Mark McDonald is a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, with a focus on childhood trauma and autism.
He joined me for a conversation about masculinity and why it should be celebrated. In fact, masculinity is critical to the survival of both men and women. Without masculinity, there is no femininity; and without femininity, there is no masculinity.
However, “toxic masculinity” is a term used to describe supposedly harmful and restrictive behaviours or attitudes traditionally associated with masculinity in general.
It refers to societal expectations and norms that can have negative effects on both men and women, we are told.
As far as I am able to tell, the origins of the phrase “toxic masculinity” can be traced back to the men’s movement of the 80s and 90s, which aimed to challenge and redefine traditional gender roles. The phrase gained broader recognition and usage in the late 2010s with the aplification of feminism and the MeToo nonsense.
It is used to critique and address apparently harmful behaviours and attitudes associated with traditional masculinity and emphasises the negative impact of societal expectations such as stoicism, aggression, dominance and the suppression of emotions.
Which are typical characteristics of being a man.
It is also “toxic” – apparently – when men sexually objectify women; are violent; or understand the role of men.
Put another way, men should stop looking at women; should stop being strong; and should stop being providers. Men should be made effeminate otherwise they are toxic.
“Toxic masculinity” is just another way of saying “masculinity”.
Mark joined me for a conversation in which he chatted about all of this.
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