Why Are Traits Gendered?
Education News | May-10-2021
Toxic Masculinity is a term that is used a lot in today's world. It is the stereotypical cultural norms that harm the men themselves along with society. The stereotypical thought process of people towards men such as men can only behave dominant, not submissive, men have to behave strong and broad. Such definitions most of the time lead to misogyny which ends up promoting domestic violence in the household and sexual assaults, rapes. Society often portrays men as the villain. In today's society, boys are seen as the people who are "toxic". Society blames only men when it comes to sexual assaults, boys are mostly associated as beings full of aggression and who are out of control in every way. Men are also criticized when they cry.
"Grow up! Act like a man! Be strong, stop crying! Don't be a girl!" - are some types of statements which, thrown at boys in their times of weakness resulting in depression and fear of expression. They face kinds of psychological problems because of repressed emotions ultimately resulting in stress. Men are always considered as the "leaders", society expects them to exceed at everything at the same time, be it sports, work, household, or any other fields. They are the provider in the family. When they do not earn or work, they are considered as persons who are not even allowed to exist. In most households, the toxic traits of masculinity are fit in the brain of boys since the starting of infancy.
The said "manliness" affects them physically and emotionally both. Engaging in fights with others to express their place above them, and pretending as if emotions are a foreign thing to them, in reality, hurts them a lot. Men start to think that one needs to gain power over others to earn a certain amount of respect in society.
Men in return reject anything that they think is "feminine". Taking care of your mental health, talking about tough things, self-love and self-care are things they think are for girls. Hence, to look tough, they ignore all the important things to do respect. There's a strong stigma going on around men about mental health. Again the toxic norm comes into action about how it's considered weak and shameful if a man suffers emotionally or psychologically.
At the end of the day, it is the 21st century, where feminism is at the peak. We need to consider men's health as well to make society a better place.
By - Anisha Sen
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