic abuse is only committed by men and not women)?

    If it's the former, then, well... like I said, women can be abusers, too. :/ I don't think that abuse is a strictly male problem.

    If it's the latter, then, well, you're right that people see men as being more violent and more likely to commit these kinds of acts, but I don't think it's right. In fact, it's precisely one of the things that I was trying to get at with the concept of toxic masculinity -- assuming that men are more violent, and therefore focusing almost exclusively on male-on-female domestic abuse, and ignoring the fact that sometimes men can also be victims.

    Ok, but... what if that soldier, warrior, sentry, leader, or businessperson was a woman? Wouldn't we expect the same thing?

    Of course there are times when people need to control their emotions and pull themselves together -- I just don't agree with the idea that it seems to be disproportionately expected of men.

    In the past, yes, these positions tended to be strictly male, and perhaps that's at least partially why control over one's emotions is a more masculine trait (though you would certainly know more about this than me). Regardless, I still think it's outdated and unnecessary in today's world. There are situations where people are expected to be in-control, and there are situations where people should be able to show weakness and seek support from someone else. I don't see why men and women would need to be held at different standards in this regard.

    [Note: I intentionally didn't respond to the rape bit because I'm not sure how to go about putting my response on that into words, and I don't want to sound like I'm talking out of my ass, nor do I want to misrepresent myself due to poor wording. :/ So I'll drop that part for now.]

    And I agree with that. I never said that masculinity was inherently bad -- I said that certain expectations of men are what creates problems. And I think "failure to educate properly" goes along well with that.

    And I realize that this doesn't effect most men. I never said that it did. But... if there's a man who is emotionally insecure, wouldn't it make things worse to tell him to "man up" and bottle up his emotions at a time when it wouldn't be healthy to do so? Would it not be better to live in a world where that isn't an issue for him?

    Just because a problem only affects a minority doesn't mean it's not a problem -- only a problem that doesn't affect the majority. And while I suppose it's helpful to distinguish between a problem that affects the majority and one that only affects the minority, I still don't think it's fair to say that that problem doesn't exist just because it only affects the minority. Would you say that those people's problems aren't valid just because there's so few of them? I don't think so. I agree that the problem is made more complicated by the fact that it doesn't apply to all men, but... yeah. Acknowledging that a problem is small is one thing, but that doesn't make it completely non-existent.

    Well... I believe it should be combated to alleviate men's emotional issues... so... :/

    I dunno. I admit I had never researched the topic deeply -- but this was the sort of thing that I had always associated with it whenever I heard the term thrown around (and what I'm nearly certain I've seen other people associate with it), hence why I was surprised to see the rather different definition of it that this thread seemed to run on. I only spoke up to say that, under a certain definition of it, I do believe there to be some truth to toxic masculinity. While also including several disclaimers in an attempt to clarify that I was not at all trying to say that this was an attack on men or masculinity in general, because... yeah...

    I never said that masculine ideals inherently make anyone "toxic", and I most certainly apologize if you took this as a personal attack or an attack on masculinity in general. o_o If anything, my views on toxic masculinity have more to do with what I find to be unrealistic, unfair, or potentially damaging expectations of men based on warped ideas of masculinity. And I suppose I should've emphasized that more. Because, you're right -- masculinity in-and-of-itself is most certainly not the problem.

    Once again, I most certainly apologize if you took this as an attack. I never meant to say that being masculine or aspiring to be masculine is toxic.

    The last thing I wanted to come off as is some over-the-top, "men are evil" SJW. >~< Which is perhaps why I often hesitate to voice these kinds of opinions, because I never seem to be very good at wording them...
    #16 Kagayours, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  17. Because other people literally won't care. That's not to say that they're horrible monsters: It's just that every person has their own issues. Their own problems. If everyone sought the help of everyone else, who would there be left to carry the burden?

    Not to mention, there is nothing more empowering in the world than when you're capable of carrying your own burdens. If you don't have to depend on anyone else to find emotional satisfaction out of life, than you are beholden to nobody else. True independence only comes when you're willing to shoulder the responsibility that comes with that. That is the ticket price to an individual life.

    As well, and again I think this is an issue of genders not reading each other well, but most men... Do, have other people they can turn to, and talk to. These people count as family, and friends. When I'm wounded inside, unless I'm struggling with an existential crisis or some element of my mental health (both of which are entirely personal and which no others can aid me with no matter how much they may want to), I have friends I can turn to and talk to at any time. The difference being, that they're there for me to talk to them, not for me to shoulder my burdens upon them. I can express pain, among those close to me, and there is no issue with that, so long as I remain in control. A perfect example of this you can find in the real story of Norah Vincent, who disguised herself as a man to try and figure out male issues and male culture. What she found is something that most men already intimately understand at an unspoken level. I highly encourage you look into it yourself if you're curious.
    Hey! I can actually be productive and be educational here!

    #1: Women can't be abusers according to the Duluth Model. It's a serious issue in the modern world and it isn't being addressed by and large thanks to cultural movements wanting to pin all the blame on men and male culture. (Ex: Toxic masculinity, mansplaining, male privilege, et cetera.)

    #2: Because history! Men were expected to shoulder the burden of warfare. The only thing scarier and more destructive than a person consumed with fury is a person consumed with fury who is a 6'2" 260 LBS muscular juggernaut in plate mail wielding a great sword capable of cutting through three men in a single swing. It's why men were expected, more than women, to control themselves, to be disciplined. That's not to say that there weren't expectations on women to be in control of themselves either: Both genders had social rulings to try and maintain civility (see: social etiquette), though over the centuries such rules have changed to better fit the cultural norms of the times. Like how high heels were once manly. (Yeah, weird to think about it that way, eh?)

    The overall point being? It isn't wrong in masculine culture for men to express emotion. There are many, many venues in which it is not only acceptable, but encouraged or an outright requirement. (Ex: Want to be a musician, or an artist? Emotional expression will be important to you. Heck, I'm a writer--emotional expression goes part and parcel with my work, it's an outright requirement.) What's wrong is if you have no control over your emotions, and you allow them to dominate you over your rational capacity.
    Society doesn't care if men are in emotional turmoil. The primary therapy model for dealing with spousal abuse assumes that the man is the perpetrator. Men have to control their own emotions, because society as a whole, at best, does not care about them. At worst? It considers them the automatic villain in any familial dispute. Regardless of whether that's fair or not, it is entirely and absolutely an important factor as to why men must be in control. Nobody will be there to help us if we're in pain.
    And this, this right here, this is why "toxic masculinity" is horse shit. If anything, this just speaks volumes as to how women should be held to the same standards as men if they're put in the same positions as men, not that we should lower the standards of men. Self control is still a vital part of manhood. :ferret:
    Self control will never be outdated and unnecessary. Men (who are not mentally damaged) do have coping mechanisms that involve talking to other people. They just don't do it publicly, because nothing would ever get done otherwise. Like, for instance, when you and I have private conversations (like, say, if you added me on Skype), you'd find I'd have less defenses over time, and I'd be more likely to express when I'm in pain. Hell, you know this is true, we had a brief talk over PM's recently in which I did, actually, tell you that I was in pain.

    There's a difference between public and private, and that difference is extremely important for emotional stability in a lot of men given how masculinity works, and if you'd like to ask about it, again, I'd be happy to explain it. As a man.
    Well that's because you're a compassionate and kind person, and it's why I enjoy talking with you. You always mean well. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don't mean well, and they tend to be the loudest.
    Psh, you ain't. You haven't tried to pitchfork me with my male privilege. :ferret: The issue is that there is no solution to "toxic masculinity" except to outright combat any expression of masculinity which count as toxic... Except, even that is nigh impossible to define, because how exactly does one define what is toxic? Even something as idealistic as "don't treat women poorly" is borderline incomprehensible when put into action against behaviour and expression. Unless there are physical actions involved (like sexual harassment, which is, y'know, a crime) each person's own idea of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour differs wildly, and differs from culture to culture. What is one to do? Legislate what people are allowed to say? The tones of their voices? The mannerisms with which they conduct themselves?

    Fact is, there are shitty people. Masculinity is not to blame for them being shitty. In the same way that Christianity is not to blame for the Westboro Baptist Church, and violent video games are not to blame for Internet sexism. There's no link between the two that can be made without first having to make millions of living, breathing exceptions. That is why I find the concept ridiculous.
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  18. o_o I disagree with that. I think people care. Maybe not everyone, but... not so few as to guarantee that no one cares. And... if a man has people around him who care, then I don't see why it would be bad to seek support from them.

    Of course, the world isn't perfect, so not everyone will have people around them who care. That's true. But, in a situation where you do have such a thing, I don't see why the idea of going to others for help should be looked down upon.

    Humans are social creatures, I think. To me, it seems like it would only make sense that people help each other. Maybe not everyone, maybe not all the time (and of course, there will be times when people can't lend a hand because they have their own problems to deal with), but... that doesn't mean that no one can help anyone ever, lest no one be able to deal with anything.

    And I certainly wouldn't say that everyone seeking help from others suddenly means that no one can "carry the burden". People need help with different things. And even then, sometimes all someone needs is a shoulder to cry on or a friend to talk to -- and that isn't something that automatically means that the person on the receiving end won't be able to deal with their own problems. You can have problems of your own and still help others with theirs. Odds are that when you offer to help someone, those problems won't be particularly intense at that moment in time (because needing to prioritize your own problems over someone else's makes sense), but I don't think it's always necessary to prioritize.

    People can help others. People can seek help if they need it. I see nothing wrong with that. o_o

    I agree that self-reliance can be a very good thing, and I never meant to say that it was a bad thing. You seem to have gotten satisfaction out of being self-reliant, and I'm happy for you. Thing is, you're strong to do such a thing. I just don't agree with the idea of holding everyone to a certain standard of being that strong. Maybe a man needs some support every now and then -- I don't think he should be looked down upon for doing so. I don't think anyone should.

    Well then, in that case, I think that depends heavily on what we define as "in control". o_o Because now it definitely seems like we agreed on more things than it at first seemed.

    Going back to the initial "boys are taught not to cry" thing, I never meant to refer to important or professional situations where one would definitely need to reign in their emotions (male or female), but rather, just... on a somewhat more personal, private level. I don't think it's right that people should be expected to never have moments of weakness or never have moments where they feel like they really need someone to turn to.

    I understand the Duluth Model -- I was just confused as to what you were trying to say about it or what you were trying to use it as an example of. I understand that many people believe that women can't be abusers, but I don't think it's right. That's what I was trying to say. Because, when you get down to it... female-on-male abuse exists. And I don't think it's right to assume that men are the only ones who can ever be aggressive and that men can't be victims.

    I understand the historical aspect of it. I just don't understand why that's still relevant today. I don't see why either gender's standards for emotional control need to be higher than the other -- not in today's world, anyway.

    >_> But... my whole point was that it isn't right that men are assumed to be the perpetrators of abuse, and that people don't acknowledge that men can experience emotional turmoil, and that they may feel that they can't reach out to anyone if they are.

    If society stopped assuming that men are always the aggressors, and stopped assuming that men can't be victims or that men can't experience emotional turmoil, they wouldn't always peg men as the abusers. And then there won't be a reason why men need to constantly be in control and never show signs of weakness.

    I realize I'm speaking idealistically here, but... I never claimed to have all the answers, or that I knew how to solve complicated problems. My presence on this thread merely started with me saying "here's a thing that I don't think is right", and then explaining why I felt that way.

    I never meant to say that self control was unnecessary or outdated -- only the gendered aspect of it. My problem was with men being held to higher standards of emotional control than women, not the idea that there were any standards at all (because what I meant with the "teaching boys not to cry" thing also meant in relation to privately seeking help from others, and we both agree that seeking comfort from others privately is ok).

    And then there's also the fact that, well, not everyone is perfect, and, while self-control is of course a good thing to have, people can have moments of weakness, so expecting someone to have perfect self-control is... Well, my views on this are complicated and not so much gender-related at this point, so, I'll drop that bit there.

    Yeah, my point was just that you said you never saw anyone use the term in an attempt to actually help men, and, well... those people do exist, with me being one of them, so... It's not exactly a completely non-existent thing.

    Simple: I try to think in terms of changing social attitudes instead of changing laws (because laws are fucking complicated and I am not good at judge at what laws are best, so I'll leave that to people who know better). I try to be a person who leads by example and discussion where social issues are concerned. Instead of trying to police what people do or say, I just say things like "hey, I don't think it's right that society pushes X, Y, and Z ideals, and I think it would be better if..." just like what we're doing now. Obviously not everyone will agree with me, but that's ok. All I want to do is speak up about things I don't agree with, and get people thinking about it, and maybe even get myself thinking about it if someone presents a counter-argument that I can't immediately combat.

    In fact, it always sort of bothers me to see people look at a social issue and say "well, you can't fix that -- how are you supposed to legislate against it??", and, well, you're right, maybe it would be difficult to legislate against -- I don't know because that's not my area of expertise. But, say, for example, all one is trying to say is "I think it's wrong for someone to be a complete fucking asshole". This would be difficult to legislate, sure, primarily because no one knows what exactly defines "being a complete fucking asshole", and then even an attempt to define it would probably bring up other issues that need to be addressed. But... you can still point out qualities that you think are asshole-ish and say that you think people shouldn't act this way. It might not be 100% effective, sure, but that's better than ignoring an issue just because it would be difficult/impossible to legislate against. Sometimes just spreading awareness of an issue is a more appropriate response. ...I mean, that's not to say that no one should ever attempt to make laws about difficult things like this, but... I don't think it makes sense to say that a person's concerns about a social issue aren't valid if they don't have a good solution. I for one will acknowledge that the world is messy and complicated and sure as hell imperfect and that I don't have answers to everything -- but I can at least point to things that I think are wrong and express what I think should be different about the world, even if it isn't easy to get there. That's better than nothing, I think. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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  19. "Toxic Masculinity" is just a political label, a word fabrication in the same vein as "Gun Violence", "Differently Able", "Undocumented Immigrant"... I could go on, but I won't. Masculinity isn't why we have mass... or really, any shootings. Violence is a human condition. "Men" have been killing each other long before there were guns to shoot anyone with. "Politically Correct" is just an excuse, a means to excuse personal responsibility. We are each responsible for what we do. We don't need labels. Especially those given by Government. It only causes more strife, more division.

    We don't need that. We don't need any of it.

    Edit: Oh, and Kaga-kun... "legislation" has never and will never change human nature. More "legislation" will just result in LESS freedom. Especially "legislation" that focuses on banning inanimate objects, rather than on human behavior. Since the topic of "shootings" is part of the OP. But then, we come to the issue of... well, how do you "control" the behavior of someone who doesn't want to be controlled?

    #19 Roose Hurro, Mar 30, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  20. I've had multiple run-ins with the concept of toxic masculinity. Like many people here, the term has been corrupted for me by the vocal SJWs who use the term to justify sexist beliefs. I'm usually quiet about topics like this because honestly I'm hopelessly confused about the subject of gender. The more you go into the rabbit hole, the more you realize how the mere contact with a meta concept like gender causes you to change the way you perceive it.

    Gender is just the stereotypical expectations we form based on sex. We draw these expectations based on pattern recognition. Honestly, it is actually fairly rare for someone to perfectly match these expectations, but they are useful approximators. So, when someone tries to claim that these expectations are harmful, particularly for males, I just have to disagree.

    Gender expectations just aren't that powerful a force. They are something that people lay back on when they don't have anything else. If you have anyone in your life that teaches you a critical life lesson, you would probably act on those lessons and your own personal experience before resorting to doing what you believe another person would do.

    The thing which causes shootings isn't the existence of negative expectations, but rather it is the lack of a positive influence.

    From my own experience, I've learned that the world just doesn't have enough thought, concern, empathy. People fall through the cracks all the time. Many of us probably lack a few fundamental skills, even as we become adults, even as we become parents, and the skill deficit just never gets filled. Some people never learn what it is like for someone to truly care about what happens to them. I personally was crestfallen to learn that every single friend I met in high school disappeared from my life as soon as I wasn't in the same room as them every day. It feels far too rare, to meet someone who would want you in their lives even if it wasn't convenient.

    More importantly, nobody ever starts out that way. If you aren't able to reach out to people, then it will never happen. The people who feel powerless are the ones who conduct these shootings. It is the most vulnerable among us, whom many never even realize were crying out for help all along.

    They weren't taught this. Rather, they weren't taught how to avoid this. They weren't shown another way. Toxic masculinity is a term that makes me think someone wanted to pin this complex problem on a single gender.

    But this is as far as I know to take the conversation. If I had to summarize my opinion in executive summary form, I'd just say: "Rather than detecting and eliminating negative influences, we should strive to create positive ones. I say this because people are not perfect, and it is a lot easier to apologize for giving a bad gift than taking something irreplaceable."
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